I’ve never really transcribed to the whole notion that “silence is golden”.  Sure, there are moments when silence is ideal, in theory.  In church, in school during lessons.  When your dead, silence is generally considered golden….because if you’re dead and you’re NOT silent, you will surely freak folks the hell out.

But as a specific idea, I don’t believe in it.  Especially in children.  I think young tots are meant to speak up and speak often.  I think its important, as parents, to encourage our kids to find their voice and make it heard.  If children were meant to be seen and not heard, why didn’t we just elect to have none at all.  If we really just want the peace and quiet that was our lives before kids, why didn’t we just remain childless?  And so I spend day in and day out encouraging my kids to talk to me and speak their minds…..Well, ok.  So for now, its only Nicklas I encourage.  Joshua is a smart little penis person, but has yet to master the skill of the broad spectrum of linguistic skills.  So every day, I ask Nicklas about his day.  Open ended questions that require more than a half-hearted “yeah” or a “nuh uh”.    We talk endlessly about things he’s interested in.  We talk DURING TV time, dissecting each and every little scenario (ironically, we miss have the show because we’re too busy talking about it).

With Joshua, its slightly different.  I encourage him whole heartedly to try to pronounce and say things.  If he points to something and whines for it, I will tell him “now son, let’s try to use our words”.  Never mind that he’s not quite two yet and probably hasn’t even the slightest notion what I’m even asking of him.   I give it a shot in the hopes that one day, it will all make sense and he will find his own little voice.  I’ll make a talker outta him if it kills me!

As a way of leading by example, I am RARELY silent.  I love to talk!  My voice permeates the air in a steady stream of words that seem boundless.  In a pinch, I will talk to inadamant objects for lack of anyone else to talk to.  This is probably one of those times when a pet of some sort might really come in handy.  At least I could talk to a pet and not appear to be a lunatic.

The head penis who created the other penises is the precise opposite of me.  He loves silence.  He has explained it to me that he spends his entire shift listening to people talk incessantly.  His supervisors, other officers.  The steady stream of radio chatter that goes on all night long in his ear.  Perps looking to make excuses for their misdeeds.  Babymomma/Babydaddy drama and family altercations that require a degree in psychology and hours to untangle.  This all adds up to a person who comes home feeling mentally exhausted and just cannot manage having to listen to one….more….word.

This generally occurs directly at the precise time that I am, quite literally, wired for sound.  As I’m rattling on and on and on about my list of things to do today….how Nicklas’s morning went….what brilliant little thing Joshua is now doing….I take a moment (to be sure, without taking a breath) to look at Jeff and he’s got this pained expression on his face and I can see him mentally sticking his fingers in his ears and singing Lalalalalalalala in an effort to drown me out.

Now, maybe a normal and rational person might think “hmm…maybe I should give him a moment or two to decompress and readjust his thinking from Super Cop to Husand and Dad.”  But, as I’m pretty certain it’s obvious to all, I’m not entirely normal or rational.  And I just view this as “he’s tuning me out”.  I’m offended.  I’m incensed by the very notion that the mere sound of my voice is causing him to mentally check out.

Turns out…..what he’s really looking for is maybe one hour of solitude.  One hour to just hear nothing and no one.  Essentially, its not specifically ME (or the penis people) that is causing his issue.  His brain is just on overload and needs a moment to replenish its reservoirs.

So we’re a work in progress.  I’m trying to dial it down a notch.  He’s trying really hard to not shut down and tune me (and the kids) out.  Some days it works pretty well…..  Some days, we irritate one another with our natural progression to do what comes instinctively to each of us.  I don’t necessarily think that either one is right nor wrong.  We’re just different and trying to     co-exist in one another’s world.