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Clicks and Slurps and All

I’ve decided that there are few crueler things you can do to a woman who suffers from (mild?) misophonia, than give her nine year old son a palate expander.

Unless, you want to give her son a palate expander at the same time that her seven year old daughter is losing teeth and practicing whistling.

My life this morning is a series of clicks, slurps, whistles, dog barks, kids fidgeting and loudly retelling the same (still not funny) jokes, over and over (and over) again.

No, Lila <click, slurp, click> you have to say it like this...<sluuuurp> One pickin’ chicken…two pickin’ chicken…


Gah! For the love of all that is good and holy in this world!

Can you all just stop being so annoying?!?

I really asked that (well, minus the exclamation of good and holy) at 8:30 in the morning. To a roomful of kids under the age of ten, who are doing nothing more than being kids under the age of ten. Clicks and slurps and all.


Last night, Vinnie and I went to bed early and listened to music in the dark. When we younger, we would sit in his mother’s family room and listen to Dark Side of the Moon. Then, we were college students snuggled together, just sitting quietly. The notes rose and fell around us in the dark and I would look out the window to the streetlights and imagine my future with this man.  There was so much time to just sit and daydream. From my vantage point there, in my uncluttered life, I imagined careers and travel and houses and children. I imagined adventures and happiness. I imagined ups and downs, good and bad.

Mostly good.

But somehow, in all of my imaginings, I never considered palate expanders or just *how* annoying repetitive “jokes” about fictitious chickens (and chicken babies) can be.

Last night, we crawled into bed, like the exhausted, pathetic, lumps of humanity that we were after a long weekend of  cleaning and driving and weddings and working. Laying there, we listened to The Head and the Heart, Let’s Be Still.  There were no daydreams of what would come in the future, there were no wistful I wonders or imaginary travels or hopes for babies. There was just he and I, a little burnt out and just trying to stay awake long enough to remember to turn the phone off before it moved onto the next song.

The world’s just spinning, a little too fast…so just for a moment, let’s be still.

Oh, yes, please.

Truthfully, I am trying to not be so annoyed by all of the annoyances around me. Because, especially for my children, they don’t mean to annoy me. They’re just living in this space alongside me – and they need space of their own. Alex has a metal spider across the top of his mouth that clicks when he swallows or taps it with his tongue. He hasn’t complained about turning the key or the food getting stuck up in there, not once.

Of course, he is a nine year old, and he has moments when he is being a little smart, and he knows it.

But, when I heard myself last night, very sternly explaining to him something that could have been handled without such a tone, I regretted it instantly. I heard myself, parenting myself, Melanie, it’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it.

Don’t be a spirit crusher, just because you’re annoyed at the clicks and slurps and all of the other redundancies of raising these children. These children that you prayed for, you hoped for, you daydreamed about raising while sitting in the dark, listening to music with the man you love.

The children aren’t the problem, and they’re not adult enough to know better (yet) how to control their silly (and often crazy annoying) impulses.

But, I am.

So, here’s hoping for more stillness in my heart and more patience in my parenting.

Of course, as I type this, Evaline is spinning around and singing, off key, Here I mam, here I mam…I don’t care…slam the dooooooo…Let it do!  And Alex has moved on to marching around the living room, chanting his math problems aloud. Eight times six minus two…Eight times six mi-NUS TWO…EIGHT TIMES SIX MINUS TWO!


If anyone needs me, I’ll be in a straight jacket.

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