The Slaughter of Silence and Sleep

by - January 17, 2011

After tears of confusion, much drama, pain, clinging, drooling, gnawing, and the slaughter of silence and sleep, Wookie has pushed two teeth through. There is no picture because there isn't much to see yet, just two little white lines on his bottom gum line. I suppose I should be mourning the impending loss of his sweet gummy smile, but babies with just their two bottom teeth are quite adorable too.

Last week, Wookie and I visited my family in Chattanooga (technically it is Ooltewah, but usually no one has heard of it). The youngest of mom's two older brothers passed away, and I wanted to keep her company as we all awaited plans for the funeral service to be made as the heavens blanketed us with eight inches of snow. Wookie did his duty of bringing smiles and laughter as he started crawling, batting his eyelashes and making kissy sounds for the first time. It was a sweet time with my parents and extended family as we reconnected, shared fond memories, and promised to keep in touch more often.

If you have met my older son Scooby, you know that my ears were likely desperate for short respite from the constant barrage of noise whether it be yelling, laughing, whining or toys with far too many batteries that are overdue for taking a one-way trip to the local Goodwill. Being in Tennessee, I could suddenly hear Wookie's voice again. I heard birds. I heard my own thoughts. I truly missed Scooby, but the silence of the snow and Wookie's quiet babbling cooled my spirit.

At the end of the week when I met up with Scooby and my mother-in-law at McDonalds to take him back home, Scooby yelled above the bustle of the registers and voices and complained about the buckles on the highchair as he rolled himself spastically to and from the table with hip thrusts. I nearly had a panic attack as I shoved down the chicken nuggets and attempted to regain my ability to find some quiet sanity amidst the loud chatter endlessly pounding on my ear drums. I don't think I was emotionally prepared to go from handling a baby with the help of three other adults in the house to driving another four hours with just my two boys. As Scooby threw a temper tantrum in the back seat of the car, screaming over a dropped pair of sunglasses, kicking my seats, and proceeding to vomit on his blanket and shirt because he was so worked up, I took deep breaths and prayed that God would help me stay calm and make it back home in one piece.

Now that we are back at home and I am running on very little sleep due to the teething, Scooby and I are working diligently on his inside voice. Right now he is whispering to me about his two helicopters, talking about how one lands on the road and the other on the water. "Talk louder please?" "No we need to be quiet inside. Wookie is sleeping." "Talk in outside voices? No. Talk in inside voices a little louder?" "Okay, just a little louder." "What is this?" "Those are missiles. It is a fighter helicopter. The other one is a rescue helicopter."

No one told me that motherhood would be so loud. I'd heard of the sleepless bit, but I had no idea how much I would grow to value the little bits of silence that come my way. All the while, I absolutely love the sounds of my boys. I love the sweet things Scooby tells me, "I like your shoes Mommy. Are you a princess?", and I love the little snorts Wookie lets out as he explores the world one corner at a time. Right now, my son wants to talk to me and tell me all that he thinks and is learning. Right now, my baby wants to be held. This is all so fleeting, nearly as fleeting as the silence and sleep that have become so rare.

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3 comments

  1. what was your response to the princess question? "yes, and don't you forget it" would be nice.

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  2. This was a sweet post. I get it. totally.

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  3. I'm sure you do! I think you value your silence even more than I do :)

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