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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Noise: noun; A sound of any kind...

If there's one thing that is non-negotiable when living in a large family, it's the noise. You just have to get used to it. When picking your battles - this is not one you want to go up against.

It doesn't matter how good & well behaved the kids are, when you have five voices speaking all at once (or six, as Clay begins to explore his vocal range) it is not going to be a quiet affair. It's more a matter of where the noise levels register on a scale ranging from ear piercing, ear splitting, ear bleeding or right up to brain matter oozing from the ears.

I'd say that 90% of the time we sit between ear bleeding & brain matter.

Add in the fact that the majority of our house is tiled with high ceilings, so plenty of space for that noise to bounce around & amplify, it's no wonder I have no idea of my own voice levels. Unless I'm whispering I just can't tell how loud I'm talking. Probably explains the wide eyed, startled looks I get from other parents when greeting each other in the mornings. 
Not many people talk like they've just walked out of a rock concert at 9am in the morning...from their own house. 

So how is one heard in all those voices? Why being louder of course. 

Jack was so loud, all the time, that we went & got his hearing checked, just in case he was partially deaf in one ear & couldn't acclimatize his own voice levels. Nope, his hearing is just fine, both ears work perfectly normal. He just had four (& now five) other siblings.

Honestly, it's embarrassing just how loud I have to talk yell, to get the attention of one of the kids sometimes, & it's even more awkward when we are out in public. It's hard enough getting the attention of a child when they are already talking, let alone when five other children are also talking at the same time. I tend to try & stick to a short, sharp & sweet approach. A quick, if a little loud, "Ben" is easier at getting his attention, then a loud but drawn out "Beeeennnn". When you hear a voice shouting you look to find why, usually expecting to see a little bit of drama going on. Maybe a dispute or argument, or a child running through the carpark. Not here folks. If you look around & find us, you'll just see a group of kids walking, a toddler & preschooler holding Mum's hand, & a baby sitting comfortably from his look out in a sling on my chest. No drama, just us going about our day.

One bonus to learning to live with, & trying to control, all this noise - I have mastered the art of loudly Ssssshhhhhh'ing without spitting an entire mouthful of saliva in a five meter radius. Trust me, you'll be thankful if you ever come over during dinner time.

I love our family, & the life we have, but sometimes I really love 8pm more. 

I'm used to the loudness our minions create when we're all together, but some days just manage to be louder than others. My ears are acclimatized to the many voices surrounding me, but when I feel like the entire afternoon has made my brain leak from my ears, the kids often find themselves tucked up into bed & kissed good night by 7pm. Then I turn off every sound-making device in the house & just relish in the bliss I feel at the silence surrounding me. Sometimes it's so good I get the kind of goose bumps you experience when sliding into a deep hot bath on a winter's night.

With school holidays fast approaching, I think I might give our neighbours & any guests coming over an early Christmas present - a years supply of ear plugs.


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