Every day I wait for the quiet.
Most days, quiet never comes. I always hope quiet arrives around 2 p.m., but I rarely get my wish. Quiet is when the twins, up in their room for a nap, fall asleep, and the only sound over the baby monitor is the soothing sound of waves from their sound machine. And then I can settle in at this computer with a cup of coffee and work, or surf the web, or pick up toys and fold laundry and start dinner and not have to hear constant chatter of little voices. Most days, they don't nap -- they talk, talk, talk, play, play, play, bounce, bounce, bounce in their cribs. So I do what I can with the soundtrack playing until I think that I've accomplished something and that they've reached their afternoon break limit.
And if the quiet comes, I'm lucky that day. If not -- well, a girl can dream, can't she?
Don't get me wrong -- I love my children's chatter most of the time. But days are long with toddler twins plus one. The little voices... Mommy, mommy, mommy, they sometimes chant. Or the voices fight each other. Or cry, or whine, or escalate into maniacal laughter. Or the slightly older voice in the mix gets a little cranky attitude. Or begs to be on the computer to play Animal Jam or Webkinz World while I argue for piano practice. Or recounts every word of a conversation on the playground about the girl who is mean but cries for friends while a younger one is screaming. And the little voices have be drowned out by the Mom voice sometimes, or the little voices have to be shut out beyond the bathroom door so the Mom voice can communicate to an adult via telephone. Or the little voices mix with an episode of "Yo Gabba Gabba" which turns into inaudible moment of insanity not unlike what I imagine it could like Nick Jr. version of a pysch ward.
The little voices are around almost the entire day, until I collapse on the couch at 9 p.m. each night. And sometimes the 9 p.m. collapse isn't a complete collapse, if I'm folding laundry or picking up toys or writing for work. It's more a mental collapse, the sort of thing where my tired, overworked brain can only tollerate trashy reality television programs because watching anything of quality or reading a book will send me right to sleep and then I feel robbed of some relaxation with my eyes open. So therefore, I just turn to a vegetable, as they say. I try to disguise it as my pop culture research but clearly my tiny noggin can't function well once the sun goes down.
Every day, despite longing for those pockets of quiet, I try to focus on the big picture: Someday there will likely be nothing but quiet. In a few years, quiet will be available all day during the weekdays when the twins are in school. I know there will be a point when I don't want quiet. When the nest is empty, I'm sure I will long for chatter. It makes me sad just thinking about it. And it makes me want to stop the clock. Even if this two-year-old toddler phase can just about make me lose my mind, I know that it will be gone in the blink of an eye.
So even though I wait for the quiet, I only want the quiet for a short moment in time.