Silence and Solitude

My house is so, so quiet.

For the first time in an age, I’m alone in a house filled with silence. Well, almost alone. My husband is “at work” upstairs. Employing quotes implies that he isn’t actually working. He is.

I cannot hear My Little Pony playing on the TV downstairs. I cannot hear my son humming repetitively under his breath while he concentrates on something. I cannot hear the sound of my daughter’s foghorn flute voice asking me for a cup of water/a snack/a show/another snack/help/a sweater/clean socks/a cookie/screentime/playtime.

I cannot hear my children because they are at school. And lo, the children did returneth to school, and the parents across the land rejoiced.

I am alone with my thoughts. Exciting as they are. Last year, I asked a friend, a stay-at-home mum to three, what she was going to do now that her kids were all in school. She thought for a minute, and then said, “I’m going to think really long thoughts.”

So I’m sitting in the dining-room, thinking long, uninterrupted thoughts.

Over the last six months, the kids and I have filled the school-less days with many, many things. Games. Outdoor time. Puzzles. Artwork. Eating. Baking. Eating the Baking. Cleaning. Making Messes. Cleaning Again.

I recognize that there is an element of good fortune in not having a proper job to try to maintain. My job for the past half year has been to manage my kids and keep them happy and occupied in the weird post-COVID world we inhabit. And to keep them away from the office door because, Shhhhhh, Daddy’s on a call!!

I say “them” but really it’s my daughter who must be shushed. There are definite advantages to having a child who is a born talker. There are disadvantages too. I’d break it down like this:

Pros: Eloquent. Expresses self. Often hilarious. Strong debating skills.

Cons: Rarely quiet. (See my post Movie Kids.) Talks over the top of people. Interrupts.

When I get irritated with her for sending my train of thought skittering off the tracks, I have to remind myself that she’s probably destined for a luminous career in law or stand-up comedy.

It’s so quiet in here that I can hear the clock ticking.

Aw, I miss them. #momlife

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