Nobody warns you about the noise.
Parenting is an incredibly noisy endeavor -- possibly the noisiest profession behind zookeeper, air traffic controller and factory worker.
Babies cry a bit when they want something, cry a bit when they are tired and cry a bit more when they are hungry. We as parents spend an incredible amount of time and energy attempting to decipher these cries, only to have them move on to actual talking.
And oh, the talking they will do.
What begins as nothing more than senseless babble quickly morphs into constant questioning that rivals anything Oprah or the co-hosts of The View could muster. Like living with a mini talk-show host.
Why? When? Who? Where? How? Why? Why? WHY? WHY NOT?
It's cute at first, maybe even worthy of a Skype call to grandma.
Until you realize that it won't stop anytime soon. And when you are up to your ears in diapers, laundry, playdates at the park, preschool art projects, cutting the crusts off of sandwiches and singing along with The Wiggles, there are times when you just want a bit of peace and quiet. Times when you almost wish for a bladder infection so you could spend more time in the bathroom.
Alone. Just you and the peaceful quietness of the bathroom, even if it's not particularly clean.
Chattiness eventually gives way to the sullen, uber-coolness of middle school and high school kids. The teen formerly-known-as-chatty will suddenly cease talking, but replace it with other noises.The chattering and questioning give way to door slamming and heavy sighs, peppered with an occasional grumble and furious tap-tap-tapping of texts (probably all about you). The Wiggles are tossed aside in favor of Lady Gaga or Korn and they play their music constantly.
Oh, the noise.
Then abruptly, it stops one day. No doors slamming, music blaring, grunts or grumbles.
The noises of childhood wrapped in a graduation gown and packed in a duffle bag, no longer a part of your everyday life. I try and remember what it was like having chatty toddlers and answering 10 questions every five minutes.
It seems so very quiet around here. The noise of two teens reduced to one.
And the noise I listen for now is the sound of a text once in a while, from a college campus not too far away.
So I play my music just a bit louder and grumble at the dog just to keep things in balance. And try to adjust to the peace and quiet I longed for back then.
This piece originally ran on Moonfrye