2.18.2009

The Quietest Game

I live in a very loud house. I know, I am sure many of you do too as well. But seriously: we're all L-O-U-D. Even the dog is noisy. It's all fun being surrounded by such boisterous energy within the house; we can all go to our respective corners, rooms, shut doors, be separated by walls if need be.

But then there's the car. In the car, there is no escape. There is little room. Often it feels like there is little air.

Our once shy and quiet 4 year old Boo is now a non-stop talker. He doesn't stop talking for more than a few seconds, much less a whole minute. When he's not talking, he's singing. And yes, I love his singing to the moon, but sometimes, just once in a while, for a few seconds or even, dare I say, whole minutes, I enjoy something resembling silence.

And that's where The Quietest game comes in.

On one particularly L-O-U-D car ride, I challenged my non-stop talker to a duel of silent swords. "Let's see who can be the quietest for the longest amount of time!" I dared him. Ah, how his eyes lit up. I knew I had him. My son, while sensitive and giving and kind, is more competitive than a gambler in Vegas staring down the machine he could never win. My son likes to win, and he'll do what it takes to be #1. "What?!" he asked incredulously. "I bet I can be quieter than all of you!"

I smiled and nodded, then faced the road ahead. In silence. Even Baby Tickle played along; she knew what was up -- that, or she was totally amused at this strange new lack of sound in the car. And so we sat in silence. We did this for FOUR. WHOLE. MINUTES. My mind wasn't sure where to go with this ability to now hear my own thoughts and give them direction. In the end, Boo declared victory, but oh how the victory was truly mine.

And so now, when I am at wit's end after an insane day (more insane than the normal insane), and I need some peace and quiet but we're stuck in traffic and one kid is singing at the top of his lungs while the other is squealing in attempts to match her brother's loudness, I break out The Quietest Game. And as competitive as I may be, you can bet on this: I always let my kids win this game.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

We just played that game today! Now I really understand why my mother and father had us girls playing that game often while we were young!

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Angela said...

That is awesome! Typically my 4 yo is only quiet when he is watching TV or doing something dangerous. Maybe I will try this game :)

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Lauren said...

Yah, it doesn't work on Eva yet. BOOOO. But that's great for you! Hope you can use it over and over!

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Anonymous said...

M, you must have a better game face than I! I tried this with my kids, and my 4-year-old saw right through it. "Mom, you are tricking us into being quiet!" she declared, and then initiated her own game of who could laugh the loudest. Perhaps I need some lessons on how to introduce the game-- or a better poker face.
However, I'm SO glad it works for you! Keep it up!

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Savannah Mayfield said...

I just make chatty kids (wonder why...). Nothing I ever do makes them be quiet. Ever. Nothing. And they are smarter than me so tricks, they don't work!

Savvy
www.mindfullymothering.com

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marlynn said...

Ah, but my fellow mamas, if you know me in real life (you know, I DO live offline, contrary to popular belief :) you would know that NO TRICKS AT ALL HAVE EVER WORKED ON MY SON BEFORE! I should have included that as a preamble. Every time I lamented about some new phase, I'd get countless suggestions, new tricks to try, oh they ALL worked for my friends, but for me and my smart skeptical little boy? FAIL.

Until now. So I am dancing, delighting, rejoicing in this one lame little game that brought me nine - yes NINE! - full minutes of silence yesterday when we played again. Because I know all too well...it won't last. I am surprised it worked on my skeptical little guy in the first place!

Thanks for the comment love, ladies! Here's to enjoying the silence when we can :-)

Cheers!
M

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Cherl said...

I pull out this game every now and then. It is a life saver!

Cherl

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