The sweet sound of silence, not

Cedar Waxwing, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife...

Or, the more things change, the more you feel you’re living in a time warp…

First, step back into the past.

Sunday, January 13, 2008. Flora is three. Cinder five-and-a-half. And Ender undreamed of. We three are walking along our hill and spot some unusual birds―migrants, I think―Cinder thinks they were redheaded warblers and yellow-bellied warblers or maybe finches―and we try to get a closer look. Fail miserably, scare them away.

Cinder: Next time we have to bring binoculars. And we have to be very still, and very quiet so we can get closer to the birds. Hmm… that will be a problem. Mom, we’re going to have to get a bandaid for Flora’s mouth.

Jane: What?

Cinder: A bandaid. For her mouth. So she can be quiet.

Flora: Cinder! I! DO! NOT! WANT! A! BANDAID! FOR! MY! MOUTH!

Cinder: I’m sorry, Flora, but I don’t see another solution. You have to be very still and very quiet to watch birds. I know you can be very still, but I don’t think you can be very quiet.

Jane: Flora likes to talk.

Flora: That’s true. But I don’t want a bandaid for my mouth. Maybe you could just leave me home?

And now, almost five years later to the day. Cinder is 10 and a half. Flora is eight. And Ender is three and change. We four are walking along our hill. Looking at leaves, branches and trees. And… is that a bird? Is that a cedar waxwing? No way! (For the record, I know nothing about birds. Cinder and Flora flip through birding books more than I do. But we all get excited about the little flying rats.) We move in for a closer look. And…

Ender: Birds! Birds! Birds! I love birds! Birds are my favourite! FA-VOUR-EEEEET!

Flora: Shoot. They’re gone. Next time, we’ll have to get binoculars so we can get a closer look.

Cinder: Good idea. And maybe a gag for Ender’s mouth.

Jane: Cinder!

Cinder: What? You think there’s any chance he’ll stop talking long enough for us to sneak up on the birds?

Flora: Cinder! That’s terrible! How you could even think about wanting to gag poor Ender. He just loves birds And…

Cinder: Maybe a gag for Flora too…

It’s hard to be the one silence-loving sibling.

Something useful from the World Wide Web for those of you with toddlers: Five Low- Effort Toddler Games, on The Hair Pin.

And a congratulations to the talented Stephanie Sprenger at Mommy, for Real for raking in the blogging awards last Thursday, and passing on the “fabulous Liebster” to me. And putting me in such fabulous company: check out the other blogs she flags, they look great. I will get on to the proper pay-forward eventually. Really. In the meantime, thanks, Stephanie!

And, writing in at last minute: another congratulations to Little Poppits for drowning in awards, and a thank you kicking the love this way. Sweet.

Happy Monday, everyone. May this week rock.

11 thoughts on “The sweet sound of silence, not

  1. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same would be a good moral for this story. Too cute though and just made me think of how both of my own girls would react. Definitely might need that bandaid for Lily’s mouth, lol 🙂

  2. I love that you have that memory from years past to compare with your recent experience; there is definitely something to being the type of person that memorializes things. Your oldest sounds like a gem! I am certain that both of my girls will be non-stop talkers; the oldest is never quiet, and her toddler sister is well on her way… so fun to see the differences in our children. And thanks for the shout-out- congrats to you on getting some love!

  3. My 5 year old son just asked the other day if we could throw away all the toys that make noise and ban Barney from our house because his 2 year old brother was driving him crazy. I was just happy he didn’t ask that we ban the 2 year old!

  4. My oldest is quiet too. The younger two? Not at all. What cracks me up is when the middle child (my first non-stop talker) asks his younger sister to just BE QUIET for a bit. Pot and kettle and all that.

    • When we’re in the car and I put on an audio book, Ender will sometimes holler, at the top of his lungs, “I WANT SOME QUIET TIME!” And if I turn off the audio book… he’ll keep on hollering “I LOVE QUIET TIME.”

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