Do not think I have gone mad if you step inside my shoe-box house, and I immediately replace talking in an inside voice with my toddler to screaming some form of mouth words at you. For in these formidable years of bringing up babe, yelling is a momma’s “inside voice” and is a good sign that you have arrived precisely when she needs a form of intellectual clarity.
Many a time, I have visited fellow mommas during a rough day/patch/life, and they commenced in yelling conversation pieces at me until kiddos were subdued with arts and crafts or jump roping (read: tying sibling up and hooking her to the back of a kiddie-jeep, on one occasion). And sometimes I witness something. Between the strained brow and set jaw, I have seen a desire to connect with another outside of her own head. (In kiddie-jeep scenario, I helped untie said sibling from her ultimate surmise, and then sat on her stairs, feeling grateful to help, to be needed.)
“A little talk goes a long way” is a cliche spurred by mommas, surely. While the quickest way to bring down my screech is obviously to throw chocolate at me and cover your ears in the fetal position until I’m done devouring either the chocolate or my brood, what I am ideally needing is for someone to hear me. And if zero chocolate presents itself, just know that I’ll stop yelling through our conversations when I feel like someone is listening (not hearing), when I feel someone comprehending any of what I say/think/feel.
During these traumatic two’s (three’s/four’s/five’s), one of my full-time gigs (i.e. stay-at-home momma) should evoke any number of scenes from the musical, “Annie.” Or possibly any lines Crazed Cora yowls from the film, “Quigley Down Under.” (Laura San Giacomo’s character portrayal is Heaven–what a goddess she must be offscreen as well.) And though us mommas be but surrounded by little stinky feet, little hands smeared in unknown substances, mommahood truly is a most Divine existence.
The desolate wasteland of dingy diapers and unfinished coffee (mine also consists of a fine layer of milk tossed about the place) is quickly forgotten when your babe utters “I love you” for the first time or actually likes and consumes something you have cooked for him. Yes, it feels desolate–more often than mommas admit. At times, it is as if under-stimulation couples with over-stimulation in various parts of your brain until you implode upon the nearest victim (sorry, Husband). But give me a few sips of decent conversation, or even that chocolate I asked you to fetch me, and I will come down from my Hepzibah high. Back to earth, back to a normal vocal range–or at least the normal range accompanied by the expected amount of etiquette for a woman answering the door with her bonnie baby attached to her teet. And what a good sign that is, too.