Sunday, October 5, 2008

The silent treatment

My youngest daughter - that source of endless chatter, amusement, and sometimes a very unmotherly and unspoken wish that she would just BE QUIET FOR ONE @#$%iING MINUTE! - has been home sick this week. And in a neat little twist of fate, the illness she has is a persistent cough which is made much much worse by talking. I have to say, this has been the most amusing child illness ever, and the inconvenience of being stuck at home with a sick child has been far outweighed by the evil fun I've been getting out of it. Watching her try to shut up has been like watching Lucy Ricardo try to keep up at the candy factory. The little one has been dutifully lying on the sofa, reading books, watching TV, and squirming with increasing frustration as every passing minute of enforced silence ticks by, till finally a torrent of words pours out, followed by a hacking cough. I remind her, with the utter disinterested sweetness of a saint, that she needs to be quiet. And the show begins all over again.

I'm know. I'm bad. But, really, it's these small joys that make motherhood so fulfilling.

12 comments:

ayem8y said...

I love this story!

The silent treatment has a brother named the cold shoulder and is also most serenely meditatively effective when imposed on you by the child in anger over some sort of punishment. Not that I randomly punish children to enjoy a little peace and quiet every now and then…but living with a four year old can teach you all kinds of new social interaction techniques.

yellowdog granny said...

motherhood does have it's moments..

Elizabeth said...

Ah, I know it well and love it. You want to say to them, you think this is punishment? Think again little buddy! Keep it up as long as you want. I'll just settle down with a book and a cup of tea and enjoy myself.

jason said...

enjoy it while it lasts. I fear for all the bottled up talking that she'll unleash as soon as she can again.
I bet we'll hear it even here.

Willym said...

ah the torrents to come will more than make up for the enforced silence! And that will wipe that self-satisfied smirk of your Madonna face Lady! ;-)

sageweb said...

Will is right, she will make up for being silent now, times two.

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, but it will have been so worth it!

a thousand shades of twilight said...

Ah, that made me smile - especially the torrent of words followed by the cough - I can just picture it. I hope you have enjoyed the peace and quiet. I am sure your daughter will remember this week forever. As I'm sure, no doubt, will you..

mrpeenee said...

Have you ever considered a ball gag? Sometimes a truly loving mother must consider her child's need for future therapy material.

Will said...

Why not get the pedometer out again and just have her run all over the place? It's not like she's gonna say anything running up and down the stairs constantly.

Elizabeth said...

Mr. Twilight - I look forward to the day when she's older and I can remind her of it and laugh (at her) while (Mr. Peenee) she's looking up therapists in the phone book. She'll have plenty of grist for the therapy mill.

Will - How are you, you hard-working boy? Your mom and dad brag about you endlessly whenever I talk to them. And re that pedometer, actually, she does talk when she uses it. She reports constantly how many steps she's taken. And I mean constantly. With her, if she's breathing she's talking.

spyder said...

Aah, you speak with a mother's soul.
If we could not gently mock, point and laugh, what on earth would be the point?