The entire family has a cold. It’s been ages since we had a bug in the house, so we’re all swooning around as if we’ve contracted the bubonic plague. I’m the worst of the bunch — I’m not sure I’m the sickest, but I’m certainly acting like it!
Yesterday morning I woke up completely unable to talk. My throat was on fire and a rotten chest cough was making it worse by the minute. I could barely whisper, and even that hurt.
Pretty quickly I figured out that this really put a damper on my ability to yell.
I’m quite a yeller, usually. I’m always hollering at the kids to put their stuff away, or come and eat, or LEAVE YOUR SISTER ALONE, or to pay attention to their homework. My mom was a yeller, and between her and my four sisters, my childhood household had a constant noise level of 140 decibels. The first time I ever took Sir Monkeypants home with me — he grew up in a polite, calm, fairly quiet house — he was overwhelmed at the noise, while I hardly noticed. Having six conversations going on at once over the dinner table, while my mom yelled overtop of everyone to be heard as she passed out the food, was absolutely normal.
This month’s issue of Today’s Parent has an article on yelling, and how it is bad, and how you should try to stop it. Sir Monkeypants has left this article open in strategic locations throughout the house all month long — I think he is trying to tell me something. I finally got around to reading the article yesterday and it doesn’t seem to really fit my pattern, though. It was all about yelling in anger — those blow-ups that come when your kids have pushed you too far, and thus you turn into Scary Yelly Mommy. I definitely have moments like that, but the article’s advice on how to diffuse your anger doesn’t seem to really apply to my need to yell at the kids that I’M UPSTAIRS IF YOU WANT TO TALK TO ME.
My problem isn’t anger yelling, per se, it’s more a general excess of communication. At top volume.
Anyway, the loss of my voice did seem to make for a quieter day (those three hours of TV we watched while we all snoozed on the couch didn’t hurt, either). I probably should try to dial it back some, in general. I don’t really think of my yelling as a problem — probably due to the house I grew up in — but I can see that I’m raising another generation of yellers.
The neighbours would probably appreciate it if we simmered down a bit, there.
I’d love to say I’m going to turn over a new leaf but seriously, it is quite unlikely. I’m a loud person.
But once my voicebox heals…I might just try to keep it down around 100 decibels. As a stretch goal.