#1: Silence. Unless everyone is confirmed to be asleep, I have found that nothing good can come from silence in a household of young, generally boisterous children. In Familyville, noise = alive. Noise = I-can-more-or-less-know-what-you’re-doing. Silence, on the other hand, and especially when followed by numbers 2 & 3, below, almost always means I’ll be spending the rest of the day a) in the emergency room; b) trying to salvage something by cleaning it to a pulp; and/or c) figuring out how I’m going to explain/rationalize/justify the [negative adjective] [noun] to [insert proper name(s) here] . And, as evidenced by that last sentence, all my “Mad Libs” playing in 5th grade has finally paid off.
#2: Inconsolable wailing. After about 5 minutes of this, I start breaking into a cold sweat and begin to wonder if I should panic, especially if, after a reasonable amount of time, I still haven’t figured out what the “real” problem is. Typically, it helps to have another person available to pass the child along to when he or she is in this state. Odds are, said child will stop crying within .2 seconds of leaving your loving (albeit sweaty) arms or procuring a cup of chocolate milk, whichever happens first.
#3: Maniacal laugher. Nothing good can come of this. Especially when there is more than one child laughing hysterically. Please, do not ask me to elaborate.
#4: Whining. I don’t know how many times I have announced that we live in a “Whine-Free Zone.” And I can’t understand whyyyyyyy the kiiiiiiids won’t liiiiisten to what I saaaaaaay!!!!!!
#5: Obscenely noisy toys. My husband has gotten very good at (get your air quotes ready): “losing” batteries, “misplacing” fake band instruments and emergency vehicles, and “accidentally” sitting on the loudest playthings. Okay, so I made that last one up. But, honestly, if you care about me at all, I beg of you to please, please, please (PLEASE!) not give our children noisy toys. Multiple kids times many obnoxious toys plus a small-ish house equals us regularly ingesting large quantities of acetaminophen, and that just can’t be good for our kidneys. I like my kidneys. I am pretty sure I NEED my kidneys.
I know my list is probably rather obvious, and that there are plenty other, more esoteric sounds that push me to the edge, but I’d like to hear from you – what sounds emanating forth from your beloved progeny cause you to shudder and your eyes to twitch?