Our one and a half year old recently picked up a habit. A very loud, ear piercing, eye-twitching habit. She screeches. Usually one, shrill, quick, glass-shattering screech. Sometimes she does it repeatedly. She doesn’t care where she is. In the car. In the grocery store checkout line. At a restaurant during lunch. At a playdate. In our home (she’s most comfortable doing it here). She just..does it.
We’re not really sure why. Or when she started doing it. We don’t know where she picked it up or why her little toddler brain thinks it’s a good idea. My teacher comment would probably involve the phrase “attention-seeking behavior.” Or maybe language development. Experimenting with vocal cords and sounds. Something like that. I’m quite positive there’s some kind of legitimate reason she’s doing this. Maybe. Or there isn’t. Who knows. Regardless, she screeches.
Today, after she did this in aisle 7 of our local Publix, I came to the very obvious conclusion that we are in a loud season. From the time she wakes up, she hums, asking me to turn on Pandora. She loves music and constantly has to have it on. I love that about her. In the car once she’s buckled in to her seat, she swings her arms dancing. She sways side to side and hums if the radio doesn’t come on soon enough. After dinner, she gets her ‘dance time’ and we (…begrudgingly) turn on Obnoxious Kid’s Singalong. Ironically, we find ourselves humming and singing those same darn songs long after she’s asleep for the night.
I have been absolutely loving this toddler season we are in. But oh man, is it is loud. And for someone who recharges their soul-batteries by being quiet and alone, it has been hard to be in some days. I love my rambunctious, constantly-moving, silly, sweet, loud toddler. But having that same noisy and rambunctious toddler has also been teaching me so much more about myself. I have to be intentional about how and when I recharge. I have to be deliberate about being quiet. I have to be slow because days with her boisterous self are certainly not. While it’s easy to allow my general mom-tiredness to take over and not take the time for myself, to be quiet, I know that I need to. I know that finding my outlet (or inlet, really) and some calm in this season of noise and constant high-volumes, is so important. I know that no matter how long my days with her are, I need to take in these pockets of quiet; somehow, some way.
I find stillness in a Thursday bath. I breathe in calm during my evening yoga. I zone out to the quiet hum of the washing machine. I sweat out the loudness with a good workout. I lay in bed wide awake, long after midnight. To recharge.
I know that this is just our current season. Soon she’ll be in school. My days will become quieter. I don’t wish these away in the least bit. I know quiet will eventually come. As much as my soul finds rest in the peace and quiet, in the pockets of calm that I so carefully carve out during naps or after bedtime. As much as I need to replenish my mind and energy; I know there will come a time when my house is quieter. I know there will be a day down the road where there is no screeching toddler or obnoxious music filling the living room. So for now I enjoy the noise. I succumb to the singing and the music and the laughing. And yes, the screeching. I hold on to them and it, saving the noises away for the quiet seasons.
For now, I’m loving the constant stirrings, stealing away my pockets of peace, and I’m treasuring my noisy days with that screeching little girl.