Thursday, May 21, 2009

Volume Control

Have you ever noticed how kids don’t have volume controls? That’s not quite true, children have volume settings, they just aren’t quite the same as adults. I’ve determined that people and kids basically have four volume settings. I refer to them as Volume 0, Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3.

As a point of reference, Volume 0 is what adults converse in. It’s your standard, everyday voice that everyone uses with each other. On the other hand, typical kid talk is Volume 1. It’s slightly louder than your normal voice. My kids use Volume 1 at home. But, to be clear, Volume 1is still loud enough so you can hear everything said child says one room away.

I think kids’ natural volume is louder than normal so that mothers appear omnipotent. Remember how as a child your Mom always knew? Now, as a parent, I don’t think she “knew,” I think she just heard me.

Volume 2 is what the kids use at the lunch table to talk over each other. And, finally, Volume 3 is that piercing shriek that can shatter glass. It’s typically employed on the playground and can drown out police sirens.

Once you know about childrens’ volume levels, it’s interesting to see your children progress through them. I got to experience all the stages just the other day. It started the other morning while the kids were outside waiting for the bus.

Before going to school, the kids feed the cats and hang out on the porch. Because of the food and lots of attention, the cats are very active in the morning. On this particularly lovely, sunny morning, Rosie, the cat, wandered over to the neighbors’ yard. The kids watched her with great interest.

Kids at Volume 1: HEY! Where’s Rosie going?”
As I watched the cat walking towards the neighbors’ yard, I had strange suspicion that Rosie was going to be… shall we say, preoccupied… in short order.

Kids at Volume 2: HEY! What’s Rosie doing? Rosie’s digging in the mulch!”
Yep. I was right. Rosie was digging a trench right there in the petunias. There’s mulch flying everywhere, and Rosie’s tale is straight as an arrow.


Unfortunately, there wasn’t a police siren on my street that morning. I’m pretty sure everyone within a several mile radius heard that my cat pooped in the neighbors’ flowers.

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