Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Screaming Symphony

It's finally quiet around here for one reason only.......the children are in bed asleep.  I have noticed one thing, that seems to be getting worse over time.  I hope this also means that it can only get better.  This is a 3 children household with 2 primary school aged boys and a preschool aged girl.  'Well, what is so bad about that?', you might ask.  Nothing actually.......except that they all have strong personalities, are each very individual and usually resort to the one way of communicating with each other they know best.......scream!  Yes, I have now called it 'the screaming symphony'.

Please correct me if I am wrong and help to make me feel a little bit better, if you can.  I grew up as the only child in the house with my mum.  I had a good childhood and kept myself busy.  I have great memories of being a kid and having lots of fun with my mum.  Mum was pretty cool, calm and collected most of the time, and when I think back, I can't recall having to scream to be heard.  But then again, I was the only child in the house, I didn't have to compete with anyone for attention, I didn't have to share my toys, I didn't get annoyed by younger siblings cramping my style, I didn't get angry because I felt like no one was letting me have my way and I didn't have 2 older brothers to keep up with.

My family life was very different to that of my children and they each seem to scream for their own reasons.  What gets me though is that I try with all my might to communicate with words, affection and understanding (and have to admit that I throw a bit of psychology in there) and will resort to raising my voice when I am pushed to the limit.  I aim to lead by example.  I will admit, as I'm sure many of you will too, that with young kids it does get way out of hand at times and your blood boils and your patience weakens to the point where you scream too!  I am proud to say that this is rare and watching my kids interact with each other is usually a wonderful thing.  But I don't get it, this is all so testing for me, most days, when each of my children scream and scream, sometimes all 3 of them at once and when this happens, is most definitely a 'screaming symphony!'

Adam is the leader of the pack, a sensitive and considerate boy who will be turning 10 in June.  He makes a wonderful 'big brother' and fusses over his baby sister.  He often complains that his younger brother Marc, who will turn 7 in August, won't leave him alone and he really needs some breathing space.  But when they are separated for an extended period of time, he is the first to complain about how much he misses his little brother.  Adam is a gentle soul and wouldn't hurt a fly.  He has a respect for girls, even now, and treats them as 'special'. But after saying all of these great things about my number 1, boy does he have a hot temper!  Push the wrong button and this sets him off.  I think of him as the classic Gemini, he either really, really good or really, really bad.  There seems to be no middle ground with this child, although I am pleased to say that he is usually good rather than bad.  So, this sets the scene, one super active big brother, who loves his family with everything that he's got........but also has a shocking temper!

Marc is 'second cab off the rank', the 'meat in the sandwich'.  I'm grateful that he doesn't suffer too badly from 'middle child syndrome' and if anything, this makes him more extroverted than introverted.  Marc is a confident boy with a colourful personality and always makes people laugh with his quick wit and great sense of humour.  Now that he is also at school, he's very pleased to be just that bit closer to doing what his big brother does and is enjoying school.  Marc 'charms' his teachers and even at the ripe old age of 6, knows how to 'win over the ladies' LOL!  As I write about Master Marc, I can't help but chuckle because he is such a funny character, always with a big smile on his face..........but, he screams the house down because he says he gets so 'angry'.  Ask Marc why he is angry and he'll just scream some more, usually mumble some sort of muffled words because he just can't get it out.  I wouldn't say that Marc has a temper like his big brother, but he's a volatile personality, plenty of fire in his belly and on a bad day, he is very loud.  While he makes a point of being a 'little charmer' when it comes to adult females, he has limited regard for girls and won't hesitate to scream at and wrestle with his little sister.

Last, but not least, we have the baby of the family, little Julia or as we affectionately call her, Princess.  She's right in the middle of the 'tantrum twos' so this doesn't help one little bit.  Or the fact that she is also very loud! She has no concept of volume control when she speaks and when she's not singing or dancing her way around, resorts to screaming too!  She has a certain awareness, even at such a young age, and often knows very quickly when things are getting way out of hand.  She is very competitive, does her best every day to keep up with older brothers and wants to do everything that they are doing.  She is gutsy, determined, and also head strong and wants to be heard.  When she doesn't get her own way, she has learnt very quickly that the best and quickest way to fix this is scream......what else!  So, as you can appreciate, I have my work cut out for me with my '3 little monsters' LOL.

Is it just a 'kid thing' or am I just lucky?  They are all big talkers and know how to express themselves very clearly.  So what's with the screaming, everyday?  One will start, another one will follow, and before I know it, they're all screaming at each other.  The noise gets louder and louder to the point where I'm sure they forget exactly why they are screaming!  My 'screaming symphony' sometimes get unbearable and I calmly have to walk away, go outside and do something else, wait for a little while for the dust to settle.....if I'm lucky.  Otherwise, the best option I have is to separate each of them to different rooms in the house, relieve the tension that way and soon enough they calm right down.  I don't understand how they have learnt this behaviour because their parents certainly don't scream at each other all day.  My husband and I have lots of ways to work things out and try our best to set a good example.  But get these kids of mine together on a bad day, and you can hear the 'screaming symphony' for miles, as they each try to out do each other and win!

One thing's for certain, there's never a dull moment around here.  I guess that this all seems so crazy to me sometimes because I didn't grow up with siblings and just had to find ways to amuse myself, always by myself.  As a young woman, I had in my mind for many years that I just had to have 3 children, that was my magic number.  And I am thrilled to say that I have accomplished this........but now I have the enormous challenge and responsibility to raise these babies of mine into good people.  With that comes the tantrums and the tears, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the confusion and frustration, the mistakes and the learning that all comes from being a kid and growing up in a complicated world.  I'll be right, I'll get there and try my best to keep it cool.  So, if you ever happen to walk past my place, try to have a conversation with me on the telephone, or come to visit and there is plenty of noise, don't be alarmed............that's just my 'screaming symphony' in full swing :) xxx