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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Sounds of Silence

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago that still has mouse quietly pondering. We had driven, just the two of us Daddy and mouse to close up the summer house for the season.  In final week of summer we just didn't have the time to close it properly and Daddy suggested that he and mouse return a few weeks later and do it then.  

It's not a lot of work, but it's quite the drive, since we won't be returning until maybe the Christmas season this year, we wanted to make sure things would be ready in case we did -- or at least locked down in the event we decide not to.  It's all the usual stuff, clearing out the fridge, gathering up toys left behind, moving outdoor plants -- no washing just a general getting things in order for our return, whenever that might be.  Daddy did arrange to have the fireplace inspected and some wood delivered which all had to be moved.  

Anyway, during the long drive there, mouse felt the need to fill the silence with her voice, just an endless sentence almost.  Daddy couldn't get word in, it he wanted to.  It's reading road signs, talking about this or that, and mouse can't even begin to recount it all. It started with him saying something under his breath, when mouse mentioned we were getting closer.   When mouse asked what he said, he replied, "You talk too much; you need to shut up."  

Vesta wrote a wonderful piece recently that everyone should read about being corrected.  

Back to mouse's story,  there's something odd that happens when mouse is corrected by Daddy, it can lead to one of two things, with one option being she'll become feisty about it -- arguing back that he's being unfair.  The other side is to be the good girl that mouse imagines herself to be and totally overcompensate in an effort to correct the problem, all while feeling wounded.  

The problem wasn't that mouse was talking or even talking too much, the problem was that he couldn't get a word in.  There was no free flowing of conversation, just a prattle coming from mouse.  Honestly, the line of thought was she was being helpful during the long drive by filling the silence and failed to notice that Daddy was weary of it after the first hundred miles.  

Nothing was said even after we arrived at the house.  It wasn't until that evening that Daddy spoke about it.  He was careful in words, saying he wasn't upset but explained that it was mentally exhausting for him.  He likes conversation but mouse wasn't conversing she was talking to him not with him.  It didn't mean that she couldn't talk now, or speak her mind but it was to be an exchange.  

The art of conversation?   Oh dear, mouse was finally letting it sink in  and she wasn't coming off very well.  Nobody wants to be the by the person that makes the endless stream of small talk.  For a moment mouse became that person.  It hurt however, being corrected by Daddy in this case because honestly mouse meant no harm by it and believed she was being helpful.  For him, it was different and really not a huge thing at all.  Just something he wanted mouse aware of and surrender to the silence.  Still it has taken mouse a while to write about this in a public way at least.  

It seems to be about the sting of the correction that still reverberates within her and much like an echo continues to replay itself.  The desire to be the "good girl" is perplexing at times.  Daddy said at the time "Do not take this to mean I do not welcome your thoughts or expressions, I only only wish to cull the meaningless, idle chatter."  

Maybe it's more about balancing and not going over-board with silence or chatter?  The ride home mouse overcompensated and was dreadfully quiet, and in part it was a bit of childish, "i'll show him." After a while Daddy drew her out into a conversation and we had a wonderful talk but then mouse remembered that she was hurt by him and went back to be overly quiet.  Petulance runs deep at times.  None of this was lost on Daddy but at the same time, he did enjoy the ride home.  One thing mouse did notice time didn't seem to go any faster without her chatter, but when we both talked about something, then it seemed to fly.  

And secretly at times, she hates him a little when he's right.  


  1. Ooof, yes. I so get that feeling when he issues a little correction and I feel it like a kick in the ribs.

  2. mouse: I think it is a particularly difficult situation when your intentions were noble and then you are corrected about it and I totally understand how you might lose yourself in the pleasure of the moment driving home and then remember the correctiion and go quiet again. I confess I had to smile whilst reading your post. My husband has a tendency, particularly in the car, to talk and talk. If it gets too much I go quiet and he eventually notices that I have and starts to settle down a bit. Maybe Omega was trying that initially. *smiles*

  3. "Petulance runs deep at times." So true, isn't it?

  4. Mouse, with all due respect to you and Omega, the part where he said "you need to shut up", seems the most hurtful. Do you think if he had asked you in a different way to be quiet that it wouldn't have stung so much?



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