Having a “functionally nonverbal” child does not mean I have a quiet child. He is making noises all the time whether they be verbal stims, repeating movie scripts over and over again, trains crashing, doors slamming or running around in circles in the house.
The oldest is a nonstop chatterbox and he’ll talk and talk and talk regardless if you are listening or responding. He has nonstop questions and hits you with a ton of random facts throughout the day. His knowledge of Pokemon is extensive and he can tell you about how they evolve, their weaknesses, their strengths, and so on of every single one.
There’s always bumping and crashing and instruments being played and video games whirling. There’s jumping on the trampoline and spinning in the bilibo. There’s a game of tag inside and sometimes there’s meltdown screams. There’s train tracks being built over the staircase and fart guns being utilized on unsuspecting victims. There’s stomping up and down the stairs and Nerf darts whizzing by your head.
At 8:45 they’re generally both tucked into bed. Brian already asleep, sucking his thumb, hugging his stuffed elephant. Corbin quietly reading his latest fantasy book or jotting more notes down about Pokemon.
I descend the stairs and sink into the couch and just, for a few seconds, revel in the sound of nothing. Of silence. I often feel like the Grinch in that one scene- you know, “Oh the noise, noise, noise!” throughout my day and it pushes me to the limit. I need quiet and I need introspection to energize myself (I’m a true introvert). And I don’t get that very often during our day-to-day lives.
But then my boys leave for a whole week to go enjoy the sun in Florida with their Dad.
At first I sit in the silence with a smile. I soak it in. I am able to think clearer and am able to stay focused better and I get more done. I enjoy it.
Then by day three I start to talk to the cat. I talk to myself. I roam from room to room. I make excuses to leave the house and go shopping, and I’m not really a huge store fan.
And I actually say out loud (to no one but myself): “It’s too quiet in here!”.
The boys are due home in a few hours. Noise and chaos will quickly ensue. And I’m sure at 8:45 tonight, I’ll revel in the silence.