Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I Yell Because I Care

A question, my friends: How loud is your house?

Please tell me that my home is not the only one that sounds like someone is being murdered, or at the very least mortally wounded, on an hourly basis. There just seems to be no end to the yelling and hollering and crying some days.

And the kids make a lot of noise, too.

Usually, most of the noise can at least be called "good natured." There is singing and whooping and squealing, and now that the weather is nice, I can turn them all out of doors and let Mother Nature be my buffer.

But yesterday? Oh yesterday sounded like some kind of massacre in the backyard. There was anguished wailing, whining, tattling, then more anguished wailing when the whiny tattler got his/her comeuppance.

I called them in to get washed for dinner, figuring that they were hot, tired, and maybe a little dehydrated and that was the reason for all of the yelling.

News flash: it wasn't. They were just in a yelling mood.

After dinner, when the bickering and the sniping continued unabated, Rob and I were the ones who became hot and tired. We started yelling back at them because they couldn't hear us over all of their own yelling. It was a charming and idyllic evening.

Finally, with my ears ringing, I stomped around the stuffy house and closed every single window. Then I said: I hope you all like living in a sweatbox because I am sick of being the family that is always screaming and yelling. Our neighbors must think we are lunatics.

And of course I was yelling. My maturity astounds me.

Rob tried to tell me that other families yelled, but I have never heard such yelling coming from our neighbors' houses. He said it was because they all have their windows closed with the A/C on already. I just stormed out to the grocery store in a huff. Again, the maturity.

When I got home, the house was cool and quiet. Rob had put them all to bed and re-opened the windows. I'm thinking of submitting him for canonization.

But now I need to know. Tell me your house sometimes this loud. Tell me, or I might yell at you. Apparently, we are known for that.


  1. My husband constantly reminds me that I can be heard outdoors. He's always so "kind" about it, too. ;o) I must say, though, I yell less than I used to (probably when I was your age, Aimee). Maybe I am mellowing. Mostly I have just found that there is not much worth raising my voice. Or maybe it's because I'm now begging my teenagers to stop yelling at each other. My daughter is the worst, though. When she is outdoors yelling I can hear her inside with the windows closed. I KNOW the neighbors think she is crazy! Sadly, she is many years younger and many inches shorter than her brothers and it is her only defense!

  2. Some yelling goes on around here. I try to really keep it to a minimum though. When outside the kids can yell as much as they want. Inside, not so much. Husband yells a lot, and it kind of stresses me out. I've noticed the kids usually don't respond to it, so I'm trying not to do it. But I imagine yelling happens sometimes in all houses.

  3. I come from a long line of yellers - both parents and 2/4 grandparents. I try not to but...
    Living in a apartment has helped me because I KNOW that everyone can hear everything. It's still frequently very loud here.

  4. Oh there is yelling at my house too. There are some days when I stomp around just like you describe slamming doors and having a general fit. I agree with Rob that the rest of the neighborhood switches to AC right away just to drown out the yelling (we are the only ones with the windows still open on my block too). I have also heard numerous other mothers yelling at their kids. Apparently the fathers are quieter about it or they just lay low while Mom yells because it is rare for me to hear a Dad yelling. I am also very noise senstitive which is why once she is in bed there is no TV in the house - just blissful silence!

  5. Anonymous9:52 AM

    You crack me up! Honestly, the fact that my neighbors homes are so close to mine often causes me to yell in a hushed manner. :) I am a bedtime yeller (when I'm spent and nobody is listening), I've noticed. But, I'm sure if you ask my children, I yell at other times, too. I also imagine that my neighbors think that we are just the religious-fanatic breeders. Oh, well, we like our family! You don't happen to be IRISH, do you?

  6. I also come from a long line of yellers. It gets better, Aimee. Honestly, it does. I still do a good deal of yelling but it falls into 3 very distinct categories:

    Big Brother--clean your room/mow the lawn

    Middle Sister--stop mouthing off at me/don't climb on that

    Little Brother--stop tattling/stop whining/no you may NOT play any more video games/don't climb on that

    I've stopped telling Big Brother not to climb something, but then again he has his Rock Climbing Merit Badge so I figure he has earned the right to scale the side of the house...(just kidding)

    I'm sure my neighbors hear me. But one of them is a yelling house too, so we just ignore each other.

  7. Anonymous10:30 AM

    In my opinion, most days our house sounds like a zoo of monkeys who forgot to take their ritalin. It also occurs in the backyard where I tell them _ "The neighbors do not care to hear you constantly." I don't think they listen. I try not to yell, but when I do, I don't get too worked up about it becuase there are lots of little kids in the neighbor and it is just loud here in general.(Not constantly or anything but you just get the sense _you are not the only one barely gripping sanity).
    Mirabella MOM

  8. Girl, please. If I'm not yelling then there must be something wrong with me or I'm sleeping. The boys are ALWAYS fighting and yelling at each other and in my mature, motherly fasion, I yell back at them. I yell louder than you can imagine and I'm sure the neighbors think I'm crazy. There is so much yelling here, that most of the time I am a raw nerve. I can't take it anymore. I've tried to come up with a plan to stop the yelling but we've just started implementing it, so I can't say if it's working or not.
    Trust me, you are not alone.

  9. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Summer is my favorite season. For me, the only downside is my windows are open and at any moment, my neighbors may choose to call child protective services. You are not alone.

  10. Anonymous12:31 PM

    The yelling doesn't happen very often in our house. We save that for when we're doing home improvements together or trying to get out of the door on time for something.

    When we get upset our family goes the other direction. One person will start getting louder and yell. The person being yelled at may yell a reply. If the initiator continues to yell then there is a sudden change. Things get very very quiet.

    Our family is very good at utilizing the silent treatment. Or calmly issuing a "you don't want me to answer you right now. when you calm down then we can discuss this. until then I'll be in the living room." in a very soft, metered manner. An icy cold front moves through our home and tempers start to cool off pronto.

  11. We must be the loudest family on the block. I do a lot of yelling and the kids are constantly screeching. It's horrible. But then the family across the street is loud too, so it makes me feel better. It's worse now that the windows are open since the weather is warmer. You are not alone!!

  12. you know, the only mom I know whom I have never heard raise her voice has 10 kids. And they are all super well-behaved! I know she's way holier than me, so that's what I'm chalking it up to. I think she's constantly praying. We need to pray more.

  13. this blog entry couldn't have come at a more appropriate time! Not only does my family live in a ROW HOME (ah, remember those days?!) but directly across the street is a rock wall....and we are on the side of the mountain with the front of our house facing the, with my front windows open everything bounces off the mountain and that rock wall and even the neighbors at the end of the block can hear it. For a while i didn't realize it until Wayne was walking the dog and came back in explaining something about what i had just yelled at SmartyPants about. i was like 'How do you know what we were 'talking' about?' he replied 'I could hear you up the block.' Ugh! i try to keep that in mind, but i'm convinced the whole block thinks i'm an unfit mother whose children need to be saved from the wrath of my loud mouth. That is until they hear the kids yell, too ;) THen it is THEY who need saving ;)
    Love ya, babe!

  14. Thankfully, I live in the country, so no neighbors too near to hear all the yelling and fighting. :)

    Yeah, totally empathetic with this post and I'll second that canonization of Rob for you if you need extra support.

  15. Anonymous8:48 PM

    Oh, there is yelling here too--with half the kids of your house my house is prob twice as loud! I think it is a boy thing. Perhaps I need to teach them the "inside" "outside" voice thing b/c they do not get that at all! I may never sit in a regular pew in church again b/c the little guy is NEVER quiet unless sleeping!

  16. From downstairs to upstairs, from upstairs to downstairs, from the driver's set to the twins in the back, my vocal calisthenics I am quite confident would prove a good match for yours (or other commenters!)

    The concept of "scream-free parenting" always seemed illogical to can you differentiate the difference to your children between "Please make your bed" and "Get out of the street, a Mack truck is coming!" without some variance in tone and intensity?

    Thank you for this're FAR from alone!

  17. We definitely have our moments of sonic blast here ~ esp when all the kids are home (10)... OUr "quiet voices" are most people's loud, I'm afraid. That's why we moved to the country. The horses and birds just don't care.

  18. I'd like to have you for a neighbor. We are a family of yellers, too. My kids learned it from me. *sigh*

  19. Yup, we're working on "inside voices" a lot here. Yellers run in the family.

    Hubbers is up for canonization at times like that, too. Of course, then he does something dumb and loses out, but that's another post...

    (grin) Gotta love the man.


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