First Draft Father: We Are Now the Loud Family

When I’m sitting in front of a slice of cheesecake from Katzinger’s Deli, I don’t generally talk to other people. Who has time for that when there is cheesecake on the line?

Nevertheless, I almost said something to the husband and wife who sat down at the table next to us with their college-age daughter.

Ethan made sure I didn’t have to speak up. He made my point for me.

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA EEEEEEEEEEEEE,” he bellowed as he pounded his paper cup into the table.

The cup flew off the table on one particularly vicious strike, and it flopped by the feet of the man like a fish out of water. He picked it up and handed it back to Ethan. I prayed that they would remember what it was like to have a kid this age and that they wouldn’t mind having their meal interrupted with Ethan jawing, “Ya ya ya ya ya ya. Da da da da da da da. Na na na na na na na na. Imph. Imph. Da da da da.”

We ate our cheesecakes in relative peace by passing him spoons and cups to gnaw and pound on the table.

During the drive home, Julie remarked to me, “We are now the loud family.”

It’s true.

Our friends visited the other day with their kids who are all younger than eight years old, and the amount of noise they created was beyond all expectations. Granted, they were ecstatic that our rabbits were hopping around the living room with them. However, Ethan had no trouble adding to the noise.

More often than not, he drowned them out as he banged his wooden balls and wooden mallet on the coffee table. He squealed and screamed. He fit right in.

It used to be that Ethan was either quiet or crying. Now he can shout, laugh, roll his R’s, make motor boat sounds with his lips, babble, and talk a little. He can say Da da and Ma ma when he’s looking at each of us. He can say something that resembles “light” when he sees a light.

He can also say “No” like a pro when we try to feed him solid food.

It’s not that we didn’t expect to have a child capable of making noise. It’s just that it creeps up on you. You don’t really notice that it’s coming. You just take one day at a time.

One friend likened it to a frog in a pot that gradually grows hotter.

A year ago we had a newborn who rocked in his swing and only made a peep when he needed something. Now we have a budding conversationalist. He’s starting to tell us what he thinks about things, and I don’t think he’ll ever stop.

3 thoughts on “First Draft Father: We Are Now the Loud Family

  1. Kris

    Nope, he won’t ever stop. I am convinced that god uses children to humble us parents again and again–at least He does in my house. Children are unpredictable to an extent and sometimes completely irrational and sometimes, down right insane. BUT, we grow through our teaching them to control their impulses, while simultaneously learning to control our own. I’m finding parenthood to be long exercise in discipline and restraint, gentleness and patience. It’s a blessing to get to help shape these little people, and to listen to them tell us what they think. I’m surprised how much I continue to learn through the process.

    Hope that cheesecake was good. Never been to Katzingers! You recommend it?

  2. Melinda Viergever Inman

    It has just begun. Embrace it. Before you know it, you’ll be the family at the table with the college son listening to “the loud family” nearby. Love it. It whirls by you so fast it makes your head swim when it’s gone.

  3. Stacy Voss

    Welcome to the loud family club. It used to embarrass me at first, but now it’s become so normal I don’t think anything of it (except for when we get the occasional glares!). But ya know, I figure it’s more important to have fun with my family than it is to always be preoccupied with what others might think.

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