Oh, The Madness!!!

So, if you've followed along at all, you know that I'm married to an Italian and have four children. I must say, that my household is becoming one of those typical Italian households. You know the kind: everyone talks at once, and loudly.

In fact, since I've been married to mi sposa for nearly 18 years, my voice has actually grown into a loud, boom-across-the-room voice. Of course, I only need to use that when I am here at home with the famiglia. While I am at work, or on the rare occasion I might be home alone, I can use my quiet, indoor voice. The natural one the God blessed me with.

I don't know if you just caught that. Yes, I did say that when I'm home alone I use my quiet voice.

And you don't?

I do it in my car, too. So there.

So anywho.... back to my loud family...  The kids are getting older and they all have stuff to talk about. We work. We have school. We have after school sports and activities. How in the world is a family of six people supposed to make dinner, get it on the table, sit down and eat and have pleasant conversation at the same time, then still have time to get the dishes done and the garbage out to the curb and bags packed for work and school and showered and bathed and ready for bed?

Take a deep breath now....

Why, The Italian Way, of course. Picture this..... It takes extreme concentration on our part. See, when we all talk at once, that doesn't necessarily mean that we are all talking to everyone else at the same time. No. We are talking to one person at a time, we simply just need to make eye contact and read the lips of the person we are conversing with.

My frustration is that we sound like a bunch of animals, and when the four-year-old has asked for more brussel sprouts, there is a good chance that no one has heard her, which is cause for a tantrum. After all, the princess must be listened to. We aren't perfect, but it gets the job done, some of the time.

Sure, in a perfect world, I could have dinner on the table so as soon as we all walked in the door from whatever, we could sit down and eat. And we could have normal volumed conversation. And of course, in this nonexistant perfect world, we would still have plenty of time to do dishes and shower and throw in a load of laundry and be actually organized for the next morning.

I know that nearly everyone out there faces the same issues. Maybe you've found a good way to deal with this (other than duct-taping their mouths shut). I have learned to just deal with it. However, the patience level wears very thin and yes, I admit, often thoroughly disintegrates at times (typically while I am PMS-ing). It can't be helped. The famiglia has learned over the years that Mom is going to be grumpy and she will say that she's not grumpy and that she wouldn't (in their words) 'be mad all the time' if they just learned how to listen and be quiet and be good. I don't think that my PMS-ing is actually premenstrual syndrome. I believe it's more like 'prevalent mother sensitivity'. Which means, in scientific terms, that I am more sensitive to their mouthiness and crude behavior, which, in turn, means that, since I am noticing it more, I will, of course, be more grumpy.

Yeah. I think that makes perfect sense. Now can someone get me out of this straight-jacket?