Friday, August 1, 2014

Blown Fuse

"Please make those damn jingle bells stop."

Do you know that moment of chaos where you don't think anyone but the person you are talking to will hear you, and then suddenly everyone in the room does?  It stretches out long and awkward, doesn't it?

It was Christmas In the Mountains.  Estes Park.  My Aunt's house was filled with family, fun, food and plenty of Christmas cheer.  Little feet running everywhere, with big ears.

And here was Aunt Jodi, bah-humbugging about socks with jingle bells and cussing to boot.

I can still remember the surprised look on my sister's face and the tone with which she said something like, "I'm sorry.  With all this noise in the house, I'm not sure I get why these bells are so aggravating.  Don't be such a Scrooge!"

I felt ridiculous.

And with no words to describe how those adorable little bells were fraying a nerve that left me feeling raw and edgy.  I couldn't explain it to myself.  Somewhere along the way I had reached critical mass and that one little noise seemed to have pushed me there.

Fast forward many, many years later.

My capacity for noise and chaos has certainly grown to contain a career working with kids, children of my own, and better tools to reduce that anxiety before it reaches blown fuses.  But I am still the girl who can get overstimulated by too much.  Noise. People. Clutter. Small Talk. Music. Blinking Lights. Overlapping Conversations. Screaming Baby. Smoke Alarm.  Screaming Baby & Smoke Alarm at the same time.

Sure, I'll admit, I have better tools for coping with this aspect of myself,  but sometimes I forget to use them, or I don't see the need to bring them out until it's too late, or the situation escalates faster than I can unlatch the hinge on my mental toolbox.

Or I get pregnant, hormonal, and fuzzy-brained and my fingers feel fat and clumsy and I can't seem to access the tools at all.

Then I go wildly waving a verbal sledgehammer and coming off as though I'm trying out for a part in a foreign-made soap opera.  Yeah.  It's funny--but not.

Yesterday I found myself in the "stop-the-jingle-bell" mode for the first time in awhile.

There was a pair of Micah's overalls in the dryer.

And that was IT.  I could not STAND the noise of the little metal parts clanking around in there.

So now an adorable pair of Osh Kosh's sit in the Goodwill box in the closet and this mama humbly acknowledges that sometimes, I have to go ahead and blow the fuse.



  1. Great post. I hear ya. Mamma said there'd be days like this...

  2. There is a reason that most of our sound toys have clear tape over the speaker. Unfortunately, the girls love the sound toys, or I would be very happy to give them all away.

    I blow my fuse SO easily over a cluttered kitchen. If i am trying to cook dinner and just can't find a place to put that one pot, etc... I will delay dinner till I get that darn counter cleaned off!

    1. Oh, brilliant about the tape idea! I'll be thinking of you the next time I'm able to keep both the toy and my sanity.