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Little Miss Chatterbox

By the time eight o’clock rolls around each night my head is pounding, my nerves are frayed, and I just want Natalia to stop talking for just one minute. Just enough time for me to take a deep breath and remind myself not to yell. Is that too much to ask a two-year-old? Apparently so. Sixty seconds is an eternity in “toddlerland.” Gone are the days of curling up with a good book, watching the nightly news, and carrying on an uninterrupted conversation with—anyone—unless Natalia’s is fast asleep upstairs drooling on her pillow.

I still can’t get used to the non-stop noise. As a parent, I can deal with the lack of time, extra expense, and even the clutter that comes along with a kid. Actually, the dirt, disarray, and disgusting diapers drive me nuts, but at least you can control the mess. But the noise? You can’t put a muzzle on your kid. I just don’t think they make them that small.

While each night is a bitch—mornings are bliss. I love to hear Natalia’s voice chirping from her room; what parent doesn’t? And I’m always amazed at how chatty she is when I pick her up at preschool. Sometimes I even think it’s cute when she asks me to take her shoes off twenty times in a row. But you’d think that by the end of the day she’d run out of things to say, sing, or scream at me and the dog. Nope, she gets a second wind and talks a mile a minute like the guy in that classic Fed Ex commercial from the ’80s. She sings at lightening speed in English and Spanish. And sometimes in Spanglish. She often runs from me to her Dad with her toy phone next to her ear carrying on three different conversations at once. I am convinced that the wizards at Blackberry already have a phone set aside for her third birthday.

But I can’t blame Natalia. I am the one who created Little Miss Chatterbox. At last count, she has over three hundred books. Believe me, I’m not making this up. The nanny counted them—well, before the nanny quit. Natalia had precisely 163 books—since then I’ve added dozens of books to Natalia’s growing library and migraine pills to my medicine cabinet. I’ve always wanted her to read early. And it’s working. She loves book just like I did when I was a kid. There’s no doubt her book obsession has led to a rapid growth of her vocabulary. It makes me quite proud, but once the sun goes down, it gives me a splitting headache.

But like any good parent, I will suck it up no matter how many words she throws at me per minute. I can take it. With a little help from some Excedrin Migraine, I can take anything.

From The Moxie Report

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