Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

The Truth Hurts, almost as much as ear infections do February 23, 2008


     Alex came over to my side of the couch and snuggled into my shoulder.  (cue orchestra music and soft focus lighting)  “I love it when you’re sick,” he tells me.  “You get that soft voice, and it makes you sound like you’re nice.”

      (SCCCCRATCH.)  Okay, moment over.  What does he mean, it makes me sound like I’m nice

     I AM nice!  I’m not a “yeller” mom, but I was a teacher and I DO still possess that teacher voice.  (I also have Anthony, a very enthusiastic 2-year-old, and he gets the teacher voice… a lot.)  Poor Alex, visibly flustered and not fully comprehending his foot-in-mouth moment, tries to explain.  “Well, it’s not that you’re not nice, ’cause you are, but when you’re sick your voice gets all quiet and it sounds like you’re patient.  And you care.  And you love us.”

     Ow, knife in the heart!  And in the ribcage.  And in the solar plexus.  Poor Alex is standing there with both feet in his mouth.  I give him a big hug and tell him not to worry about it, because I know what he means.  (Uh, not really!  My mind is reeling!!!)  Relieved, Alex makes a hasty getaway.  My husband collapses in a fit of giggles, the big doofus.  He is SO much help.

     I start thinking of the “good” me…  the sick me.  The reason I have a soft voice right now is because I am too exhausted and in too much pain to raise it.  I can hear nothing unless the sound is mere inches from my head, so I’m extra quiet and constantly listening for the faintest sounds to alert me to a ringing phone, a crying baby or a child’s request.  When I talk, my voice echoes so loudly in my ears, I feel like that Will Ferrell character from SNL with the voice-immodulation problem, so I try to err on the side of quiet, just so I’m not accidentally shouting.  The pain meds for my blown eardrums make me a little loopy, so even if I could hear myself at the correct volume, 15 minutes after I take my dose, I may as well try to sew air together as make a coherent statement in regular vocal tones.

     That is all easily explained.  What isn’t so easy is the patient part.  And the caring part.  And the love.  I love my kids dearly.  My family is the single-most important thing in the world to me, and I thought they knew that.  Yes, I lose patience occasionally, but I thought I was making it abundantly clear how much I care about them, for them, their likes and dislikes, their hopes and dreams, their presents and futures, their happiness and their sorrows.  Somewhere there (is?  was?) a breakdown in what was intended and what was received, but it’s fixable.  That’s a good thing.  It’s going to take some extra one-on-one attention from me, and it will teach Alex some good life skills about communicating so his needs are met in a way that’s satisfactory to all parties.  (His future wife is going to loooooove that!)

      In the meantime, I am going to take my soft voice, my pain meds and my son over to the couch to learn the particulars of a Nintendo game.  He’ll have to rest his head on my shoulder, because that’s the only way I can hear what he says.  He just told me, “Mom, it’s okay if you fall asleep.  I’ll cover you up with a blanket, okay?”

     That’s my boy. 


7 Responses to “The Truth Hurts, almost as much as ear infections do”

  1. pinkbeefs Says:

    lol, Kemi. “Kids say the darnedest things.” He must just like your soft voice and slowed-down self. Maybe he meant that? I still get those kinds of comments, and I simply laugh. Kids are precious!

  2. Kemi Says:

    LOL Beefy, thanks. That makes me feel better. 🙂

    I think that’s what he meant, but he just kept digging a deeper hole. He’s spent the whole weekend bringing me drinks, blankets, slippers, giving me “feel better” hugs, and telling me how much he loves me. He’s such a cute boy.

  3. highhopes1 Says:


    We all get comments like that, I think it is because kids aren’t as adept a putting their feelings into words as adults are most times. When they are little they struggle with putting their emotions to words.

    I think you should know that you are a good mom because your kid realizes that there are limits and rules that you set. Yup there is the “teacher voice” in all moms and we use it a lot and it’s better than the “yelling voice”. Every parent has the teacher voice, because we are engaging our kids not raging at them.

    I think he just meant you were more squishy and laid back than usual and I bet he is very worried about his momma being so sick and doesn’t know how to make you better.

    Don’t be hard on yourself, give him an extra squish and move on.

    🙂 Hugs to ya sweetie

  4. gr8brainfarts Says:

    I love the way you set the mood with the music & all. Too funny! Kids are too hilarious. Sounds like he’s well on his way to becoming a man! 😉

  5. Great preparation for the little guy’s future. 🙂

    He sounds like such a sweetheart. I am so sorry about how sick you are. It must be awful.

  6. High Hopes Says:

    Hope you are feeling better Kemi! You are always in my thoughts!

  7. gr8tful Says:

    Just ckecking to see how you are doing? I’ll say a prayer for you!! {HUGS}

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