Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Terror of Silence

Adults – civilised adults – talk to you. Children talk at you. My children talk at me all the time. They’ll relay the plot of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows through the crack in the bathroom door. They’ll list their favourite footballers from their Match Attax cards. They’ll embark on a joke that has no known ending while I’m perfecting a tweet and they’ll test their recollection of the first names of all the teachers in their school when Gardeners’ Question Time is starting.

This ceaseless, guileless prattle can be endearing. It can be exasperating and, occasionally, it can cause me to flee to the nettle bed behind the garage.

But yesterday, in hospital, a mask was placed over my daughter’s face, her eyes rolled back and she was silenced. Her silence muffled even the screams of a child in the next treatment room while we paced the corridor outside.

When, eventually, we were summoned, her eyes were open but she was still silent. I would have endured the highlights from five packs of Match Attax for a syllable.

Today, the head in the bed has been in full flow again. She has compared the attributes of Emma Watson and Bonnie Wright, planned her marriage to Frank Lampard, recounted her latest dreams and verbalised a selection of new hair dos. 

But today I have absorbed it raptly because I have listened to childish silence and it terrified me. 

35 comments:

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    1. Only an operation on her arm. All routine. It was the anaesthetic that was so alarming, just in case she was one of the 0.01 per cent who never awoke from it.

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  2. Yikes. A very sobering post. Yes, childish prattle is full of life - thank goodness.

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    1. I'm glad to have the reminder to make the most of it. Although after two days of loquacious convalescence, that reminder's wearing thinner!

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  3. Wow, what a horrible experience. I hoPe all is ok? You wrote that so well, I really felt I was there.

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  4. It must be horrible to go through that, I hope whatever she needed putting under for is now all sorted.

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  5. Yes with you Matron. Hope she is ok?


    I long for my children to lie-in as I am exhausted by their constant 5.30 wake up calls. However the very day they decide to sleep past 6am I am pacing the hallway, hoping to hear a muffle or a cough and praying so hard that they are still alive!!!

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  6. I understand that fear. I make pacts with demons when Moo is not her usual vocal self, even though her insistent gobble-di-gook is enough to drive me insane sometimes.

    Hope all is OK now and, erm, Bonnie Wright has nicer hair.

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    1. Thanks, ducks. It does wonders for your street cred that you know who BW is!

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  7. My goodness. I spend much time wishing my children would talk less. I will remember this next time they are regaling me with the details of organ stops (son) and general prattle (daughter), and will be grateful.

    (And will also be jealous of your powerfully economical writing style).

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    1. Organ stops? How did you manage that? My daughter talks only of Lady Gaga!

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    2. Said child went to an organ recital for his 6th b'day. Oh yes. Cathedral choir was made for him!

      (And so very glad to hear that your daughter is on the mend now...)

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  8. Oh no, I hope that she is on the mend and talking your ear off real soon x

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  9. That's frightening. I hope she (and you) are ok...

    X

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    1. Thank you. So much more frightening for parents watching their child go under for serious surgery. I feel lucky.

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  10. Oh blimey, sounds horrible, I hope she's OK? Child silence is scary - I always know F is really upset, or has done something really naughty, when she stops prattling away or crying.

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    1. My mother says the silence is the worst thing when we leave her after a stay. I lguess we ought to make the most of our high-volume companions while we have them.

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  11. What a nightmare. So scary. I wish her a full and speedy recovery. xxx.

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  12. Like the other I wish her a speedy recovery.

    My eldest talks non-stop. To us, to himself, to his gang of pretend friends and to the bath ducks. I shall try and be more tolerant in future!

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    1. Thank you. My tolerance has already dried up, only three days into her convalescence!

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  13. Powerful post. Hope you are OK in the midst of the stress and worry. It is so easy to forget how very blessed we are to have our little ones when trying to find ourselves in it all too. Wishing you all well.

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    1. Thank you! Reminders, however stressful, are good for us. And as ops go this was a very minor one.

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  14. That was clearly a very unpleasant experience for you. I hope full recovery is under swing now , and you havent thrown yourself into the nettles!

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    1. I haven't! But I'm trying to work out how to cook them. The price of greens these days...!

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  15. Hope she's ok now? That was a lovely poignant post. Really felt your fear but still managed to be funny xx

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    1. What a kind comment. Thank you, Lara. And yes, she's fine and chattier than ever!

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  16. Glad you are both ok now. I would imagine seeing your child put under like that was absolutely stomach churning.

    You know in my very best day dreams, I am making bonfires of match attax cards and dancing round them, cackling like a maniac. They're always interupted by one of the children though.

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    1. Thanks for popping by. Had never heard of Match Attax until last week when my daughter acquired a sudden fervour for football. She's not let the fact that she's never seen a match, live or televised, get in her way!

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