I snuggled up with Lilla last night as I put her to bed. We laid together in the darkness and silence. She looked at me with her big blue eyes while I stroked her hair.
We were both tired and neither of us felt like saying much. But we needed to talk. I needed to check on her. I asked her about her heart. I asked her how she felt. And I asked her how she felt about Bette’s yelling, which has become the soundtrack of our lives.
She spent most of the weekend yelling. She yelled at the park. She yelled in her stroller. She yelled in the yard.
She yelled in stores. She yelled at the food court. She yelled in her high chair. She yelled during meals.
She yelled for every single second we were in the car this weekend. It was so bad that we are now discussing buying a different car just to combat her yelling. We may lose our minds if we are trapped in the car with her for a long period of time.
Because she isn’t a happy yeller. She is a fussy yeller. She is a frustrated yeller. And what she lacks in words she makes up with loudness.
I don’t blame her. I would be fussy and frustrated too if I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t communicate it, because I didn’t yet have the words.
But it means our lives are of full of yelling. And it isn’t just Bette doing all the yelling. We are all starting to yell too. Sometimes I try to talk to Jay across the kitchen, but it is so loud that he just yells back, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” If he calls to me from upstairs, I usually yell back, “I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT HEAR YOU!”
We yell, because sometimes it is the only way to be heard.
Lilla has started yelling as well. She yells when she gets frustrated. She yells when she is upset. And she yells when the noise level in the house starts increasing. She yells, not because she can get away with it, but because sometimes, it is the only way she will be heard.
And that makes my heart ache. I hate that she feels like she must yell in order to be heard. I hate that she feels like she must make herself louder than all the other racket in our house. I hate that she feels like she must yell to express herself, particularly when she is unhappy.
So I cuddled up with her last night. I scooted under the covers and stroked her hair. And I asked her how she feels about Bette’s yelling.
And she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it when she is trying to concentrate on math or reading. She doesn’t like it when Bette is mad and yelling. And she doesn’t like when Bette yells at her. And she absolutely cannot take it one more day, which made me smile because it was so Eloise of her to say.
We agreed that from now on, she would make sure to tell me when the yelling got to be too much for her. And when it was too much for her, we would find something else for her to do, away from the noise and chaos. And I would do my best to find away for her to escape the yelling, at least for a little while.
Then we prayed together. We prayed for patience. We prayed for understanding. And we prayed for grace.
And we prayed that the Lord would help our dear sweet Bette find her words, so we all don’t lose our minds!