Have you ever had such a monumentally sore throat that you completely lost the ability to speak? I had never experienced this phenomenon until yesterday when I woke up unable to do anything but whisper.
Ok, actually that’s a lie. I can make sounds louder than a whisper, but doing so produces searing pain in my throat. Not to mention the sounds that come out of my mouth would be better suited to a teenage boy, which would be embarrassing but not surprising, if I were a teenager or a boy, but alas, it’s just plain creepy coming out of a mom.
All this silence has produced a desire to write, and up until now I’ve been feeling like I should devote this blog to only serious topics, but guess what? I’m not really a terribly serious person. Shocking, I know.
So perhaps it’s just the cold medicine or an overdose of menthol lozenges talking right now, but I’ve decided to open up my blog to all the wide-variety of topics that catch my fancy.
Today’s topic: how to get your toddler’s attention without using your voice.
Here is my short list of things that I tried yesterday, and my rating of how (in)effective they were:
1. Clapping. – This worked about 20% of the time, but when it did work, it only served to get his attention long enough for him to clap along with me for about ten seconds before returning to whatever mayhem he was in the middle of.
2. Snapping your fingers. – Complete waste of time. Didn’t even bother to look up from his total demolition of the bookshelf.
3. Stomping my feet. – This was interpreted as a silly new dance move to be laughed at and imitated.
4. Whisper-yelling. – After fantasizing all day about a big, hot cup of Thereaflu, I finally decided to brave the supermarket for some medicinal relief. There are two things the little dude can’t abide right now, one is holding my hand and the other is riding in a shopping cart. When we got to the store and I informed him that he either had to do one or the other, a full fledged temper tantrum started to erupt. Before he could start flailing his limbs, I held him down and whisper-yelled this in his face, “Listen to me, mommy doesn’t feel good. She can’t talk and she’s very sleepy, so you are going to ride in this cart or we are going to go home RIGHT NOW.”
Judging by the looks on faces that walked past us, I probably sounded like a combination of Gollum and the troll from the billy goats gruff. Or at least what I image that troll sounded like.
While I can’t say this actually got his attention, it did cause him to take pity on me because he let me put him in the cart and push him through the store only to discover they were completely out of Theraflu. Why can’t goll-mom catch a break?
Final advice: if you find yourself without your voice, I suggest you employ a combination of grabbing by the arm to get your toddler’s attention and then whisper-yelling for maximum pity effect. Or plan ahead, as my friends suggested, and tape record yourself yelling “Hey, stop that!” for future use.