As a child on long car journeys, we used to play a game called "make the sound of a cabbage". Its premise was simple: everyone was supposed to make the silent noise of that many-leaved brassica. Whoever could make it the longest, won.
Of course, I eventually realised that this was just a ploy by my entire family to get my younger brother and I to be quiet. You see, I used to love to talk. I was that particular version of precocious that believed all should stop and stare in awe at my 4 year old intellect. And I was peersistent as well, winning arguements with my Notre Dame attending engingeer older brother out of sure determination and will.
Its taken me a long time to really appreciate silence. I've found that writing is a better channel for the verbal diatrabe that exists in my head than letting the words spill out uncontrollably. This is most true with my children, as it appears that my particular dulcet tones are those that exist out of their range of hearing (but strangely they can hear a packet rustling from across the street and come running for what they hope to be sweets). And so, I try not to shout or ask endlessly for them to stop/do/get. I like quiet and enjoy the space of it - when the kids are all in bed and there is no other noise is my favourite moment of the day.
But in reality silence is rare. My children are loud. All children are loud. Every morning, I remind myself to purchase a bulk load of ear defenders for Christmas for my entire neighbourhood who do not have a single child for blokcs. From the minute they wake up to the minute they go to bed, my three are like a tumbling band of elephant/tiger/bird hybrids - making all noises at all frequencies all at at once.
Except the sound of a cabbage.