A STRANGE quietness has come over our house this week.
Usually there is a cacophony of noise from all levels.
But this week is has been very quiet – and this can only be due to the fact our eldest daughter is away from home spending time with her grandmother.
I always thought the decibel levels reached their maximum due to the screaming of the frustrated 19-month-old, usually as a result of her not being able to get anyone to understand what it is she wants or because something fragile or dangerous has been wrenched from her hands.
That noise is often coupled with the loud yelling of her elder brother and sister fighting over what to watch on TV or squabbling over one specific toy, despite the hundreds of others they could choose to play with.
The shouting begins the moment they wake up.
The other half and I have to wake ourselves up each morning with a shower.
But the children are different.
From the moment they rise they are wide awake and full of life – and loud! They rough and tumble all over our bed – despite me having just made it. This ends up with me shouting at them – which only adds to the mayhem.
It’s no quieter at the end of the day. There is the daily fight about who is going to carry the house keys and unlock the back door while the baby just wants to stay in the car and pretend to try and drive it.
I hustle them into the house before curtains twitch to see who is being murdered. Sometimes I feel like a UN peace negotiator trying to keep feuds to a minimum. But no sooner have you stamped out one fire than another one flares up.
The best way to go I find is to take them to the park so they can shout as loudly as they like. No-one seems to mind so much there. That coupled with the fact there are many other children exhibiting the same loudness.
The park is also a great way to exhaust them – which ultimately leads to them going to bed earlier thereby leaving the house quiet and peaceful once again.
This week I took them along to Mount Pleasant Park in Sheffield, where Sheffield City Council’s Activity Sheffield department celebrate the importance of play to mark national Play Day with water play, den building, musical instruments and even a sound cushion. For more information about the day or activities in your area visit: http://www.timberplay.com/