Sotto Voce

Actually, squawky voce is probably more accurate, when there’s any sort of voce at all.

I’ve had a wandering cold for a few days – started with a brief sore throat, turned north into my head, then reversed direction and spent some time in my chest.  It’s still hanging out there, probably because the weather’s nicer or the cost of living is cheaper – I’m not exactly sure.

Anyway, one of the entertaining side effects of this has been the gradual loss of my voice.  At first, I just sounded like James Earl Jones.  But that progressed to a Darth Vader/Marge Simpson hybrid on Saturday and then, by the end of the evening, I was randomly hoarse and squeaky. 

Sunday morning my voice was pretty much gone.  I spent the day drinking warm, soothing beverages and trying to rest my vocal cords. 

When I had to talk, I whispered.

It’s a funny thing, when you whisper – for whatever reason – people tend to whisper back, whether they need to or understand why you’re whispering or not.  Especially my kids. 

“Julia,” I’d whisper, “Could you give the cats some food?”

“Okay, Mom” she’d whisper back.  It was just our secret.

“Julia, you don’t have to whisper,” I’d tell her.

“Oh yeah,” she’d laugh.  Quietly.

So most of yesterday was pretty quiet, except for the time when the kids were bickering back and forth just before dinner, when they were supposed to be clearing the dining room table, and I was hissing at them to cut it out and just get it done, waving my arms to get their attention, and when that didn’t work, I actually stomped my foot and glared as loudly as I could.

It got their attention.

Later, after dinner, Alex was supposed to take a shower and, in typical 9-year-old fashion, he suddenly had fifty other things to do first.  I kept hissing at him to just get in there and take his shower, and followed that up with “Don’t make me stomp!” in as ominous a whisper as I could muster.

Of course, laughing immediately afterward kind of dimmed the threat.  Just a bit.

And yes, Bill was there to do the loud-voiced parenting when it was absolutely necessary.  But sometimes I like to do my own loud-voiced parenting – even when I have no voice.

And that’s my little story.  It’d probably be funnier if I recorded myself squawking something and embedded it here.  But then it would hang around on the internet for eternity, and the beauty of the squawky voice lies in its relative brevity.  You’ll just have to imagine it.

I’ve attempted to talk this morning, just a bit.  I’ve progressed to a breathy braying. 

I’m thinking it’ll be another whispery day.

Leave a Reply