Kids are different.  I get it.  There are short ones and tall ones…daring and timid…bookworms and athletes and budding artists.  But there’s one quality that’s uncharacteristically common to the under five foot tall crowd.

An absurdly ridiculous volume level.  All. The. Time.

Could someone please tell me why these kids are so freaking loud?

At home, in the car, in reading groups, on the playground…small people can go from 20 to 110 decibels in 4.3 seconds, leaving grownups to duck and cover.  Sometimes I check to see if my ears are bleeding while I’m hiding, too.

Now I’m not one of those children should be seen and not heard people.  Well, except for during exams and funerals (which some kids might say feel very much the same, but I digress).  Kids are loud at their base level, but that’s not the kind of volume I mean.

I’m talking about noise levels that rival a vacuum cleaner roaring to life beside my sweetly napping head.

A kid who simply cannot stand the thought of not weighing in first, drowning out his classmates with a deafening, “Hey!  Hey!  I saw that movie!  It was beast!!”

Living through what can only kindly be called disagreements from more than two rooms away:

  • “I was here first.”  “You were not!”  “YES, I WAS!!”  “YOU WERE NOT!!”
  • “Where’s the charger?”  “I don’t know.”  “You used it last!”  “Did not!!”
  • “Who ate my leftovers?”  “I did.”  “But they were mine!”  “But you never eat your leftovers.”  “But that doesn’t mean you can just TAKE them!!”

Streaking across the playground with their hair on fire, screeching, “OLLIE OLLIE OXEN FREE!” at the top of their lungs.

And, my own personal favorite, deafening shrieks that randomly erupt while we’re on the road. It’s as if those kids have no concept I’m guiding an expensive piece of machinery through the streets, trying desperately not to jerk the wheel sideways when someone screams “JEEP!!” into my ear.

I’m not asking for indoor voices all the time.  I don’t need church whispers or library silence. I’m perfectly fine with the rowdy kickball shouts…in their own time and place.

Games?  Sports?  Parties?  Playing in the neighborhood?  Well, a lot of those call for (ahem) exuberant voices.

But at the risk of sounding crotchety, I’m thinking kids should be using a whole lot more volume control than what’s going on around here.  Give me a remote that can mute a kid mid-whine and I’ll get you a patent with a million dollar advance.