Its amazing the amount of noise and chaos I can tune out when it comes to my kids. For example, I should legit have PTSD from the car ride to the beach on Mother’s Day. But I don’t. The yelling, complaining, and Are we there yet? all just float past me, barely even making it into my ears and to my brain. I’m so good at the tune out that during the whole ENTIRE trip there was only ONE time that I felt the urge to full-body launch myself from the passenger seat directly into the backseat intent on performing a leaping scissor kick while screaming, “That’s right, you BETTER hide!” But luckily I managed to get myself back to a state of calm until the urge passed (Serenity now. Serenity now.) During most car trips I can even let the occasional physical brawl just ride itself out. The way I see it, if you try to give “dead leg” to the person sitting next to you because they are “breathing too loud on purpose”, you’re probably going to get kicked in the head. And that is just a lesson you have to learn on your own. That is NOT something I can teach you.

I can tune out lots of other things, too. Take for instance the cabinets in my kitchen. The other day my husband looked closely at them and he was like, “Gross. The cabinets need to be cleaned.” And I was like, “Huh? What cabinets?” while leaning against the very cabinets of which he spoke. Gunk building up on the cabinets is something that I can tune out (ignore?) pretty easily. Very easily. Okay, maybe way too easily. But really, I have laundry that is begging to be folded, bums that need to be wiped at various times throughout the day, and dinner that is somehow supposed to miraculously cook itself. Am I really supposed to pay attention to the dirt on the cabinets? Plus, I find that if I walk through the kitchen really quickly and kind of blur my eyes a little I hardly notice the dirty cabinets at all. That works for other parts of the house as well, by the way. It’s kind of like a life hack.

I’m just now trying my hand at tuning out my middle schooler’s newly acquired “I know more than you. You may have walked the earth for 44 years, but I am nearly 12 and therefore I know everything” attitude. That one is giving me a run for my money. But I’m no quitter. I’ll tune that noise out sooner or later.

The way I see it, my ability to tune out the unsavory parts of my life makes me sort of like a reverse Ninja Turtle. Instead of jumping into action to fight the bad guy and restore calm and order to the masses, I see the chaos and annoyance increasing and I ever so slowly retreat into my shell. First one foot, then the other… slowly I start scrunching my head backwards until I am safe inside my nice quiet shell, where all the cabinets are self-cleaning, and all the children are pleasant and well-behaved. My shell is the best. I love it in here. It’s so fab that one of these days I may never come out.

(This post first ran on Put Your Booger in My Pocket.)

About the author: Debbie Butters is the mother of 5 crazy kids, and has been married to her fab husband for 14 years. She is a former New England Patriots Cheerleader and fitness competitor, but these days she gets the majority of her exercise running around like a mad woman and dodging household chores. You can read more of her posts at Put Your Booger In My Pocket.


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1 Comment

  1. Anne Bardsley Reply

    I needed this before those damn 5 kids turned me into a wrinkled mess. I thought I needed drugs to tune them out…the only pill I happily guzzled was my birth control pill!

    Love your style. I felt like I was right there (in a good way…except there was harsher words coming out of my mouth after the scissor like jump to the back seat)

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