My dear sweet children, I don’t know how to state this delicately, so I’ll just get straight to the point: will you please—for the love of all things true, beautiful and quiet—stop talking to me every second of every minute of every day. You do not need to say aloud to me every thought that passes through your little minds—or big minds. Whatever. The size of your minds is not the issue here. The point is that I need time—perhaps a minute or two a day, maybe an entire hour, if I may be so bold as to ask—to actually think and function.
When you see me at 6:30am—before I’ve had so much as a drop of coffee—try something radically new like, “Good morning.” And that’s it, mind you, not, “Good morning! I forgot to tell you that I need to be at the honors assembly by 4, so you’ll need to….” Please, give me a second to wake up before filling me in on where you need to be and when, and what manner of snacks, tasks or cash I’ll need to donate to the occasion.
When you see me at my computer, it means that I’m doing something—something that requires my attention. I cannot give my attention to the task at hand and listen to you at the same time. Perhaps a sign would help. I could tape a ruler to the back of my laptop with a sign hanging menacingly over the keyboard that says, “CHILDREN BEWARE. MOM AT WORK. TALK AT YOUR OWN RISK. THIN-LIPPED SMILE SLOUGHS OFF LIKE SNAKE SKIN WHEN SUBJECTED TO VERBAL ASSAULTS. UNPREDICTABLE HORRORS LURK JUST BENEATH MOISTURIZED SKIN.”
Also, I’m not sure what I said or did to give you the impression that I care enough about anything on the Internet to stop what I’m doing, follow you to your computer, and watch or listen to a posted comic, game, or video clip. The truth is that I care less about Internet memes than I care about how many South American prostitutes Obama’s Secret Service hired for what was surely one hell of a night. These things neither amuse nor interest me.
Perhaps you could consider alternative receivers for your mind-numbing chatter. Friends, for example, I’ll bet your friends would care about how you fared on that Facebook game, what is it called again? (Yes, I know you’ve told me, at least one million times.) Perhaps you could talk to each other, in a room somewhere that I am not. Maybe you could keep a journal. You’ve got lots of notebooks, tons of pens, and a small arsenal of pencils. Writing down what you would otherwise say to me would exhaust those currently wasted resources—lickity split.
In short, my loves, will you please—for me, your mother, who carried you for nine just-shy-of-miserable months—SHUT. UP.
Thank you so much! Kisses! As you were (only silent).