Prattle: n. a sound that is meaningless, repetitive, and suggestive of the chatter of children
Protrude: v. to jut out from the surrounding surface or context
I’ve been visiting my daughter’s family in Oakland since Tuesday. When the boys (4 & 7) are at school, Heather and I do grownup things (Asian Art Museum in SF -yes!, planning their new veggie garden, reading the paper). When they’re home, we play.
After a few days of this I was ready for a nap. The house is very small, so I curled up on Alexander’s bed while he and his brother played in the next room.
Their high little voices went on and on and on, sometimes rising with distress or excitement, sometimes burbling softly like a fountain. But the chatter never ceased. Clearly they process all their thoughts out loud. It’s a sweet sound – unless you’re trying to take a nap or think.
It’s so different when you live with adults. Our processing is mostly internal. Years ago I read a study that said that most married couples don’t talk a lot – though women talk more than men, as a rule. (I recall some ridiculously low number, but can’t find it now.)
It’s a miracle that mothers with little ones at home get anything done at all.