A noisy life

I’m writing this from the place I go every Tuesday evening with my 4-year-old, Jacob. It has multiple playrooms for him, with inflatable ‘bouncy houses’ and slides, foam pits, riding toys and a great crew of employees who supervise the kids and do games and crafts with them. We get dinner here — they have great pizza. For me, there is also wi-fi and a Starbucks counter (or I can get a beer). It is ideal.

Except that it is so loud in here.

I don’t mind the kids yelling — or even crying — but there are these giant pumps that keep the inflatables inflated and emit a constant, loud, dull whir. It’s hard to have a conversation with the people I run into here, let alone get on the phone with someone. And that is a shame because this would be a great time to catch up with my other two sons.

Connecting with either of my older sons when we’re both available is only half the battle. The other half is finding a place where I can actually hear them.

Sometimes I try to talk to #1 son Charlie or #2 son Thomas while I’m on my commute home — but if I’m taking the train, forget it — it’s too loud on the train and on the platform. So whenever I drive, I try to reach them (using a hands-free kit, of course). But I almost always have errands on the way. In stores. Where it’s loud. So I have to hang up before we’re really done.

Plus, my hands-free kit (which I installed myself) has an annoying hum that I can suppress only by putting my hand over one end of the kit. Is it still hands-free if I have to do that?

Calling them from home is not an option before Jacob is in bed for the night. And by the time he crashes, I’m ready to do the same!

Has life always been this loud during every waking hour?

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