Or when it's time to order razorblades.
You settle down with a tea and a good book, window open to let fresh air into the room when an ear-splitting scream forces your nerve-system to react. You jump into a stand, the hair on your body turning you into a human cactus-impression. When you make an attempt to stick out your head, like a relaxed turtle, you look over to the little yard across the street. Had you known that a nursery would destroy your daily peace when you viewed the flat, you'd not signed the dotted lines, that's for sure. You wonder why it is that children seem to only come in one model: high-pitched voices in loud. It would be so much nicer if they had a knob like a volume control or even a mute-button. They then could giggle, cry, scream and be defiant as much as they like, at least you wouldn't be torn out of your story or die of a heart-attack every time this happens.
When you watch them for a while you wonder how easy to please they are. Running around in circles or hopping on the spot, accompanied by frantic clapping, they shriek and laugh. Will change soon enough, you think. Try to get a few adults to do that. They'd declare you nuts. The scene reminds you to call your friend, mother of one. After two tones, you are greeted by her daughter's voice.
'Hello?' an almost non-audible whisper. Answering the telephone is the exception of the rule. No child is able to say a firm 'hello'. It's usually a long gum-like question, followed by an even longer silence.
'Hi, is mum at home?' you ask as friendly as you can. If you're lucky, you get to speak to the parent. Not this time it seems. You hear a 'click', informing you that the phone has been put down at the other end. The people who are responsible for this girl with the rude behaviour will probably never learn that you called, for the information will not be transferred. Great, you think and dial a second time. If, by any chance, you are lucky enough for your friend to pick up the phone now, you will certainly very soon be interrupted by the infant.
'Hello?' Your friend's voice.
'Hi, it's me,' you answer, relieved you don't have to play this game again. For a whole two minutes you are exchanging news when her daughter is feeling robbed of her attention. You know from experience she will do everything in her power to disturb your conversation. Be it through tugging at mum's clothes, or by falling from whatever height, screaming so loud that you are sure to have gained a tinnitus for life.
'Yes, I think it would be a good.....What now?' shouts your friend, interrupting her speech. In the background you hear the thick tears dropping, literally. You hold the phone a few inches from your ear.
'Sorry, I need to go, she's hurt herself, I need to check on her,' your friend informs you when the crying doesn't stop.
'No problem,' you answer flatly. Life was so easy a couple of years ago.
Frustrated about the abrupt end of the phone call, you go out to do some shopping. This will be the next hurdle....
To read the rest, you will have to be patient until the book comes out. :-)