It’s been a while since I’ve had to utilize the Quiet Game, a tried-and-true parental ploy for getting children to be silent for a few godforsaken minutes. Even when our four kids were still living at home, they were mostly barricaded in their rooms or off with friends. Silence basically became the norm. But recently, I had to unearth a version of the QG from my bag of retired mom tricks simply to make it home from West Lafayette.
My husband, Doo, and I, along with our oldest son, had spent the afternoon at Purdue University visiting our youngest for Parents Weekend. We’d started at a seedy campus bar and ended at a parking lot tailgate party. Needless to say, the cheap beer and deceptively potent shots had flowed freely. Not for me, of course; real Coke and strong coffee are my preferred means of partying these days. At any rate, by the time we were ready to head back, Doo and our firstborn were on a roll. An obnoxiously loud and decidedly fervent roll.
Somehow, I had to find a way to survive an hour-plus car ride in a Honda Accord with these two, who even when sober are famously known as high-decibel talkers. As I began muttering the serenity prayer, I suddenly remembered the QG. “Let’s see who can be quiet for five minutes!” I announced with enthusiasm. “OK!” they replied.
Not surprisingly, neither made it. The grown men in my life just couldn’t keep their gosh-darn, drunken mouths shut. But they did at least try, and I was able to gain a couple precious moments of relative calm. Thanks, QG!