...some months ago.
And somehow when they removed the tonsils they also increased the pitch of her little voice by about three octaves.
So when she OK her voice is still soft and sweet BUT when she is excited it feels like her voice is going to break glass and/or puncture your eardrums.
It's a painful thing.
I was present at her 1 month post-op surgical visit and asked the doc when her voice would return to normal and he said "it is normal. It was not normal before." I was tempted to say "can I pay you to put the tonsils back cuz she is forever hurting my ears" but I thought that was kind of mean and un-grandmotherly so I restrained myself.
Very often in the car when I am taking all three little girls home I make up these bizarre stories that keep them enthralled and not fighting for the whole thirty minutes or so.
The stories always involve three little girls who are living in Cloud City, or in Igloos at the Northpole, or in a forest surrounded by talking animals.
There is not a peep out of the back seat and they sit there with their little eyes wide open just hanging on my every word.
Or it was.
The shrill little one has now decided to have an opinion about what her name is in the stories.
I'll be saying,
"Once upon a time there was a magic forest. The forest was lovely and green and filled with amazing and unusual animals. There were pink and purple striped zebras and..."
Suddenly from the backseat the three year old screeches "Gamma, Gamma...I want to be Snow White! Snow White Gamma!" Her voice is so startling and so high pitched that it sometimes makes her sisters start crying! "Morgan, you hurt my ears!" they yell. "Morgan, don't screech!" I yell.
And then I continue the story...
I say "where was I?"
And one of the older ones will say "pink and purple striped zebras!" so I will continue...
"and there lovely lions with manes made out of cotton candy and..."
"Gamma! Gamma!" the screeching commences again, "I want to have rainbow powers! I want rainbow..."
And I say "Morgan, please quit screaming! I know you want to be named Snow White. I know you have rainbow powers!" "Now, please quit screeching!"
And she will be all crest-fallen and I will feel very mean.
But I can't help it really. When my ears start bleeding I just tend to snap a bit.
Today, though her seven year old sister said "wait, Grandma, I need to tell Morgan something before you start the story again."
And then she said in a very serious voice, "Morgan, if you keep screaming like that people will never tell you stories. Grandma will stop telling you stories. People you don't know will not tell you stories. Your teachers will not tell you a story. No-one in the world will ever tell you a story because YOU HURT OUR EARS WHEN YOU SCREAM!"
And then she said "Go ahead, Grandma, she's not gonna scream anymore."
Ahhh...the optimism of youth.
So I continue "and three little girls came into the forest..."
And I kind of cringe expecting the glass-shattering shrillness. But it is silent.
I look back and there she is with a tear running down her sweet little pink face.
I hop off the next exit and say "Mo Mo? Why are you crying?"
And she says "I sowwy Gamma. No-one will tell me a story. I sowwy."
I hug her and say "it's OK Mo Mo! You can say what you think, OK? You can say you want to be Snow White and you can remind me about your rainbow powers, OK?"
And she says in her sweet little non-excited voice "OK Gwamma!"
And we continue down the road into our magical forest of colorful animals filled with little high-pitched Snow Whites with rainbow powers.
After all, what's a bleeding ear or two when you're a Grandma?