Monday, January 4, 2010

Our youngest granddaughter had her tonsils out...

...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.

But still.

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.

It's wonderful.

Or it was.

Until lately.

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."

Oh geez.


Oh man.

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?



Jen said...

Oh, Jenny, this is TOOOOO funny. I love this story. My youngest has a voice, her own never had her tonsils out (thinking that might be a good thing if it would change her voice j/k) sounds like she is whiny, but she is not because it gets worse when she really is I feel your pain and bleeding eardrums. Good thing we love them, voices and all.

Brenda said...

Oh man do I laugh or cry? Love it. I need to tell stories. My grandsons can fight for 20 minutes straight when I pick them up to come to my house. But when grandpa is in the car they are as good as gold...What is that about?

Abatevintage said...


How funny, I had my tonsils out only 6 years ago, and my voice got higher as well. I am 31 years old and now sound like a little girl, when someone calls on the phone they ask for my parents lol, and I can take my kid's calls and their friends think they are talking to my children, I think tonsils being taken out do something. It's crazy.

Have a great week.


(¸.•´ (¸.+´♥♥¸.+´
(¸.•´ (¸.+´♥ Heidi ♥)

Anonymous said...

My niece (who is now 31) had a very high pitched voice when she was little. I have to admit I was so thrilled when it finally toned down some!
I guess I am lucky; my hubby had his tonsils out when he was 40 and fortunately his voice stayed the same!

Jeanette said...

That is too cute! Your writing always makes me giggle.

Suz said...


Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Jenny...
Been there, done that. I so feel your pain. I have two words for you, ear plugs. They work great. Just tones it down a little, doesn't muffle it totally. Best thing since sliced bread. On some days I just ear plug one ear, and then they don't both have to take all of the octaves.

I love your story sweetie. Don't they just melt your heart? And when those darn tears start, oh just forget it, you might as well hang it up. We just can't take it as a grandma.

Happy Tuesday tomorrow. Have a beautiful day sweetie.

Country hugs...Sherry

Kat said...

You have the best way with a story! This is so cute, I was laughing until poor MoMo started crying. Bless her little heart. But I do feel your pain, my husband used to say that our daughter had been vaccinated with a phonograph needle! Hope you have a great week. Kathy

Kristi Faith said...

Oh, those tears do it every time!! Poor little thing. :0) However, I totally understand your pain. My sixteen month old BOY is learning to screech. Or just simply scream as high and loud as he can. ayeyaye!

Jana said...

I wish you were my gramma, I didnt get to hear the end of the story either.

Little girls make me so dang happy.

J said...

Ha, wow. That's sweet, but I would probably forever be scared of the child if it were me. :\

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh so are an awesome Grandma...I aspire to be as well. With bleeding ears. And bloody tongues too. (from biting)

Word Designer said...

Hahahahaha. I am still chuckling over all of it. I've been reading for awhile, now and I must say, it has been the most fun.

I do have to mention one thing. I read your post about how someone with ADHD undecorates and you have it down to a science. Either that or, you've been peeking when I've been undecorating... or, cleaning. I have Dyslexia and ADHD and my ability to focus is sometimes really stymied by these two things messing with my brain. I have tried to describe it, but you have done it sooooo much better. Thanks.

Word Designer

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh how sweet, Gamma... I am Grammy to my five grands. Mine are growing up much too fast. The oldest is 16 and the youngest is 11. Mercy Me!!!!!

Enjoy them --squeels and all. They do grow up much too fast.

Anonymous said...

ah bless her heart, hope she gets to feeling better :)

The Red Brick Farmhouse said...

Oh, my....I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both!

You are a wonderful story teller, Gamma. Your precious little ones are blessed to have you!

Thank you for stopping by for a visit. It is so nice to meet you!


Tara said...

Poor kid! But I understand about the noise level. I have a toddler nephew that can drive one crazy. It's horrible when you want to tell a toddler to just shut up! But man that peace and quite is hard to come by sometimes!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

That is just too funny! I am smiling from ear to are a good story teller, I can see it in my minds eye. Loved it, poor little one, but Gamma makes it all better!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Aggghhh I can almost hear that high pitch voice now! Young children just don't understand moderation when they speak. I always hear teachers telling students to use their "quiet voice" so maybe you can practice that with Morgan ans use that term when she screaches so she'll understand what you mean?

Or there is always cotten or foam ear

Vicki/Jake said...

What a fun Gamma you are for sure. Seems we can all relate...
Love the story, laughter, tears and all. Have a good night Jenny.

Holly Lefevre said...

Too bad you don't have hearing dad (who is not old at related injury) always takes them out when he comes to our house because of the kiddos...and me!

Cyndy Bush said...

This is just sad! Because I would want to wear earplugs too but then when she got her feelings hurt I would feel like a horrible monster. Sigh...whadya do?

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

If this was 47 years ago, I would have been playing the part of the sage, older one..... If this was 44 years ago, I would have quietly threatened Morgan with bodily harm when grownups were not within earshot.

You always make me laugh, JM! What's life without screeching, shrill young girls? You and I both had our go at it!

Wanda..... said...

Isn't it heart easily a little one can have their feelings hurt...especially...if Gramma is the Offender, accidently and innocently of course! I have been there!

Decor To Adore said...

I have never heard of this occuring. I have had my own tonsils removed and my eldest has as well.

Well, the bright side is her voice will get lower as she ages. :)

~Kristen~ said...

Oh Jenny your posts are so heartwraming and lovingly humorous!!! I can just picture all of this from your writing. You are the best Grandma!!!

Tricia said...

Oh my gosh, I was laughing at the beginning and then I was crying at the end. How do kids do that to us?! I wanted to stop by and say hello, and to thank you for joining us at Life at the Zoo. I am off to explore your blog(s). I think I saw 4 of them listed. My goodness! You are a busy girl. ;)


Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

I understand and it's not funny. One of our Grands has a highhh voice and it drives me up a wall. :-(

Unknown said...

God bless her, and your ears. : )


Terri Steffes said...

I think blood in the ears tends to make us all a little crazy. I have a whole kindergarten class who must have had their tonsils removed lately. They are so shrill when they see me. I had to tell the class I wouldn't come and see them any more if they could not speak to me in a regular voice. Now they talk like Smokey the Bear. It makes me laugh and then so do they.
Have a good day!
My email account is all messed up so I am not getting any emails at home. If you need me my work email is

Melissa Miller said...

~Ah! She is such a sweetie! She loves her Grrandma. :)

laterg8r said...

they sure know how to break your heart don't they :D

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I was telling my husband about this at lunch today -- told him to check to see if his little dog with the piercing bark still has his tonsils. Hey, I wonder if dogs even have tonsils. LOL. My daughter says that they just put silly putty in the speakers of their twins Christmas toys to muffle the sound. Maybe you should give that a try....oh! your ears, not down your granddaughters throat!

Anonymous said...

just like with your underwear story, i have a lump in my throat. and it is not tonsillitis.

you have got to be the greatest grandma of all time. i just wanted you to know that. thank you for sharing your stories with us. i hope to be a grandma like you when i grow up.