03 May 2011

The Verbose Mr. Five

I snuggled with Four and Five at bedtime. Two years ago, it was nearly impossible to get Four to go to sleep. He would toss, talk, burrow, and generally flail until sheer exhaustion finished him off. We were ready to lose our minds. Medication has helped, and now he falls asleep with relative ease.

There is nothing clinically wrong with Five. At least nothing that's been diagnosed. He does, however, suffer from what my grandparents would call "diarrhea of the mouth." He talks all day long. He tells rambling stories, and re-enacts funny television moments. He rants. He giggles. He talks until the moment he falls asleep. Here is a sample of tonight's bedtime conversation.

"Mom, you wouldn't want to be alive in ancient times, because of the giant ants. There were worker ants, and fighter ants, and the queen. The worker ants were this big...(he holds his fingers six inches apart), and the fighter ants were this big...(ten inches), and you don't even want to know how big the queen was!"

"Did you learn that in science class?"

"No, I learned it from One. He's a science whiz. You know what's nocturnal, and small, and back out at night now? I'll give you a hint. They buzz. Mosquitoes. Did you know that the male mosquitoes just bite, but the female ones suck the blood? I thought they all sucked the blood. Huh. The females lay the eggs, though, and then they spend some time swimming. We saw some at the grist mill. There was a huge trough, and we knocked it over, and the water poured out like a tsunami, and all the water bugs got washed away. Except for a big blue one."

"Go to sleep, Five."

"The girls didn't do it, though. Kelsey talks to Damon a lot. So, you know what I do? I tell Damon he should run. Because she's trying to get him. And when she gets older, she might catch him! You know what's funny? Yesterday, on 'Sponge-Bob', Patrick got a suntan, and Sponge-Bob asked him how he felt, and he said, 'I feel like a soda commercial.' And then, they showed this old guy with a soda can, and he said, 'Drink it!' (holds can up to mouth, puts can down, brings it back up), 'Drink it!' (repeats gesture), 'Drink it!' (repeats gesture). It's so funny when they put real people into the, you know, the animated show!"

"Go to sleep, Five."

"Why do you suppose bats are nocturnal?"

"Because that's when they hunt."

"Well, that doesn't make sense, because then all the carnivores would be nocturnal. And you don't see the foxes out at night. You know where they live? In the woods, near that little lake. That's where they have their den. And that lake is covered with a billion mosquitoes."

"Go. To. Sleep. Five."

"I would, but I hate my bed. It's so uncomfortable. And my pillow is always hot. I need that pillow that I saw on the commercial. It's always cold! You don't have to turn it over. Because even when I turn mine over, then that side gets hot. I need the pillow from the commercial."

"Five! Go to sleep!"

"Oh, okay."

I think I need medication.


  1. Anonymous3.5.11

    Oh. My. God. Your Five and my son are twins. We each gave birth to one of them, but they are twins. My son talks exactly like this - all day, all night, and never, EVER goes to sleep easily. No diagnosis, but it drives me crazy. He didn't sleep much as a baby, and it can take hours for him to fall asleep now. He is allowed NO caffeine, but usually can't sleep. He also hates his bed - and I have bought several for him over the years. Oh, please tell me the name of the medication that helps Five... :)

  2. My parents swore that I learned to talk before I was two ... and that I never shut up thereafter. They used to pay me to shut up for 20 minutes, which was about my limit before I began making these muffled noises and trying sigh language. I went to sleep quite easily, once I got into bed. But I talked to my parents all the way to bed and then I talked to myself in my room.

    All my report cards gave me A's. And every one of them said that I shouldn't talk so much in class. Luckily for me, my teachers liked me.

    We didn't have medications for that sort of thing back then. They just had a Dad who could scare me silly, and a dollar for 20 minutes of silence. They were lucky that my little brother was shy.

  3. Anonymous3.5.11

    Skye, yes, our Megan is gorgeous, and that is probably ONE reason why my husband follows her now, but the really BIG reason is because he misses conversations like THIS!
    Megan, he found you on FB? That man tells me nothing. Beautiful post. Thank you, from both of us, here in our empty nest. (I would have said "QUIET empty nest" but I'm like Five, so there is NO quiet when I'm around.)

  4. Anonymous3.5.11

    That's me when I drink coffee...I don't drink coffee very often.
    Dave's mum suffers from diarrhea of the mouth and she loves when I come to visit because I'm the only person around who can handle listening to her for more than ten minutes. When we leave Dave offers to check my ears for signs of bleeding.

  5. Omg Megan, you relayed that so well. I can hear his little voice so clearly. His conversations are like Ricochet Rabbit- ping-ping-ping! But my kids love Five and his running commentary. One day with him provides memorable conversations that they giggle about for days. ;)

  6. Carrie and I have a niece that would be perfect for Five. Though he'd probably run so she won't catch him. ;) The two of them would create a very awesome volley of only-sometimes-related factoids and memory recall.

    Sweet Girl verbally stims, but it would never be mistaken as conversation - just great volumes of melody and noise. It was her non-sleeping phase that convinced me to try gfcf.

    I know it can be EXASPERATING,but remember, it could be the Wonder Pets. :)

  7. LOL Too funny. My #2 son is like that, can't get a word in edgewise. My father used to blame it on the blarney. :)

  8. Is there any chance he's a second grader? Cause the symptoms indicate that pathology. They do NOT have to pause for breath. Yogis could learn from their mystic and subtle breathing techniques.

  9. @Lora: If you were to ask him, he would say he is supposed to be a second grader, but we held him back. We did, indeed, have him repeat kindergarten, but we never used that phrase. In comparison to some of the others, he seemed brilliant at age five, so we sent him. But he wasn't ready, so we let him have another year. I'm sure he marks it as one of my first failures.

    @Sarah: Four is more similar to Sweet Girl. If left to his own devices, he spends the day repeating tv dialogue, or acting it out. I usually let him have a few "Bakugan, brawl!" moments before I interrupt, ask him "Where's that from?" which snaps him out of it, and then I remind him to stay here with us. He's getting better at it. My oldest still physically stims by hitting his sensory deprived right hand, but the talking out loud finally subsided.

    @Julie: I think Dan found me because my tweets originate on facebook. I tweeted about how I forced Delia to go to the gas station with me because I don't know how to pump gas. He wrote back about how he met you under similar circumstances!

    @Skye: I would gladly fork over for silence! Three often receives the "talks too much in class" comment on his report card. It's been interesting this year to see which teachers forgive him for it, and which ones do not. It would be okay if he got straight A's...sigh.

    @Bonafide: Unfortunately, there is nothing I can give Five, except duct tape. We finally had success with Four because we found a good medication combination for his ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. But there might be something to Sarah's gluten-free approach. Sleep is so important, especially to younger brains!

  10. Megan - I have new empathy for you in this regard. The other day, Five came out to tell me he could not sleep. In fairness, Four was on a roll and giving an award winning performance of song, verse and monologues. I suggested that Five sit down with me, put his head down and listen to some music on my iPad. He considered it for a moment, agreed and asked me if I had any Beethoven. I said, "of course." He asked me if I had the 5th Symphony. I just blinked because, against all odds, I do not. What in the world made him think of that? He was forced to settle for the Moonlight Sonata, which worked fine. He was asleep in less than 15 minutes, but I felt that my iTunes had failed Five. I need to go buy some symphonies.

  11. Phew. I was so sure Sarah was going to talk about how I am when I get out of the car after long periods of sustained isolation. Instead it was our niece, who, yes, could give Five a run for his money. ;)

  12. @June: I have no idea why he decided to ask for Beethoven! The only music he hears, normally, is in the car, and it's not classical! Maybe it's a physiological response, like when you're body is craving vegetables after you've eaten a bunch of sugar. Five's brain must be craving culture. Thank goodness he has you.

  13. When he's old enough, get him some private friends&family-only blogs. ...Well that's been my outlet for my need-for-talk, I have three. Maybe it'll help him. ;-)


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