Monday, July 1, 2013

Seven Seconds

My Gal Hal has a lot to say. To a certain extent, her chattiness can and should be attributed to her genetics: women speak an average of 10,000 words a day while men only speak an average of 3,000 words a day; add to that the fact that I'm a talker myself and it makes sense that Hallie's mouth runs a mile a minute.

People believe me when I tell them Hallie talks a lot, but most don't actually comprehend that, at least on some days, she literally never stops making noise. (As I type this post Hallie is alternating seamlessly between singing the theme song to Peter Rabbit and pleading with Will {to whom I can only assume she has assigned the role of Ariel} to give her {perhaps in the role of Ursula?} his/her voice.)
"My dear, sweet child...that's what I do. It's what I live for. To help
unfortunate merfolk - like yourself - poor souls with no one else to turn to."
"They come flocking to my caldron crying 'spells,
Ursula, please!' and I help them! Yes, I do."
"Ahh, ahh, ahhhhh. Ahh, ahh, ahhhh."
If you're not familiar with The Little Mermaid, you're probably confused by those quotes. If you are familiar with The Little Mermaid, you're probably singing along. Now good luck getting that song out of your head...

One Friday morning and because I was curious, I decided to keep track of how much Hallie talked during a three-hour period. After five minutes I redesigned my plan - assuming there'd be less silence than talking, silence would be easier to track - to instead keep track of how quiet Hallie was during a three-hour period.

Each time Hallie stopped talking for longer than the time required to take a breath (approximately three seconds), I started counting. My hypothesis was that throughout the three hours we'd have a couple of two- or three-minute chunks of silence, a few one-minute silences, and a few breaks of 10-20 seconds while she came up with her next topic of conversation. Some hypothesis.

Throughout the three hours, the longest Hallie stopped talking for was...




That's right, people. Over the course of three hours/180 minutes/10,800 seconds, the longest period of time for which Hallie was quiet was seven seconds.

She made noise nonstop. When she wasn't speaking actual words, she was making animal noises or sound effects to accompany whatever physical movement she was doing. She even spoke over me - she'd ask me a question, and then move on to her next question before I'd finished answering the first question.

Sometimes I think it's an absolute miracle that I haven't yet gone completely and totally insane.

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