Our 3 children have been logging in each day to participate in their virtual instruction and complete their daily assignments online. I, too, have been logging in each day to provide virtual school-based occupational therapy for several students whom I’d typically see in person.
When I have a scheduled appointment, I excuse myself to our former nursery, former playroom, current office, and shut the door so I can adhere to confidentiality expectations and still deliver tele-therapy.
I’ll tell our children, “I’m going upstairs for an appointment, only disturb me if the house is on fire or someone needs to go to the hospital.” Our youngest 2 Savages usually see this as an opportunity to ditch their own schoolwork for 30 minutes and retire to the basement for TV and video games, or so I thought.
Last week as we were playing Jenga as a family, I was possibly instructing and congratulating each of the children a little too often and exuberantly. After about the 3rd full round, my son looked at me and demanded, “Mom, stop using your occupational therapist voice.”
Then, our 3 Savages busted out laughing and egging each other on. Our oldest daughter chimed in, “Please tell me you love my shirt and have missed seeing me.”
Our son added, “Only if you tell me I’m doing a really great job and you like how hard I’m trying.” Our youngest daughter chortled in agreement.
I protested that I had no idea what they meant. Our oldest daughter then took it upon herself to explain that I apparently have a variety of voices.
I have my regular everyday voice that I use at home and around my friends. That’s not to be confused, however, with my work voices, for which she indicated I have 2.
I have a super encouraging and overly cheery occupational therapist voice when I’m working with kids and also, my buttoned up professional voice when I’m in a meeting or on a call with other adults.
“And, we can’t forget the heavy West Virginia accent you develop every time you talk to Grandma on the phone,” she added.
I pointed out I’m probably not the only Savage using different voices for different things.
I suggested I’d start making note of their different voices so I could point them out while they’re with their friends. Our youngest daughter thought she’d save me some work, I guess, and remarked in her best Harry Potter impersonation, “What? I know I am a British hothead.”
My point exactly; impeccable British accent aside, she uses her voice one way when she’s happy and another when she’s mad.
As my husband will attest, the tone of voice the females in his life use to say words like, “Fine” or “Nothing,” makes a lot of difference.
In fact, I suspect most people have different voices for different things.
As a child, I was taught it’s not always what you say, as much as it is how you say it. People might forget your exact words, but they’ll remember how those words made them feel.
I, for one, can benefit from remembering that regardless of which voice I’m using, the tone of that voice carries a longer lasting impact than the words that float out with it.