And I'm not kidding about the chattering. When Maeve was young, say around two years old, she would natter on and on so much sometimes that I resorted to setting the kitchen timer for ten or fifteen minutes and then instruct her to not speak to Mummy until it beeped. I kid you not. She usually wandered off during the imposed quiet time and sometimes became so absorbed in something else that she wouldn't even hear the beeping.

The first time I did this I did feel kinda bad, but my god that little trick that I occasionally had to resort to saved my brain from bleeding out of my ears.

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