Resolution 2011 - The Cone of Silence

by Stacey Graham

My resolution was simple. Get more writing done while still being Mother Extraordinaire to Daughter #5. She's the last one home and when she boards that giant Twinkie of a school bus next August I'll have books to write and blogs to pen. But until then, I need a little help, thus The Cone of Silence. I've upgraded since the last pair but the concept is the same: a visual signal to my offspring that when the Cone of Silence headphones are on my head -- no pleas for juice, telling me that the dog has once again rolled in raccoon poo, or that while picking their nose they've poked their brain. It can wait until I finished a chapter. Unless it's the raccoon poo.

Vyolette Stella has different ideas about my resolution. When she sees the Cone of Silence headphones on and me seated at my desk, it's her signal that I'm suddenly working a drive-thru and desperately needs her order.

:: Grabbing mic ::

"Hello! I would like to order a pizza. A pizza with pineapples, and two cakes, a seahorse, and Justin Beiber. And a Diet Coke."

"Beiber? Vyo, I need to work on this. Can we play later?"


"What was that?"

"I can't hear you. You need to talk into the speaker thing."

"A mic." I adjust the mic to be near my mouth and not inside hers. "Vy, how about you work on a puzzle until I'm done with this one page?"

"HONEY! I need that pizza quick! I'm dyiiiiiiiiiiing here." She clutches her stomach and rolls on the floor, only to be licked by the dog. "Send help. Fading fast."

"Vyolette..." Grabbing the headphones off my head, she wandered the room.

"Hello. We need a chicken order... Hey Mom, this isn't plugged in.... And some salmon and a Christmas tree so we can blast off. We need a CHICKEN!"

So the writing part of the resolution is taking a little more effort on my part but the headphones work – at least until she finds that Christmas tree.

Stacey enjoys long walks, sleeping, and zombie poetry. She is the author of The Zombie Dating Guide, and the new website: Coffeehouse of the Damned. Stacey isn't above begging for votes for her Austen-inspired short story, Willoughby's Boogie Nights at BadAusten.com.


  1. I feel your pain but from a different degree.

  2. Vyolette is one of my favourite people in the world. :D

    The world!



  3. Sorry, Stace, This is hilarious (and nonfiction I'm sure), but I'm a member of Vyolette fan club as well. I know! Why don't you home school her! :)

  4. You've heard enough of her comments via facebook to know all I do is copy it down. The quotes above were directly from the other night as I wrote the column.

    Note: Apparently it's a *candy* Christmas tree that will blast off. The people responsible for this mistake in transcription have been sacked.

  5. Ha, ha! What a kid. Can I borrow her?

  6. I absolutely LOVE the name Vyolette. BUt I am mystified by how you say it. Is it violet? Or VY O LETTE? Or VEE O LETTE(like the French)? I've been a teacher for 15 years and had my share of different names, but never a Violet. Actually, I've never had a color. Not even a Rose. Or Indigo. I have a cousin named Indigo. Oh and I did know a woman once named Chartreuse.

    Miss Vyolette sounds very entertaining. Bet she'll tear it up when she gets to school!

  7. Excellent question! It's pronounced Vee-oh-lette or Vee-oh. My husband insisted on having all of our girls' names include a "y" so I had to get creative: Rowyn, Syenna (there's a color for you), Wynter, Lily and Vyo. I blame the complicated spelling on the nurses insisting I fill out paperwork while still loopy from drugs. She's lucky I didn't name her Vyolette Get-your-flu-shot Graham.

    I love the name Indigo - I'll have to work that into a book somewhere. ;)

  8. I understand your dilemma. My distraction is my hubby. I could deal better with a child than I can a full grown man.

  9. Or a 23 year old. The rule around here is, "If Mom's door is closed, do not knock. Do not peck. Do not open the door and peek to see if she's breathing."

    Somehow, that gets translated to, "If Mom's door is closed, knock, but do it softly. Maybe even peck. Opening the door and whispering to her to see if there is anything to eat in the fridge downstairs is the best method of not starving to death."

    When does the twinkie bus pick up 23 year olds?

  10. Because I can't spell, I'll try again:

    P.S. Vyo is a most excellent child.

  11. I would wig out at racooon poops, too. And the cone of silence would not have worked with my kids, either. That would be their cue to fight louder than they had been when I was cone-less.

    I think we should form a Vyolette Fan Club. And sell indigo headsets to raise money for you to hire a babysitter that cooks chicken and takes Vyo out for candy trees. How bout it?

  12. For some reason I never pictured the Cone of Silence with a microphone. Awesome.

    Now where's that chicken?

  13. I wish I had a creative spirit like Vyo around all the time--she's hilarious!Instead, I have a TV speaker two feet from my head and a husband with a remote. And now the cats have learned about the remote as well. Where can I get those Cone of Silence headphones? And when is Vyo starting her own blog? ;)


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