I have wished a bird would fly away,
And not sing by my house all day;
Have clapped my hands at him from the door
When it seemed as if I could bear no more.
The fault must partly have been in me.
The bird was not to blame for his key.
And of course there must be something wrong
In wanting to silence any song.
— by Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Robert Frost sure touched a nerve here. Except my “birds” are my kids at the dinner table. At the time I wouldn’t have called what was coming out of their mouths “singing,” but neither was it anything offensive. I’ll try to bite my tongue (or stuff my dinner in my mouth) next time I have the urge to silence them.