Here is one way to annoy your step son:

When he comes home from college during the middle of the day to do homework, and he sits with his back to you on the couch in your kitchen/family room, and he tries really hard to concentrate on the text book he is reading, make sure to start doing the prep work for Swedish Meatballs for the evening meal which will include crushing dry cornflakes on the counter.  Since you discover that you are out of baggies to put the cornflakes in, just place them on a piece of plastic wrap and fold it over.  Use a plastic measuring cup with the mouth of the cup facing up to do the crushing, it will amplify the sound of the cornflakes being crushed.

Then stand with a grin on your face as you crush the cornflakes over and over.  Watch your step son’s head rise slightly as he stops reading to listen to the crunching sound behind him.  Crunch the cornflakes some more.  Grin.  Crunch.  Your step son will try to be polite for awhile and ignore the sound.  Crunch.  Grin.  Crunch.  Finally he won’t be able to stand it any longer and he will swing around with an annoyed look on his face which will change to a smirk after he sees what you are doing.

You will hear, “Man, I thought you were eating potato chips.  I couldn’t believe how loud you were eating them!  What an obnoxious sound.”

After a good laugh you can finish making the Swedish Meatballs and your step son can continue with his homework.

That is what happened at our house this week and it is what prompted our latest family poll.  I could see that someone crunching “potato chips” loudly was an annoying sound to Squid and I know that I also hate to hear someone eating their food loudly.  People chewing with their mouth open, making smacking noises, is enough to send me over the edge.  It is a sound I do not like to hear.  I asked the kids and Hub what they consider the most obnoxious sound to be.  Here are their answers:

*Hub hates it when people rub their hands on latex balloons.  It gives him the shivers.

*Though Squid hated the sound of what he thought was someone loudly eating potato chips his real answer to the question is that he hates the loud barking of our dog, Max.  Max’s bark doesn’t match his size.  It is louder and deeper than one would think and when he lets it out suddenly in the house it drives Squid crazy.

*Huh says she hates the sound of her alarm clock going off in the morning because it means she has to get up.  When Huh gave her answer there was agreement from the rest of the kids that that is indeed a sound none of them enjoy hearing.  Mack said, “Even if my alarm was the sound of crickets I would hate it because it is waking me up.”

*Juju looked around and then said, “My sound that I most hate to hear is my step sister, Huh.”  From upstairs we heard Huh loudly say, “Don’t make me put a hurt on you!”

*Mack says the sound that most grates on her is Squid screeching Hub’s first name in a high pitched voice whenever he is trying to find him.

*Shroom doesn’t like the sound of the squeaking belt on Squid’s car.

*Hoob’s obnoxious sound is the universally hated fingernails on the chalk board.

*Yawlin says he doesn’t like to hear babies crying because it makes him want to cry.

Right now I am hearing the sound of Huh vacuuming her room.  Now that is a sound I like to hear!  🙂

The ball fields for this week’s softball tournament are near a military base.  Two fighter jets flew by and we all looked up.  One of the Dad’s smiled and said, “I like to hear that.  That’s the sound of freedom.”

Since I don’t have much time before I have to be back on the road to catch the final softball game of the evening, I decided to simply post a question.

What is the sound of freedom for you?