If you happen to call out to me on the street and I don’t answer please know it’s not my intention to ignore you. It is much more likely that I can’t hear you above the ringing in my ears from the screaming I’ve endured these last few months emanating from the 20 pounds of boy matter I’m still slinging around on my hip.
The Champ has found his outdoor voice.
And he’s using it every chance he gets.
Now, if you were to consult such highly genteel Web sites as babycenter.com (as I have done), you’d find that this behavior is totally normal for half-pints his age.
The electronic font of parental knowledge, which recommends I try to ignore the blood curdling wails, would also have me know that the shrieks emanating from my son are not meant to annoy but to express joie de vivre.
I for one could use a little less life in my joy, thank-you-very-much.
I’m fairly certain it doesn’t take a French scholar to realize that the high-octave shrieking that starts immediately after a parental-type figure removes the sharp, pencil-like object from aforementioned two-foot tall whirling dervish underfoot, is being reminded that such thefts are not appreciated.
And it probably doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that whenever your family ventures off to explore any cavernous space, such as a museum or library, the shrieking will reach decibels never before recorded by man. You know … just because they can.
It also doesn’t help when people who see this boy’s face as his lets rip some of the loudest exercises in voice projection our planet has ever witnessed, can’t keep a straight face themselves. Some of them even reply in kind, thus creating and reinforcing the game of Who Can Screech the Loudest.
I can’t take the noise.
Of course one can’t get angry at a little person who’s understanding of etiquette can be measured, conversely, by the length of time it takes a rational adult-type person to clean the remaining chunks of food from the “feeding area” once the dog has had first dibs on the carnage.
But what can we do to stop the madness?
Well, so far I’ve employed every tried and true method the Web site recommended:
I’ve attempted to keep to his schedule; running errands when he’s happy and well rested;
I’m trying to only go to noisy places where we can blend in;
I’m introducing the concept of an INDOOR VOICE … even though I’ve had to remind everyone in the family (and even myself) to use it from time to time;
We’re all trying to model a quieter tone in general conversation;
Most of all, we’re trying to keep him occupied.
With a devilish smile, he good-naturedly ignores any and all pleas for quiet. At every step, in fact, he’s laughing at my efforts and going about his merry way, screaming at the top of his lungs.
Perhaps it’s a good thing he’s making me a little deaf. … I’m fairly certain it’s the only way I’ll be able to do what the Babycenter.com people recommend as a last ditch effort: “Ignore the onlookers.”
Hmmm. Maybe I am trying to ignore you.