Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sounds of Parenthood

Think of the highest pitched noise you've ever heard.

Got it.

Play that sound back in your head over and over again.

Imagine that noise coming from your 6 month old. Surprised? Probably not because babies make goofy noises. That's a no-brainer.

Now imagine your 6 month making that very same high pitched noise and you standing 100 feet away wearing ear protection and still being blown away as if an air horn went off.

Yep. That's my daughter Elaina and her newly found talent for screaming for no apparent reason. Her upper octave range makes an opera singer sound like James Earl Jones.

Babies scream. I get it. It happens. Babies scream when they are hungry, have gas, when they're cold or in pain. No biggie. Its to be expected. My daughter? No, no. She screams just because...well, its fun. How do I know? She cracks up after each one.

Her shrieks aren't your typical "goo-goo-ga-ga" stuff. Her ear piercing shrills are legendary. The other day, my wife and I did an experiment. She held Elaina inside in her room as if she was putting her to bed with the windows closed and I went outside and stood in the middle of the backyard to see if I could hear her screams. As if she know what we were doing, she let out one of her best screams right on cue. Sure enough, she was as audible as if I was right there next to her. Remember, I was 110 feet away with 6 inches of insulation, drywall and an exterior wall separating us.

Afterward, her and I had a little talk and I asked her to tone down her newly found "voice".
Her response to my inquiry,


Once she ran out of air for the scream, she looked at me, grabbed my noise and just laughed.
She is now grounded for a week which I will informer her of when she is eight.

I love my kids. There are the best thing ever to happen to me. Their idiosyncrasies are what make them cute and lovable. But I can do without Elaina's screams and my son's subsequent retaliatory shrills he "performs" as a way of keeping up with his sister. Until that day comes, my wife and I just laugh, grab our EPA certified ear protection and enjoy the sounds of parenthood.