I used to call Linnea's random vocal exercises "opinions." The kid has opinions on everything. She wakes up with opinions. Very opinionated in the crib every morning, very opinionated. It's cute. But it has evolved. She's become a noisy little monster. Interesting, this has coincided with us introducing solids… hmm… is there something in orange root vegetables that sends kids completely over the edge? I'm really beginning to wonder.
All day long, my child has been screaming. At the top of her lungs. And it makes. my. ears. BLEED. I don't even know when this happened, or FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY, but it is as if the floodgates of Linnea's otherwise innocent vocal cords have been opened and the combined volume of all the choirs in heaven have been concentrated into one shrill sound that now only stops when she is either eating or sleeping or laughing at our dogs. I didn't really notice how bad it was until yesterday when my parents and Amma were over here and my mom was trying to feed Linnea some sweet potato and broccoli and she just started SCREAMING. And my poor mom was plugging her ears and saying "OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP" and I suddenly realized that my eardrums were vibrating and I had no clue what on God's green earth her problem was, but this nonsense needed to stop immediately. As I looked around at the faces of my parents and my dear, sweet grandma, and saw their helpless and expectant and wholly unamused expressions, I knew that when she started doing something that annoyed these three people, that it had to be pretty freaking bad.
My mom: "OH MY GOD why is she doing this? Make it stop! My ears can't handle this!"
Me: "How should I know? I'm only her mom…………… Um…………… No, Linnea, NOOOOOOOOO screaming. No screaming!"
Linnea: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…….. Heh heh heh. Heh."
So she thinks me disciplining her is FUNNY. Great. Not that I thought reasoning with a 7-month-old made any sense to begin with, but it's not like anyone had any better ideas to alleviate the shrieking. Ear plugs, perhaps?
I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure she's not completely doing it out of mockery. Like, "Oh, Mother, you think I have no idea this doesn't annoy the crap out of you, but not only am I fully aware, this is only the beginning of my grand master plan to break you down with annoying behavior followed up with acts so adorable you will never be mad at me." Everything I said would never happen with my child is already happening. It will be a battle of wills to the bitter end, of that I can assure you. I always used to say that I would never be that parent in the restaurant with the screaming child, but now I am the parent in the restaurant with the screaming child, and I see now what a drag it can be because all I want to do sometimes is relax at Starbucks with a latte, reading my new Real Simple magazine, and not be spit up on randomly while holding my daughter who would otherwise be screaming but instead is enamored with ripping up the pages of said magazine or pulling out my hair by the fistful or knocking over any interesting object within her reach, because if it's full of liquid or has buttons on it SHE WANTS IT IN HER MOUTH RIGHT NOW OR ELSE.
Just another initiation into motherhood, I suppose. If I ever come up with a solution to her new need for screaming, I will let you know. If you have a solution, PLEASE SAVE ME. I miss the days when people used to say, "She has such a sweet, quiet cry!" Now all I get are eye darts thrown in my direction because I am That Mom with the Obnoxious Screamer Who Needs to Get Out Before the Angry Mob Attacks.
Sigh. I know. I'm leaving. Enjoy your quiet time, you dart-throwing, coffee-sucking DILL HOLES.
On that note, here's a photo of my dad and his sweet li'l screaming baby girl:
As if the screaming matters. You could just never be mad at that face.