Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We call him the shriek

Dan is a Cheerios and goldfish cracker junkie. He likes to see how many fit in his mouth. So a few nights ago, I had to hide the goldfish crackers behind Jim's arm and ration them out. Dan craned his neck every which way to see and get at the hidden goldfish. He tried to pull Jim's arm away.

Clearly, he gets object permanence. We have entered age of the separation anxiety. And it's not just separation from Mommy that creates a panic. What's never mentioned in the books is that separation anxiety extends to anything the baby believes should remain in his realm.

Dan objects if Daddy, the dog or the cat walks away, if his toy rolls away, if he drops his sippy cup, if I take his sippy cup, if I take off his diaper, if I take off his clothes, if I take a leaf, rock, piece of bark, stick or clod of dirt from his mouth, if I take any of these objects before he gets them in his mouth.

So what happens next? Dan shrieks. In fact, we're just going to call him The Shriek.

Oh yes, we call him the shriek
Loudest thing on two feet
He's just as proud as he can be
Of his vocality

Dan shrieks when he's happy, too, and when he's just chattering or trying get our attention. He usually pairs shrieks with banging or shaking some other loud object. He's so loud that it hurts my ears and head, not to mention the toll its taking on my sanity. I may have to wear earplugs around the house. I think it's time to get the decibel meter out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but another Daoust child was recorded at 110 decibels.

*adapted from Ray Stevens, "The Streak"

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