Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Blood, it is Curdled

Dear Delilah,

Up until very recently, your version of screaming was a sort of breathy, high pitched but not ear-piercing, and not terribly loud release of air. It was sort of cute. Almost endearing. Oh look, she's "screaming". How precious!

I only have myself to blame for the evolution of your scream. I am, after all, loud. I have been being "shushed" my whole life. I used to think being a grown up was going to be so cool, because no one tells grown ups to be quiet. Except they do, when the grown ups are loud grown ups, like me. Though these days, I often respond to shushing not by lowering my volume, but by loudly proclaiming "I am a grown woman and I will talk as loud as I want to, thank you very much." There are videos of my high school choir in which the whole entire choir is singing fortissimo, and yet you can pick my voice out above the rest, clear as day.

I'm loud. Daily. I don't consider myself a yeller, just someone who talks (and sings, and laughs, and farts) really, really loud. So when I say "Sadie, Hush!" and you mimic me with all of the volume you can muster, I think it's hilarious. I may have even said in the past "You're going to be a loudmouth like your Mama, aren't you?" as though that is the ultimate goal to which you should aspire.

So it's my fault, really, that you have not only discovered, but fully embraced the power of your lungs to produce volumes that go to 11. (Remind me to show you This is Spinal Tap. When you're 25.) Whether it's hereditary or learned, you are, indeed, a loudmouth like your Mama. So your breathy, cute little scream is no longer. It has been replaced by a blood-curdling scream that could wake the dead and perk the ears of dogs in the next town over.

I've tried very hard to just...not react. I don't want to shush you the way I've been shushed my whole life. The thing about loud voices is that they get heard, a very useful thing when you have important things to say. And I think you will. So perhaps instead we'll focus on the situations that warrant blood-curdling screams and the situations that do not. I promise you that wearing the green barrette instead of the purple one is not one of those situations.



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  1. :) I was also a blood-curdling screamer as a babe and as a child. I did grow out of it, much to everyone's happiness. I'd scream piercingly whether I was mad, happy, sad, you name it. I think the only thing that really helped as I got older was my mom had me drink a glass of water every time I screamed. She said that she was afraid for my vocal cords and figured the water would help mitigate the damage I did to them. I'm not sure if they did anything else to curb my screaming. I don't remember screaming, so I think I was in early grade school before I stopped maybe? Good luck. :) And, no, I have no damage to the vocal chords...thankfully.

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