June 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm , by Nick Shell
Want to hear the most annoying sound in the world? No, it’s not that weird mutant sheep sound that Jim Carey makes in the classic comedy, Dumb and Dumber. Instead, the noise that rattles my cage and ruffles my feathers every time is the cry of my son.
Yes, he is an easy going little guy. But he is human. So when he cries for lack of sleep or food, everyone in the room becomes aware of it.
It’s a high frequency, shrill, scratchy, siren that makes me turn my head a little sideways whenever I hear it. There is no way to ignore him when he cries.
His cry is motivating; that’s for sure. It instantly motivates me to rush to fix whatever the problem is; mainly so the noise will stop wrecking my inner ears. But also because he’s a little baby who can’t communicate the way we adults can. All he can do is cry, at this point in his development.
So I have to respect that process, despite the fact that his crying is downright offensive to listen to. He doesn’t ask nicely. He doesn’t give me a minute to finish up whatever I’m in the middle of. Hearing that cry is the worst sound to be interrupted by.
But God knew what He was doing when He designed babies to cry like they do. Imagine a world where you could actually ignore a baby when they need something. I can’t. A baby’s cry is part of the necessary breaking-down phase of parenthood.
My son’s cry is the height of what I call “the baby buzzer.” If his cry is a “10″ (on a scale of 1 to 10), then down at “1″ is his gentle correcting sound he makes when I am rocking him to sleep, but not holding his head at the right angle.
I hear, “mrrrraghttk…” It’s like his way of saying, “Nice try, but no cigar.” That sound makes me think of a cross between Frankenstein and the sound effect when you touch the tweezers to the metal in the board game Operation.
It can be challenging for me to deal with a baby who can’t communicate the same way as I do. Because I am a guy who is obsessed with open, clear, positive communication. But with a baby, a lot gets lost in translation. Somewhere between my “Why are you crying?!” and his “I’m laying down on my pacifier and it’s hurting my back!”
I’ll be glad when he and I speak the same language.
Yes. I know, that’s a whole other ball game: A kid that can say “no.”