September 7, 2006

The sound of a baby crying is, I suppose, biologically designed to bore holes into your brain tissue. That’s evolution, right? Developing the sort of noise that makes nearby adult humans (and certain dogs) drop everything they’re doing in order to make it stop, make it stop, feed it or pat it or do something, jesus, just make it stop.

When Riley starts crying I want to remedy the situation for some legitimate loving-parent reasons: he’s probably tired or hungry and I want to make him feel better. But secretly, the most important reason of all is because it’s an awful goddamn sound and it will give you a migraine in five seconds flat.

During the process of cobbling together little clips for his birthday video, I kept watching the footage of him as a much smaller baby, propped in his bouncy chair and bleating out a tiny cry. “Mmmmeeehhhhhh,” he says on the video, for all the world like a newborn goat. That was as loud as he got back then! Man, talk about the good old days.

Now, he can pretty much flatten redwoods and boil the oceans with his mighty screams. Sometimes he breaks out the big guns for no good reason, like when I’m wrestling him into an outfit, and I try saying “Riley” in a gentle, chiding tone. As in “Riley, for the love of christ shut your flipping yap before Mommy stuffs a throw pillow in there,” but, like, abbreviated. I’m comforting and all, but still sort of letting him know that it’s not necessary to unleash the Audio Hounds of Hell just because of some feetie pajamas, you know?

This works spectacularly, assuming my intent is to crank him up past eleven into Mad Hornet Mode. The gentle, chiding tone pisses him right the hell off. I find myself wondering how much of his future little-kid personality we are seeing right now, and how much is standard baby operating procedure. Because he just might turn into the sort of little boy who sets things on fire with his mind. I’m just saying.

People say that angry babies are funny, but I bet they haven’t had to share a 6-hour car ride with one. Yeah, it’s all fun and games until your eardrums rupture.

There is one thing he does when he’s upset that is pretty hilarious, though. Sometimes, usually when one of us walks away from him while he’s crawling around, he will collapse his front half onto the floor while his little rear stays poking up in the air. His head buried between his arms, he wails inconsolably. It is pitiful, and deeply entertaining. Of course, once I pick him up he immediately drops the boneless-chicken slump and starts kicking ferociously, aiming for my C-section scar, which is less amusing and more, hmmm, what’s the word for “needing to be dropped into a wood chipper”? I mean that in a loving maternal way of course.

This morning Riley had himself a little meltdown about being prepped with a fresh diaper, then he got mad about sitting in his highchair, then he was ticked off because JB left the living room. But then? He said “bah bye” when he was being walked out the door in JB’s arms, as I waved to him. That’s Darwinism too, you know — the colossal amounts of cuteness continue to keep him far away from that wood chipper.



2 small things:

1) Remember how I was all “blah blah blah Cruel Girl jeans rock blah”? Well, you can get yourself a pair for a very affordable price on this website right now. I’m not positive that the jeans on there are the same exact style as the ones I own and love, but if you’re looking to check out the brand, there you go. I just bought myself a pair of the capri jeans off that site today, so I’ll let you know how they work out. (Thanks for the tip, Jenny!)

2) I sent JB an IM the other day to ask a basic math question (something embarrassingly retarded that I would know if I’d taken any classes past “Addition and Subtraction: Remedial Elements”). I apologized for the stupidness of my query, and this is what he wrote back:

soon to be famous writers are usually not good at math – that is why they marry math dorks like me who like spreadsheets and porn

I thought about it, and I believe the only thing that JB might find more appealing than some kind of porn/spreadsheet combination is if it somehow also included power tools.


25 Responses to “Music to my ears”

  1. Jenn on September 7th, 2006 1:11 pm

    What is with them having a cow over getting their diaper changed and putting on clothes. OK, clothes, I understand, but the diaper??? Have they developed a bond with the urine or shit that has accumulated?

    My husband changed our 11 month old son this morning and it sounded as though his Dad was torturing him with scalding water.

    But yes, when he cries as I leave him at daycare, it breaks my heart. Thankfully it has only happened a couple times.

    Project Manipulation is well underway.

  2. Pete on September 7th, 2006 1:16 pm

    Mmmmm, power tools.

  3. Jessica on September 7th, 2006 2:19 pm

    Your entry is scarily apropos today – my almost 7 month old son seems to have gotten up on the wrong side of his crib (from his 30,000 attempts at naps today, none of which last longer than 40 minutes) and he’s been screaming/fussing/whining all afternoon. I was about ready to puncture my eardrums with an ice pick, when he decided to be cute. Generally he’s pretty easy-going, but today he’s been driving. me. in.sane. So nice to know I’m not alone.

  4. Kristen on September 7th, 2006 2:43 pm

    *weak with laughter*

    How about spreadsheets, porn, power tools, and BEER?

  5. ginger on September 7th, 2006 3:31 pm

    “soon to be famous writers are usually not good at math – that is why they marry math dorks like me who like spreadsheets and porn”

    He’s right! This never-to-be-famous English major married a math/computer science major, and it works beautifully. He laughs when I refuse to calculate an exact 15% tip, and I giggle while correcting his pronunciation, though I politely refrain from pointing out his every spelling error in his emails. Works for us, anyway. :)

  6. Amy on September 7th, 2006 3:34 pm

    *dies laughing*

    …about the spreadsheet porn, that is. That baby crying sound isn’t funny in the slightest. (Strangely, other people’s children crying doesn’t have the same effect on me. That evolution, she sure is smart.)

  7. ZowZow on September 7th, 2006 4:57 pm

    I have yet to embark down the miraculous trail that is child-bearing, but I did nanny for 2 kids under 2 for a year.

    I am still haunted by the sound of two over-tired boys in need of changing. Even worse–the sound of actually changing them. The othe one that killed me–wiping noses. Even if I used a wet wipe, the child must have believed I was trying to take his nose from him. That’s the only excuxe I can come up with for the screaming and wrestling when he had a runny nose.

  8. Philos on September 7th, 2006 5:41 pm

    I’m at work, and I’m not going to Google “spreadsheet + powertools + porn”, but I’m just saying, someone must’ve done it by now.

  9. angela on September 7th, 2006 6:25 pm

    mmmmmm… spreadsheets.

  10. jonniker on September 7th, 2006 8:05 pm

    Spreadsheets make my whole body hurt. However, I concur that men are drawn to them like white on rice. My husband creates them for everything, from our travel schedule/iternary and accompanying plans (did you know that things like packing, going to the bathroom and finding one’s keys need to be documented and planned in advance? On an Excel document? I’ll be JB does too. I did not.)

    And um, soon to be famous writer? Or is that in the same sense the my hubs does with me? Please tell me someone gave you a book deal, stat. Pretty please?

  11. jonniker on September 7th, 2006 8:06 pm

    I mean, um, not that you’re not already famous! Not at all! I just hoped that the biggest of all big things came trucking your way, for you deserve it.

  12. sundry on September 7th, 2006 9:01 pm

    No, there’s no fame or fortune heading my way right now (unless…? POWERBALL?), he’s just occasionally sweetly complimentary like that. When he’s not, you know, dreaming about porny chopsaw Excel files.

  13. lee on September 7th, 2006 9:28 pm

    i think the term you are looking for is Fargo, as in, “I should Fargo that baby if he doesn’t quit crying”, or “That man should be Fargoed for not keeping his tools in his own garage, if you know what I mean.” I am trying to get them to put Fargo in the next dictionary as a verb, meaning “to place in a woodchipper in such a way as to render the substance incompatable to life.”

  14. Mama Ritchie on September 7th, 2006 10:27 pm

    About JB’s comment – the soon-to-be famous writer part. Sometimes reading your journal kills me, because you have it – that x-factor that cannot be taught no matter how strong the desire to attain it. You are a writer. As a person who would just be happy to break this 12-year writer’s block I’ve created, I am so envious of you sometimes, my friend. I have no idea how much thought you put into these entries. You could agonize over them for days, or you could write them on auto-pilot with no forethought whatsoever. But the words on the screen are always perfect – you say what I think all the time but cannot put down on paper. Sometimes, when I write, I think What Would Sundry Say? or WWSS. You have the touch. And once you put it out there on the shelves, and see your name on the spine of your very own book, you will not be stopped. And we will all say, I knew her when…

  15. sunShine on September 8th, 2006 6:49 am

    “Audio Horns of Hell”

    hehe, too funny!

  16. Paula on September 8th, 2006 7:05 am

    To Commenter Lee: “Fargo” is perfect!! Hee!! I have a teenager who needs to be Fargoed. And he was a DELIGHTFUL baby. My daughter, a screaming spawn of Satan as a baby, is now a wonderful teen. Truth to the saying “Easy baby, difficult teen; difficult baby, easy teen.” Not that I want her to be EASY, per se, but you get my drift, albeit rambling and off topic.

  17. KJ on September 8th, 2006 7:45 am

    Good luck with the Capris, m’lady! They’re super popular with all the gals here at work.
    (For no reason, I’m compelled to confess that I’m wearing my madisons today.)

  18. angela on September 8th, 2006 9:33 am

    heh. my boyfriend has a spreadsheet containing all the winning numbers for every california lottery drawing since the dawn of time. he is convinced that all his trending will reveal a pattern some day.

    now, i love me some spreadsheets (they’re soooothing), but i’m not completely nuts.

  19. Lumpyheadsmom on September 8th, 2006 12:10 pm

    Sarah posted a link to this video that combines porn and power tools. I’m sure you could work a spreadsheet in there somehow.

  20. thejunebug on September 9th, 2006 6:17 am

    2) I sent JB an IM the other day to ask a basic math question (something embarrassingly retarded that I would know if I’d taken any classes past “Addition and Subtraction: Remedial Elements”). I apologized for the stupidness of my query, and this is what he wrote back:

    “soon to be famous writers are usually not good at math – that is why they marry math dorks like me who like spreadsheets and porn”

    I laughed out loud over this section, since it describes Jay and I to a T. We have such supportive husbands, we writers, and then they rub it in. And of course there’s the porn.

  21. Josh on September 9th, 2006 2:24 pm

    While porn and power tools are wonderful modern luxuries on their own, for some reason mixing the two only leads to, um, disturbing results. Trust me, just leave them alone, they’re fine the way they are.

  22. Jan on October 7th, 2006 5:41 am

    You’re funny! Really funny! Don’t stop writing, you’re good at it and us bleary eyed moms and dads need a good laugh now and then. Heck, who knows it may just stop us dead in our tracks while we’re headed for the wood chipper. Just kidding, of course!
    Oh, and by the way, about sweet Riley’s current disposition…….just wait! I’m mom to five year old triplets. Just wait!

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