The Screamer

She is the dreaded, the feared. People shudder at the very mention of her. She’s got a piercing shriek and an even fiercer bite. She strikes terror into the hearts of men.

Around these parts, she is known as Señorita Discontente, Baby Banshee, The Brain Scrambler, and Screamy McScreamerson.

She is my 6-month-old daughter, Maggie, the single most disruptive fifteen pounds of flesh I have ever encountered.

And she’s giving me a headache.

Why is she screaming, you ask? Not out of discomfort, or pain, or hunger. She’s screaming just because. And that, folks, is what makes her so scary.

Very few days have gone by that she’s not disrupted one (but more likely both) of our other children’s naps. Just this morning, I’ve been up and down my stairs a total of nine times catering to Her Highness, one of those times to move poor, exhausted Michael away from her.

We’ve been waiting for the phase to pass. And waiting. And waiting. While our ears ring and our spirits shrivel.

She’s just noisy.

Some would say this is payback. When I was young, I talked a lot. Made a lot of noise. But we haven’t even reached that point with her yet. I won’t allow myself to think about how things are going to be when she’s actually speaking.

Some ask, “Well, don’t you do blah-blah-blah?” or “My friend so-and-so does x, y, and z, with little Kaiden/Colin/Cody/Whoever and that seems to work.” Really? Ok. Great. So why don’t you come over here and try it out? Give it a go. I can guarantee you’ll skulk away, shaking your head, like all the rest.

Family members have come into my house and asked me (and not just one), immediately upon entering, “Was that HER I heard from outside?” With all my windows closed and the central air cranked up? Yes. Yes, it was. Can we talk about something else now?

This morning, no one’s had a nap. Why? Maggie. That’s why. Clean laundry sits in the washer, my coffee cup stale on the dining room table, Michael bleary-eyed because he’s been awake since 6:45am, and my writing unfinished, all because of Maggie.

As awful as this all is, and, damn, is it awful, I can guarantee you that when I leave this chair and approach our tiny, tiny beast, she will beam up at me with that trademark gummy smile and those bright eyes, happily shrieking (yes, more shrieking), as if I am the only person in the world.

And, even though my hair is literally standing on end and I am at this moment fighting the urge to run screaming from the house in my spitup-covered pajamas, I will tough it out until the end of the day, end of the week, end of the month, end of the year. Because I love her.

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Comments

  1. My sister was the same way and was nicknamed “The Howler”. She is now 23 and she still howls. :)

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  2. My son was a screamer. He’s my passionate child (ha ha ha). He laughs, cries easily, gets excited about EVERYTHING! But, you know? He doesn’t really talk all that much. Silver lining?

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  3. I’m with ya! Our lil’ T can wail. I keep a pair of earplugs in my pocket to quickly put in when the ears start to hurt:)

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  4. and here I thought you might be referring to… MY MOTHER! Ahhhhhhh!!! lol

    looks like you’ve got YOUR hands full!

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  5. I was a lodger in a house with a newborn and a toddler. The newborn was just like that. Her poor parents! She just wasn’t comfortable for some reason (but it resolved in time), I feel for you!

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  6. My son did that for the first several months of his life. I remember thinking, he’s never, ever going to stop screaming, and we will never, ever sleep again. And will I ever be able to put this kid down? EVER? I think when I was just about at my wit’s end, he stopped. He settled down. Finally. And now, he’s the chillest kid on the planet. Naps are fairly easy and he sleeps great and goes down (most of the time) with minimal problems. And when he does wake up screaming, I usually leave him alone for a bit to see if he’ll settle himself down (does that make me a bad momma?). Which he generally does. Thankfully. He’s 15 months old, btw. I keep thinking the next one (due in January) will probably be the exact opposite. Then I’ll really suffer. Hope you get a break soon and your little screamer decides all that noise is completely unnecessary and gives it up for good. :)

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  7. I just started reading your blog and luv the stories; especially the concert one. You tell them girl! So I am pleased to give you the Leibster Blog Award; please go to http://msmousecleanshouse.wordpress.com/ to claim it. And please ask Maggie to give her mom just a little break ;-)

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  8. I have just discovered you through your “Why Our Parents…” post on @BlogHer and I LOVE the way you write. Fantastic!

    My eldest was a screamer and it did pass . . .there is hope :-)

    Good luck and seriously, well done for stringing your words together with such flair despite the noise in the house. One more wonderful skill you can thank motherhood for!

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  9. My 7month old Diva is the same way. She especially loves to SCREAM at people she doesn’t like and she is a finnicky little girl. She hates old people – so visiting great grandma at the retirement home is always fun. She hates anyone at the grocery store. She hates other kids at the park, pool, library. And sometimes she even hates me.

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