The silence of screaming


I can’t hear a thing when my child screams. Except for him, of course.

I’m sure there is some anthropological auditory focused study dedicated to this. I’m a test tube and when my child screams, I can’t even hear my own mind.

There could be a car crash outside my home, but if my kid is screaming, I would only see the debris after the fact.

A flock of birds could Pearl Harbour my garage as I sat in it whittling a reed flute, but if my crying spawn were there with me, I would only hear his screams as I prayed that the reed flute would console him.

Cthulhu could butt fire an armada of recently eaten nuclear submarines directly into my face, but milliseconds before they hit it, I could only hear the forever wales of my loved yet direly unhappy offspring.

My wife does not believe me. You see, she tries to have conversations with me while little me screams vibrant hell whilst I change his diaper. Then, I get double guff. One continuous from the infant human, the other from my adored.1

Let me make something clear: I have done some pretty fantastic things under pressure in my day. I’ve given first aid to a gentleman with a head wound and in mid seizure while yelling at bystanders to call an ambulance. I’ve pulled a very drunken German tourist out of a frozen lake and made it sound like this was a normal Canadian thing as I dragged her to warmth. I’ve screamed at a bear to leave my food alone and stop being such a pushy jerk. I’m no hero, but in my element I’m level headed.

Compare this to the ragged cries of my child as he decides what he is unhappy about, well sir/madame, I might as well be an entitled teenager dropped into a war zone. I am the guy who brought a Care Bear to a knife fight. I am a fart joke during a debate with robot Winston Churchill/Mark Twain.

There must be some scientific explanation about pitch levels with infant vocals and their parents. Because seriously, my kid’s screams are a dog whistle and I am Dumbo the dog that hearing aids are tested on.2

Editor’s Notes

1 You hear rumors that men are more challenged by multitasking, but that doesn’t mean you understand it. My husband likes to do chores while participating in a trending meme on twitter or watching netflix. What this fundamentally means is my husband stands for several hours in the kitchen moving things, often into the wrong spot, and then proudly proclaims a fifteen minute task done. I will often find remnant food on just washed dishes, the stove top has rarely been cleaned, the floor was completely avoided, and for some reason the kale is just sitting on a refrigerator shelf unwrapped and wilting. Maybe I’m just bitter? I forget, daily, that my husband cannot multitask. This information will not assimilate in my brain. While I am busy not remembering that Trent cannot hear me over Valdy, he is frequently forgetting I have mommy brain.

2 This I believe and understand. Trent is programmed to hear those he loves in distress. Once upon a time, before we were married,Trent saved my life. I was outside mowing the lawn. Trent was inside, in the basement, on the computer, listening to music through his headphones. Trent, miraculously, heard me scream as I received multiple wasp stings and before anaphylactic shock stole my consciousness, voice and breath. He was able to administer my epi pen and call the paramedics that saved my life.

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