Turn it down


I can’t believe that our house has become even noisier – already. Amelia has always loved to talk – big long sentences either staggeringly wise for such a small person or wandering and nonsensical. It doesn’t really matter what it’s about, she’s happy as long as she’s talking. She talks to herself, her toys, the TV and to us – all the time. And she has two volumes – loud or loud whisper.

Just recently Lily has joined the chorus with loud, long screeching noises. They are mostly angry screeches when she is hungry, tired, bored or uncomfortable and they are usually quite ear piercing. At my last appointment with the Maternal and Child Health Nurse I asked her if it was a normal kind of thing – Amelia cried and squealed with delight but she never screeched quite so.

And this is almost verbatim what the nurse said to me:

“Well, I have met Amelia [which she had, briefly] and you have a very spirited, strong willed little girl there – obviously very bright but one who likes to make a lot of noise… and I think you may have another – babies at 4 months are already feeling all the emotions – joy, anger, frustration and so on… and I think Lily is simply learning to express herself and she likes to do it noisily…” and then she concluded with a wicked smile; “…so, um… good luck with that!”.

I honestly don’t understand this. Big-P and I are quiet people, not big talkers and certainly not loud talkers. This is obviously some genetic throwback. Our girls are obviously filling our gaps.

Usually around 5 or 6pm they both start in earnest. Amelia talks so much that food falls out of her mouth despite being reminded to wait, and Lily has reached her “No, I totally refuse to sleep despite being desperately tired” point so her screeches are intense. Big-P and I look at each other across the table with tired, heavy eyes and sigh sympathetically to one another. I am sure we will remember with fondness these noisy days when two sullen teenagers sit with us dinner with barely a grunt between them but at the moment I am feeling nothing but jangled.