Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Banshee Boy meets Hollerin' Mama

(There really are no good synonyms for "shriek" that start with "m.")

Banshee Boy made another appearance in our house last night.  As I was getting him ready for bed, he shrieked loud enough to burst eardrums.  I told him that hurt Mommy's ears, and covered my ears and made a sad face.  Did he feel chagrined?  Nope, he did it again.  And again.  I sat there for over a minute with my hands over my ears, trying to keep a deadpan expression.  Each time I removed my hands from my ears, he did it again.

Next, I removed all fun items from his crib and dumped him in it, telling him I'd come get him when he was ready to stop shrieking.  He shrieked a few more times and then started babbling, so I went back.  He shrieked again as soon as he saw me.

We repeated this process about four times before I'd decided I'd had enough.  It was time for a Hammurabian lesson.  Upon re-entering his room the last time he, of course, shrieked again--so I moved my mouth within about six inches of his ear and shrieked back, matching his decibel level as best I could.

He was definitely not expecting that.  He jumped back, put a hand over his ear, and looked at me with a look of utter shock and dismay:  "Why would you DO something like that, Mom?"  I told him that his shrieks hurt my ears just like mine just hurt his.  I then distracted him with tickles and continued getting him ready for bed.

I'm happy to report that he remained at a far more decibelly-appropriate level for the rest of the evening.  He let out only a few more screeches and I continued to match him--and each time he looked at me warily.  Whether he recognizes that screaming hurts others or just didn't like the new consequence, we're making strides towards civilizing the Banshee.

1 comment:

kristy said...

i never thought of that i have "bit" my child 1 time when she bit anhtor kid i made sure i did not even leave teeth marks but that she knew that it hurt and she has never bit again. I am going to remeber this one