There is a stranger in my rearview mirror. She’s little, her cheeks are rosy red (probably due to a combination of teething, a snotty nose, too much face wiping, and eczema), and she is yelling at me. All. The. Time.
I have a rear-facing car seat (of course, because I am a responsible parent) and one of those mirror doohickeys that allows Pineapple to see my eyes in the rearview mirror and allows me to see her from about mid-torso up. So I get a very clear view – along with the hearing damage to match – of her latest and greatest pastime…which is SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS!!!!!!!
I blame my little sis. When I was preggo, she called me up one day and said “you’re having a girl and she will be blonde and squeal all the time.” I remember asking her, “why will she squeal?” To which she responded, “I don’t know, I just envision a great deal of squealing.” Well, thanks a lot madame foresight. Although, I guess it is a my own fault for not buying ear plugs when she had this little premonition – but she’s never been psychic. Until now.
Pineapple begins her day by screaming. She wakes up in the AM. We hear her roll over, talk softly to herself – briefly – and then grunt as she pulls herself to a standing position in the crib. Then she begins screaming at us. I’m pretty sure she’s saying “get your lazy, exhausted ass out of that bed and tend to my damp hiney and give me a bobbie before I beat you senseless with this unsatisfying passy!”
The screaming continues for the trip to daycare school. As soon as she is buckled in, she starts complaining. By the time we arrive at daycare school, she is either fully losing it or has given up as she understands she’s not going to be taken out until we get there. Upon arrival, she’s usually happy because she recognizes the place. And unfortunately/not unfortunately, she’s very excited to be there and leave mommy and daddy for the day.
After dropping her off, I get 8+ hours of quality working time wherein I spend a bundle of it missing my Pineapple – screeches and all.
When I arrive at daycare school to pick her up, the screaming starts again. I have been informed by the very helpful caregiver ladies that she only does this to me. Apparently, when she doesn’t “use her words” at daycare, she is put in timeout. (Have I mentioned that she’s 1? We try this at home. She mostly sits still for a moment looking at us as if we’ve sprouted extra heads and horns, then claps her hands – signalling “all done” – and crawls away from the restrictive area – which clearly, is not restrictive enough.) At daycare school, I am told she sits patiently in timeout until she responds to the question “are you ready to play nicely?” with a smile and a hand clap. Yeah. I don’t get it either.
So I bundle her out the door, happily pointing out cars and trees and houses in an effort to distract her from the reality that the carseat is coming. It never, ever works but I continue to try each time.
Upon being placed in the carseat, the screeching begins anew. Her signature cry is what DH and I are now referring to as her “eagle call.” It’s a high-pitched, ear piercing scream that probably knocks at least a few birds off of their trajectories as soon as it is released into the atmosphere – it may also be responsible for that new hole in the ozone layer. It’s awful. And each time she does it, I look in the mirror at her pinched face and ask “WHO ARE YOU?!”
Because, you see, I remember the wee baby that would doze off as soon as she was placed in her carseat. That baby has been replaced by this very loud, very angry baby.
And God forbid the sun gets in her eyes. Oy. Vey.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my sweet Pineapple in all of her iterations – but this screaming/screeching/yelling at me (and BTW – any time she’s eating, it’s scream and shout time, too) phase is really starting to rub me raw. And my friends are starting to wonder if I have a hearing problem…”what’s that? what’s that you say? what did that guy on the TV just say?” Yeah. She can stop this any old time. Any minute now. Thanks.