Oy. We’ve come to that part of the show where That Baby learns about VOLUME.
And it is loud. And what isn’t loud is screechy.
Today we went to the store to pick up a few things for the week. Now that strollering is not really feasible, our daily jaunts to the store have gone back to big weekly trips. And that means it’s a little bit longer in the store, and a little bit less fun because of all the winter clothes. But usually, we do okay.
This morning was the last of a fair bit of snow. We had planned to go this morning, because the forecast called for rain, which meant that the snow that has accumulated over the weekend on my car and my driveway would magically dissolve. But the rain did not come as forecast this morning, and in fact at morning naptime, it was still snowing. So we pushed our trip back to the afternoon.
The rain started around noon, so after lunch we went out and I cleared the car and the driveway and we got ready to go. I figured I could get her in the car seat, get in and out of the grocery store, and get back and unpacked in time for her 3 pm-ish bottle. And off we went.
She was busy in the grocery store. Stinkerbelle has become a bit of a celebrity, it seems. Many people like to peer in at her and smile and coo as we make our way around the store. So, with all the cooing and the talking and the attention, she was getting a little wound up.
One woman we passed several times. She was a store employee, and her job was to chat up customers and get them interested in getting a credit card. I told her no right off the bat, and she was really pleasant, not doing a hard sell or anything. It’s just that we passed her several times as we made our way around the store. And each time, she chatted with my daughter and smiled at her.
By the time we got to the bakery section, Stinkerbelle was getting a bit… restless. And beginning to blow some raspberries, which is a sure sign that she is bored or impatient. So I hurried as quick as I could, zipping quickly through the Miscellaneous Stuff section to see if there was anything gift-y or decoration-y for Christmas, and stopping off to pick up a couple of things in produce I had forgotten.
It was over by the lettuce where That Baby began to get LOUD.
By the time we got to the checkout, she was getting positively shouty.
As I scanned my stuff as quickly as possible, the shouting was becoming screeching. You know how it is, where they find volume, and can’t wait to try it out. And the thing is, you can’t react. If you react, they think, “Hmm. She paid attention to me. Screeching is GOOD.”Â And then, you are well and truly screwed.
Ignore, scan…. Ignore… scan, scan, scan…
Ignore… scan, scan…
She was not upset. Not at all. She apparently just felt like expressing herself.
Self-expression is GOOD. We know this. However, it can also be LOUD.
I sighed. I tried shushing her, but she was gaining an audience. People were looking at her. And she loves her some attention.
Just then, The Credit Card lady appeared. And she said hi again. At which point I apologized for any damage to the eardrums that Shouty McScreecherson might inflict upon her.
She said, “Well then, how about I just stand here and distract her while you finish up?”
I could have hugged her, right then and there. As it turns out, her previous job was in the photographer’s at Sears, so she knows not only of the shrieky babies, but also how to amuse them. So she was totally cool with keeping That Baby occupied and distracted and therefore not shrieking, so that I could get things done and we could make a quiet escape.
I whipped through the rest of the groceries, while The Credit Card lady chatted with the noisy baby. And then, as she said her goodbyes, I thanked her profusely for her help.
And I am sure the rest of the customers at the checkout were silently thanking her as well.