Max must think I’m hard of hearing.
When Max wants something he says what he wants in a rather loud voice.
Now when this happens, a couple actions occur. If by chance I can actually decipher his toddler talk, and I don’t retrieve the item he wants a millisecond after he requests it, he repeats himself louder, and louder, and louder until I’m able to give him what he wants. And since I’m often preoccupied with my 2 other kids, it takes several elevated screams before I can appease him.
However, often, I can’t understand a thing he’s saying. Animals and Cereal and Elmo all sound the same through Max’s mouth. So what usually happens is he’ll yell his request, and then I just begin guessing what it is he wants. And if I don’t guess correctly, he just yells it louder, and louder and louder, until by process of elimination I go through every single TV show he has ever watched and discover that he wasn’t asking for Blues Clues, or Tubbies or Barney at all. What he really wanted was juice.
He screams not only when he wants something, but also when he doesn’t want something. Like when he doesn’t want Cameron to hug him, but Cameron hugs him anyway. Or when he doesn’t want Ella to touch his face, even though he purposefully puts his face directly near her hand. Or when he doesn’t want me to wipe his bottom, even though it has poop smeared all over it. Or when he doesn’t want me to put the spoon he requested directly in his cereal, because he wants to do that himself (actually, that’s often associated with not just a scream, but with tossing the spoon across the table, as well).
One day Cameron had a friend over, and when his mom came to pick him up, the little boy pointed to Max and said to his mom, “Momma, see that boy! He screams all the time!”
Today, midmorning, as he was screaming for cereal, which I didn’t have, I was able to pacify him with a box of graham cracker sticks. Usually Max will get his own bowl and carefully take a handful (or two or three) of the sticks and put them in his bowl. But today, while I was dealing with Ella, who was also screaming, he decided, instead, to swing the box all around until the entire box of grahams flew everywhere.
Now I was the one who was screaming, “No!!!!!!” He eventually picked them all up, but started screaming because he didn’t want to share any of them with Cameron. Eventually, I convinced him that he had to, and he gave his brother TWO crackers. I finally just took charge, gave Cameron half of his crackers and let Max scream it out….which wasn’t too long because he couldn’t eat and scream at the same time.
Almost my entire day was like this, filled with Max exercising his vocal chords to no end. By the evening, when a friend and her kids came over for dinner, Max was finally distracted enough with our company that he decided to let me drink my margarita and chat in peace. And he was all smiles after his bath. I have heard that working in a loud environment can cause hearing loss….I wonder if I should visit an audiologist soon.