It only looks innocent.

“At this age, babies like to make noise,” I read in a child development book a few weeks ago. “Rather than get them expensive new toys, give them some pots and pans to bang together.” Okay! I rubbed my hands together in the glee of the congenitally cheap. I delved into my cabinets, and pulled out some pot lids and small pans, which I presented to a cheerfully drooling Wren. And oh, the cacophony! The rapturous tintinnabulation!

Alas, the joy was not fated to last. Robin, my sensitive fellow, when he is feeling particularly put upon by the rigors of babyhood and just wants to think for a minute, dammit, objects to loud noises. At these times, a sneeze, a slammed door, or – god forbid – a banged pot lid can send him into paroxysms of howling anguish. Of course Wren, lacking any such delicacy, likes to scream and smash things together as often and as loudly as possible.

butter-cookies-2 In an effort to respect Wren’s needs as well as those of her more high-strung sibling, I gave her a Danish Cookie Tin. It’s lighter than a cooking pot, and the sound it makes when beaten wildly against the floor is a more musical sort of racket. Robin looked a bit suspicious and gave it a wide berth, but was otherwise all right.

Cut to Wednesday night. Wren placed the tin carefully in the middle of the room, then sidled over to the CD rack where Robin sat and pulled herself up to standing. She spread her fingers as wide as she could and pulled seven or eight CDs onto the floor. CRASH! Robin began to wail. “Oh, sweet pea,” I said comfortingly, “come to Mama!” Still red-faced and crying, he crawled toward me. Of course, because he was crying, he couldn’t see where he was going very well. He put his knee right into the Danish Cookie Tin. BANG! WOW-WOW-WOW, it spun loudly on the floor. Defeat! Apocalypse! Robin sat and screamed.

The cookie tin has now been banished to the kitchen, where it lurks malevolently, waiting for recycling day. And Wren is looking for new havoc to wreak.

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9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I spent much of the afternoon listening to BB’s complaints while LG played percussion on cookie tin, coffee can, and Sigg bottle. So, alas, I am here to tell you that does not necessarily improve as they age…

  2. 2

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    Awwww, that’s adorable!! Mostly b/c I can see similar adventures on into high school (and as PS says, beyond). 🙂

  3. 3

    luckybuzz said,

    GB and I live in constant fear of sneezing these days. Like Robin, Waylon is So Not A Fan of the sudden loud noise. It’s led to some painful nasal moments.

  4. 4

    Michelle said,

    Is it possible that Milo is aging backwards? Sneezes and loud noises caused screaming for the first few months, and are now HILARious. If we even reach for a tissue he starts laughing. I am very glad he has not yet hit the pots and pans stage, though, because I share Robin’s views of banged pot lids and other sudden loudnesses. Poor babe.

  5. 5

    julie said,

    Noise-cancelling headphones. Start shopping around for a decent pair. For adults, I’d recommend ear plugs.

    Thanks for using tintinnabulation–haven’t seen that in print since our Edgar Allan Poe unit in 9th grade English.

  6. 6

    Diane Dawson said,

    Yummy. Danish Butter cookies.. Ummmmmm…

    See? My new embryo has good taste already…. 🙂

  7. 7

    kathy a. said,

    there are quieter, yet still satisfying, noisemakers. tupperware/rubbermaid isn’t as loud and tinniferous as pots and pans. you can make teethable shakers out of smaller sturdy plastic tublets or water bottles — rice, beans, pebbles, marbles, pasta, whatever, they all make different sounds.

    when my kids got to 5th grade, the loud one signed up to play electric bass, and the quiet one signed up for saxophone — which is not exactly a gentle woodwind, especially for beginners. you’ll need the earplugs around then.

  8. 8

    mushyhead said,

    Maybe you should get headphones for WREN and let her listen to sound effects of banging things.

  9. 9

    geckogrrl said,

    How funny! (Poor little guy…)

    Tupperware works wonders. Also, those wooden pasta stirrers seem to fascinate Alex…


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