An Overnight Change

You think you know someone until you wake up one day and realize the relationship has changed.  In my case it was, quite literally, overnight.  One day my sweet little boy was just that – sweet.  And the next day, not so much.

Well, he’s still sweet, in between his sudden attempts to bite me and take a chunk out of my arm (he’s come close several times with his five new teeth), but he’s been acting differently too.  He’s started making this awful shrieking noise.  I’ve heard other kids make it before – it’s that high-pitched one that makes dogs howl and little children cover their ears.  It makes all the adults turn and give you dirty (sometimes sympathetic) looks when you’re out in public, by the way.

The thing is, I don’t know why he does it.  Does he need his diaper changed?  No.  Is he suddenly tired?  Probably not.  Did someone look at him the wrong way?  Who knows?

All I know is that it’s driving me crazy.  To go from super sweet and cuddly to squirmy and screaming has been quite the change. The only one who hasn’t been at the receiving end of one of these little temper tandrums is Oscar.  In fact, he and Henry seem to be getting along better than ever.  (Side note:  I love how patient Oscar is while Henry takes his ball from him.  Cockapoos really are great with kids!)

Try to get him to play quietly with his mom, on the other hand, the one who gave him birth after carrying him nine long months, and it’s a whole different scene.  Even the little games with Daddy that used to cause him to laugh out loud now seem to send him over the edge.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, I’m including a video of this new behavior.  (Side note #2 – he usually does have on more than diapers and Baby Legs, but I took off his shorts because he was hot and I was too lazy to put them back on.)  If you can’t handle the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard, you may want to bypass the video altogether.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Do you see what I mean?  I’ve gotten to where I just start laughing because really, what else is there to do?  And I feel a little better today after reading that at around six to seven months old, kids’ personalities become more developed.  Apparently they start to realize who they are and that they are an individual person.

I think that’s great that he is beginning to realize it and all, I just wish he wouldn’t do it quite so loudly!

Any suggestions on how to handle the shrieking?  Just ride it out or is it a good time to try to teach him the word “no”?


Kristina P. - September 6, 2010 - 8:09 pm

Maybe it’s just a new sound they figured out they can make? I think babies are terrorists. I’ve got nothing. :)
.-= Kristina P.´s last blog ..Nap Dancing =-.

tracy - September 6, 2010 - 8:11 pm

oh how i love those videos! henry’s cry/shriek is so funny. not for you i’m sure, but he’s just so so cute. miss you!

Cristina - September 6, 2010 - 8:54 pm

OOOH goodness! so this is what I have to look forward to in a few months huh? And here I am trying to encourage her when she starts cooing up a storm…maybe I should enjoy the quiet!
.-= Cristina´s last blog ..My First AND an Announcement!! =-.

Tasneem R - September 7, 2010 - 2:36 am

Well I did see both the videos , it’s amazing ! The little one is too cute! Kids change quite fast, so overnight change is OK!I can pass you a link where you can get some info on how to care for toddlers . Hope that’s of some use to you .

Caring For Toddlers – Part I
This test finds out how good are you at caring for toddlers between 1 & 2 years.

admin - September 7, 2010 - 4:18 am

btw – I think Henry must have read this post because this morning he was sweet as could be, even though he was trying a new food (sweet potatoes) and everything!

Kristy - September 7, 2010 - 4:38 am

Often little ones go through phases like this for a few days or even a couple of weeks, then all of the sudden it’s gone. Distraction is probably going to be the best method for this. I’d save “no” for cords and outlets. Nate’s new thing is to arch his back and fall over backwards when he’s mad–not a fun thing to watch at all and if he’s in his arms we’re struggling to keep a grip. Yikes. So you’re not alone in the new annoying behaviors! I hope the phase passes quickly for you
.-= Kristy´s last blog ..Happy Labor Day =-.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - September 7, 2010 - 4:41 am

Our parenting mantra is, “As long as you don’t let them get away with it, this too shall pass.”

Make sure he know he shouldn’t bite, shriek, what have you and soon he’ll move on. Of course, what he moves on to could make you wish to have the shrieking back. :)
.-= Mindee@ourfrontdoor´s last blog ..Where You Wont Find Me =-.

Ernestina - September 7, 2010 - 5:56 am

I think he likes hearing himself do it. I think most kids do. My daughter’s little girl went around screaming at the top of her lungs for a while. It did pass.

Mary - September 7, 2010 - 7:39 am

It’s just a phase. He’s making that (awful, eardrum piercing) noise simply because he can! A stern look and a No from you may speed him along in outgrowing it?
Glad he is back to sweet Henry this morning!

admin - September 7, 2010 - 8:12 am

I hope you’re right, that it’s just a phase! And yes, he did seem to be doing better this morning. MIndee – you’re probably right, I may look back and wish for the days of shrieking rather than whatever he moves on to next! :)

Mom of 5 - September 7, 2010 - 8:37 am

Shrieking is just a natural process for little ones as they develop their vocal cords and motor skills. It’s difficult to recognize all these changes in themselves and when trying to express the thought or idea – “Hey Mom, look at me, I can sit up now” all they can do is shriek. We’re still looking forward to just the Ma-ma, Da-Da to come soon. They easily get bored at this stage too… they can’t ask you for something more stimulating exactly. So….putting up with their shrieking and other loud sounds is just part of that first year!!

You’ll make it and so will he…all of a sudden he’ll be saying all those precious little words you’ll treasure for a life time. (Be sure to record them…you’ll want to listen to them often) and of course so will Nana and Grandpa K.!!!

These are precious clips of him now…don’t worry about any looks of others….they’ve had them or are having them too, just not at the moment they’re looking at you and Henry.


Erin - September 7, 2010 - 4:56 pm

It’s fun that we had our babies just days apart, because I can just say “amen” to everything you say. :)
.-= Erin´s last blog ..On my mind =-.

Tabitha Blue - September 7, 2010 - 9:24 pm

Hahaha, well, Henry is just as adorable as ever…. but I will say that him and Brayden are moving to the beat of the same drum. I’ve been using a stern NO with the screeching, I don’t think it’s too early for them to learn it. :) Hopefully it’s just a phase!

.-= Tabitha Blue´s last blog ..Bedrest =-.

admin - September 8, 2010 - 4:24 am

Erin & Tabitha – that’s right, we all have boys the same age – I’m glad to hear that they’re doing it too! Not for your sakes of course, but to know that it’s “normal”. :)

Heather (Heather's Dish) - September 8, 2010 - 9:19 am

i got nothing on how to handle babies, but he sure is a cutie pie!

M&A~mom - September 9, 2010 - 9:39 am

First of all you are on the right track…laugh! As a mom of a 5 & 3-year-old let me tell you kids do someone wacky and well, weird things. The screeching is not fun. At this age however I found that to discourage a behavior too intensely can make a child feel bad (pick you battles: biting, hitting…). So I would say no thank you and shake my head, but if they don’t stop try try try to ignore it. Sing a song in your head, try to remember the pledge of allegiance from school… and if all else fails teach him a new sound. One that is fun to make and easy based on his development and one that you can live with all day! Rest assured the screeching will pass and believe it or not next year you’ll be telling people how cute it was when he used to screech and everyone at the grocery store would turn to see your adorable baby.

Heidi - September 9, 2010 - 11:42 am

Let me tell you a brief story:

About a year ago, I walked into a restaurant up the road from my house to pick up some lunch. It was 1:00 in the afternoon on like a Tuesday. The place was crawling with toddlers, babies and stay-at-home moms. It was like a mommy-and-me play date thing. The moms all knew each other.

Now, I’m not usually super sensitive to screaming kids, but this time for some reason I just couldn’t take it. Maybe because it was hot out. Maybe it’s because I was in the middle of a giant story. I don’t know.

The babies and the toddlers were screaming so loudly, the girl at the register could barely hear me to take my order. I could feel my face get hot, I was so aggravated. The moms however, seemed immune to it. They simply raised their voices and happily chatted with one another while their shrieking banshees cleared out every childless person in the restaurant.

At that moment, I thought, this is it. If this is what kids do, I can’t hack it. This is awful. My brain is exploding.

And then the girl at the register asked me if I wanted my order “for here” or “to go,” and I snapped, “TO GO. You couldn’t PAY ME to stay here.”

I felt like such a jerk, but I couldn’t help it. The shrieking had turned me into a crotchety old bitch.

When Joe got home from work I told him I could never have children.

I’ve made some peace with the situation since. I’ve decided I can’t take my offspring in public. :)
.-= Heidi´s last blog ..To my readers- =-.

admin - September 9, 2010 - 12:47 pm

Oh Heidi – I remember those days so well because I, too, was one of those people. I would hear the baby scream and think “can’t you do something about that?” Apparently this is payback and every mother gets it because every mom has at one point thought that about someone else’s kid.

M&A – you’re totally right, I need to pick my battles. After watching Henry make repeated attempts to chew on cords, I’m thinking that I should focus my teaching efforts on that instead! I’ll just let the screaming phase (hopefully it’s just a phase) run its course. :)

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