Volume Control


So this weekend at the tree trimming I had an epiphany of sorts. Out of the 15 or so kids that were there, mine was the loudest. Davy at 25 months is full of loud expressions; Squeals of happiness, squeals of frustration, fits of toddler fueled rage, big wet tears. She is (like me) ever so in touch with her feeling. She really feels them.

Also like me, volume control tends to be kind of an issue. People always tell me that they love my big loud laugh when they meet me. Andy says its one of the things that made him fall for me. I have also had the opposite effect. It can really annoy people. I always say “love me, love my laugh” but my big loud voice has also gotten me into trouble at some points in my life. I suck at office duty. I remember a women I worked with who used to scowl at me when I laughed. For me, it always felt kind of like the ultimate rejection because its not something I can really help. It always kind of felt like someone hating me because I am short or something. Its just part of who I am.

I have also been told to be “quiet” most of my life and it kind of feels like shit. I remember getting into an argument with my father and he told me I was talking too loud. I was a teenager at the time. He wouldn’t listen to me unless I was quiet. So while I am a relatively well adjusted adult, who is as comfortable with myself as I can be, volume control brings a bit of emotional baggage to me.

So this brings me to my daughter. She is slowly becoming a mini me (except she can wear vertical stripes). She talks like me and picks up a lot of my vocal intonation. She says “yeah sure” all the time when she is being agreeable. It’s funny to hear. The flip side is that she is picking up stuff from me that I kind don’t like about myself. I have brought attention to it, both to Andy and to others. I am aware of it, but it still feels like a total kick in my heart when i or others have to “shush” her. I mean she will scream if she doesn’t get what she wants and its really ear piercing, a small “shush” isn’t an inappropriate response, it’s just one that takes me back because I want to shield her from this little bit of pain.

This is probably the first time in my grand 18 months of parenting where I am brushing up against my own insecurities about myself coming through my daughter. It is harder to be a clear minded parent when you are battling your own demons. I know that this too shall pass, but I wonder what is next?


1 thought on “Volume Control

  1. I can relate to feeling “shut down” when shushed. But not in every instance. I do think that part of the ongoing and necessarily process of learning that there are other people “outside of me” is learning to be able to control our volume. Like at the library, and even, around some people, who just get stressed out with noise, like some hyper-bred pedigree dogs or something.

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