TWBP: My Life With a Baby or a Howler Monkey

by June 19, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,298 1 Comment

"Screaming Baby"

It is not a howler monkey. It is a baby finding her voice. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Leslie Jones. She writes about urban motherhood every two weeks in her column TWB Poo (There Will Be Poo). You can email her at leslie[AT]

You’re standing in the hall, waiting for the elevator, and you hear someone screaming bloody murder.  Should you call the police?  If the sound is accompanied by shouts for help, please do.  Otherwise, it’s just my baby saying “good morning”!

At first I thought that I’d just ignore it. Maybe if I didn’t react, she would just stop? No such luck.  How about firmly telling her to please be quiet? Nope. She finds my admonishments amusing.

What is it about the sound of her own high-pitched squeals that she finds so entertaining? I know, I know, she’s finding her voice and it is an exciting thing. But can we just take it down a notch, especially before I’ve had my morning coffee? Any wisdom you more experienced moms and dads can impart would be much appreciated.

And to my neighbors, thank you for your patience — I promise that I’m not intentionally doing anything to encourage it.

Maybe if we lived on a farm, it wouldn’t bother me so much.  But we live so close to our neighbors, no yards separating the sounds of our lives, just some drywall.  It’s part of urban life that we all have to accept; we’ve sacrificed space for convenience.  After 12 years of living on top of my neighbors, I thought I’d gotten used to it, but having a baby has made me more aware of the soundtrack of city life.

Every time Baby has a screaming fit, I think of my neighbors and try to telepathically send them my apologies. The Friday night revelers waiting for the elevator seem like they’re in my living room. Fire trucks and government motorcades during nap-time have me leaning out the window shaking my fist.

Of course, I wouldn’t trade it.  The occasionally disrupted nap is just the price I pay for being able to walk out my front door and take Baby on a walk through one of the most beautiful cities in the country.

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