Monday, October 26, 2015

31 Days, day 26: Whisper

At what developmental age do children figure out how to whisper? Is there an age at which it suddenly dawns on them that they can control the volume of their voice? Do they subsequently start to exercise that control in response to parental requests to be quieter? (Maybe in church, for instance, during the consecration or the homily...maybe, for example, when announcing the need to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW?)

I'm parenting some sound-sensitive kids, people for whom automatically flushing toilets are the pinnacle of terror and electric hand dryers equivalent to torture. The high volume of organ music in some churches and of fireworks from five miles away has reduced them to tears. They cover their ears when we push the grocery cart across the parking lot to the car.

Everything is just so loud.

I understand that part. I'm sensitive to sounds, too.

What I don't understand is how people who are so sensitive to sound can create so much of it.

When everyone else is napping, one child has taken to singing at top volume into a toy microphone with an echo effect. We talked about it. I explained that she was being too loud and that it was disturbing the rest of us at quiet time. She responded, "I like the way it rattles my ear drums!"

Do these two things go together? Do kids who loathe loud noises also love to make as much noise as possible? Or are we dealing with an anomaly, here?