Friday, June 8, 2012


Our baby screams at the computer.

Evenings, I stuff him in a sling and try to surf the Web while soothing him to sleep. But he pounds my chest and sobs.

"Strange," I tell my wife. "It’s the only time he yells."

"Huh," she says, browsing on her iPad.

One night, his shriek sounds loud enough to make my head spin. I reel --

seeing my fingernails ragged and cracked, my wife’s patchy, scabrous scalp, and burning on our screens the all-encompassing, all-consuming, unknowable sigil

-- and clap hands to my ears. "Stop it," I grumble before returning to Google News.

Connectivity by I Saw Lightning Fall

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Jackie Jordan said...

I truly understand your anguish. I've been through it with two baby girls one year apart, and it only gets worse when they are teens ... in my opinion.

Jim Murdoch said...

We have a cockatiel who, when the mood takes him, will scream his little head off for hours on end. When he twitters and chirrups that’s fine but he has a fondness for mimicking car alarms and that can wear one down. If our patience wears particularly thin or our heads are splitting he gets shifted toute de suite to a shelf in the bathroom where he can argue with his reflections to his heart’s content. Usually that works but the last time we tried it he flew back into the living room after a few minutes and complained to us about being abandoned—at least that’s what we took from his tone and general attitude. Unless you live in an igloo I do recommend putting some distance between yourself and the offending noise maker. Just now my wife’s gone for her nap and the bird’s gone with her—he has a perch on the bookcase in her room—because I can usually tell when he’s going to act up and I’ve too much to do this afternoon to be continually shushing him.

Loren Eaton said...


Fortunately, my little people have a ways to go before they reach that age! But you're not the first to warn me of the teenage terrors.

Loren Eaton said...


I see that you can tell this one comes (at least partially) from personal experience. Fortunately, I don't think I've been bewitched by eldritch incomprehensible symbols.

By the way, are you a cat person? Because a nice tabby could take care of that cockatiel problem really quickly.

Scattercat said...

I took it as less a horrible noise situation and more a "the baby is the only one who sees the truth."

Loren Eaton said...

Actually, that's exactly what I intended! The baby's screech at the thing on the screen reaches such a pitch that it shocks the narrator out of his stupor, at least for a moment.

And, yes, our new arrival really does yell like that.

Unknown said...

I'm with Nathanial. We've been blinded by the shinies of the internet.

Loren Eaton said...

I was going to write a profound answering comment, but I decided to check Twitter instead.