Worm’s not talking yet, but he’s a babbling brook of ooh’s and ah’s.  I find those sounds so adorable and easily some of the sweetest sounds to wet my ears.  (Geez, I’m starting to sound like a hormonally charged woman…see what stay-at-home daddyhood does to a man?  It rips off the hair from your chest and gently caresses you with it until you’re a sensitive, sobbing mess.)

When Worm serenades us with cooing songs, I can’t help but grab him and squeeze him and tell him I love him (less than Frodo and Duncan, but not by much).  It’s when he switches from cooing to bloodcurdling scream is when I want to just grab him and squeeze him.

I always thought that my kid wasn’t going to be one yelling at the top of his lungs during a moment of silence in church.  (Actually, he can’t do this because we don’t go to church.  But, he’ll be the one screaming his lungs off when we, heathens, are dead and burning inside the gates of hell.  Ok, we’ll all be screaming.  I digress.)  I always thought that other parents just didn’t know how to control their squawking children in public.  Kids screaming at the supermarket.  Bad parenting.  Kids screaming in the restaurant.  Bad parenting.  My offspring would never do that.  I was sure that my parenting techniques were superior.  Then I was smacked with the reality hammer…

Worm goes from zero to eleven on the volume knob instantly.  At least a hundred decibels can come out of that little body on a whim.  The words “use your inside voice” return a blank stare.  My only solution to the problem was to paint lips on flesh-colored duct tape and cover Worm’s pie hole for our outings, but I can’t find a roll anywhere!  (Must be sold out in stores…or hasn’t been invented yet!  You’re welcome to hijack that idea.  Please send royalties directly to MVG.)

It’s difficult to spend time in a quiet environment with Worm anymore.  Movie theaters are out.  Malls are out.  Even the zoo is suspect.  (Why are all the animals gawking at us and running off, ears covered?)  When we can, we ask for outside seating at venues, in hopes that passersby may mistake the shrill cries of our son for an ambulance or an impending velociraptor.  Subsequently, I’ve narrowed down the list of places we can take the family to:  airport runways, drag races, and space (the final frontier).

I know that I’m losing my hearing from the pint-sized banshee.  I feel the cilia in my ear quivering and dropping dead from fright with every high frequency sonic blast.  No blood has poured from my ears yet, but that doesn’t mean I’m not bleeding inside my head.

“What did you say?”, “Can you turn up the volume on the TV?”, and “I think you’re mumbling.” are the top three phrases from my mouth.  And they’re about 30 years from being followed by “Could I get you to change my Depends?”, “I need to take out my teeth to clean them.”, and “My wrinkles sweat profusely in summer.”  I’m way too young to lose my hearing.

On the plus side, I can now use Worm as an excuse for not listening to my wife.

Worm, you’ve scored yet again.  And just for future reference, when you ask to borrow my car keys I won’t be able to hear you.

Gavin – 13; Dad – 7

“WHAT DID YOU SAY SON?”                                            “I Said That Pink is NOT Your Color, Dad.”