True stories with a twist!

As we sat on the Midtown Direct train leaving Convent Station heading to New York, a loud, raw, ugly sound came drifting through the train cars, attacking our calm, peaceful ears. It was the unmistakeable sound of a young child exploding into screams. 


This sound was especially distressful since we had, the night before, seen an episode of “Call the Midwife.” In this episode everyone was absorbed by the unabated joy upon the faces of nurses, midwives and new parents. A baby was born. Cause for celebration. No reason to imagine that life from now on would be anything but ecstatic. 

Until baby becomes unhappy about something and its protests start reeling in from the next train car.

That child was completely unaware of its surroundings, totally disinterested in people’s reactions to the noises it was emitting. The baby had the power to force people to unwillingly listen. Nobody could simply switch the channel or activate a “stop” button. The child did not care what anybody thought of it’s screeching concert. He/she was tuned out of any reaction, reviews of the performance or negativity about its expression skills.

When does that change? When do people turn from screaming child unaware and uncaring about the effects of its disturbing their restful train ride? To twittering, self-conscious, insecure adolescent-like humans, afraid of being seen wearing the wrong brand of jeans? Or of expressing unpopular opinions to the “in crowd?”

Isn’t it a shame that the freedom baby has to express its desires and opinions is diminished just at the time that their ideas and opinions might finally become worthwhile and interesting to listen to?

If only babies came with control buttons. One to “mute” any vocal unhappinesses and the other to “play” the sweet sounds of contentment.

Comments on: "SELF CONSCIOUSNESS" (20)

  1. I actually felt the words in that post beautiful Ronnie.
    Pity adults couldn’t express ourselves in the simplicity of emotions of a child.
    Kind regards my friend.

  2. I really like this post, good realization. Smart point of comparison.

  3. The use of the vocal cords in a child, make the quiet all the more appreciated. 9 Grands, 4 Greats, I know!

  4. I would rather hear a baby screaming than a man screaming in public at his wife or vice versa and making their life miserable. Babies are only doing an inborn response, while adults should know better than to mistreat others at home or in public.

  5. Adrianne Bendich said:

    very insightful!! I enjoyed your analysis. Thanks, Adrianne

  6. Same thing with babies screaming in restaurants!

  7. It takes a village to figure out why the baby is crying. Good one, Ronnie.

    • A neighbor once told me, when I had children the crying/tantrum age, “you are more troubled by your child’s crying than we are.” But now the I am past that stage, I disagree with my well-meaning neighbor. I find screaming babies every bit as annoying as it was when my own children were terrible twos.

      • Hi Ronnie. I totally agree. Screaming children in restaurants are high on my list of no-nos. I wonder why parents don’t just take their children out of the restaurant and calm them down before bringing them back into the restaurant. Yesterday, a woman kept smiling at me and shaking her head as her child screamed.

        • Do you 🤔 think they parents bring babies to restaurants because they don’t want to pay a baby sitter? Or perhaps they can’t find one? It can’t be pleasant for them either, to have an out of control baby ruining their dinner.

  8. Who says I ever quit screaming?

  9. Not sure if my comment posted.

    Great post — and fascinating question. 🙂

    • Your comment registered loud and clear! As for the question, that’s there too. The answer? Not so much!

      • Alice Steinbacher said:

        Ronnie, you got me. I love babies and kids and can imagine how distressing it is to hear a little one upset. Sometimes it’s just misunderstood fear and othersis true fright and no one wants to have to listen especially if you can’t do something for the little one. I also love that show “call the Midwife”

        • Alice, I love babies and children too, but am not a fan of forced listening to shrill screaming. But that’s why language was invented, so we can express our feelings. Babies will figure that out some day.

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