The Onomatopoeia of Parenthood

The sound of joyous baby laughter has to be one of the finest in the world. It is uninhibited glee that would warm the stony heart of even the most craven UKIP supporter. I would say that it has to be one of my favourite sounds in the world.

It wasn’t always so. When the wife was pregnant I ignorantly thought about the endless noise that would emanate from our chid. Given bias by years of horror stories, Sex Ed and existing parents I used to think that the sounds would be entirely, overwhelmingly, obnoxious.

Yet the sounds a baby makes are so much richer than that. Yes, there are the ear-splitting yells, the wailing sobs and, the worst in my opinion, the beep of the Playstation 4 disc being ejected as you’re minutes away from completing a mission.

But there is also the quizzical ‘eh?’ the contented sighs, the excited-to-see-you yelps.

From the very youngest age the boy’s noises have been a point of reference for his development.

When he was tiny, his breathing was what we checked in the middle of the night to ensure he was alive. His snoring forced us to put him in a different room at three months. The clunking smack of him head-butting the end of his cot when he was learning to crawl let us know he was awake.

As the boy grows, so does the sounds he makes. I’ve already mentioned on these ‘ere pages his saying ‘addy’ but now we’re adding ‘mum’, ‘at’ (cat) and ‘reh-ru’ (hello).

So far my efforts to get him to say ‘goddamn’ have been limited in success.

Paralinguistic noises also carry so much information about his growth as we will often hear the boy crawling his way about the room – it sounds like:

*pat pat pat pat*…..gah!……*pat pat pat pat*

When we hear these noises we know everything is okay.

Sometimes it will be more like:

*pat pat pat*….raharararad dadadada…(sees something of interest that can undoubtedly kill him) *patpatpatpatpatpat*

This is more worrying and often requires speedy intervention.

Then there’s the classic:

*pat pat pat* ………(extended period of silence)…..

When this happens we know we have to move superhumanly fast. People say silence is golden. We say it is deeply concerning.

Over the last week the sound has changed somewhat. He has started to walk and so now we hear:

*tap tap tap thud!*

It won’t be long until we hear *tap tap tap smash*, *tap tap tap arrrgghhhh* or even *tap tap tap kaboom*.

Luckily for me though I can go *tap tap tap…pfftz…glug glug glug*.

14 Replies to “The Onomatopoeia of Parenthood”

    1. Apparently the pilots of the Hurricanes used to fly wingtip to wingtip with the v1 and then nudge them over so they fell into the sea. Which, in my opinion, must have taken some pretty massive bollocks.

      We have yet to have a trip to the hospital but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’ve heard of that manoeuvre too. Large ones indeed, of the finest steel.

        Once saw an OU TV maths lecture that was on before the one I was waiting for that went into the way the boffins debunked the German high command’s boast that they could land V1s on a pin head. It was all aim, shoot, and hope, apparently.

        I’ve actually seen one up close, at the air museum in Brussels. Rough as arseholes, looked like they were put together by blindfolded chimps. Miracle they even got off the launch ramp.

        We soon developed an almost telepathic sense when first-born was about to start “dafting” as she later christened it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Love this. Reminds me of when my boys were little. I actually cried the first time they each laughed out loud because the unadulterated joy in the laughter of a baby is so great. My oldest kept a perpetual bruise somewhere on his head from the time he learned to walk until he was about three. I kept thinking people would call social services on me. But he was a runner and a climber and I remember very clearly learning just as you have what the sounds and silences meant. There were lots of “thuds” with him, no matter how close an eye we kept on him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve had that same thought about social services, although the Thai equivalent leaves a lot to be desired.

      It is a joy watching them and hearing them laugh. We hope we can keep it going for a long number of years.


  2. WHAT?! You’re trying to get him to swear???I thought that came kind of natural to kids…no need for teaching him!!! πŸ™‚ (I absolutely LOVE the ages from 6 months to 3! Especially if I’m the Aunt!) πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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