Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)

Fri, Sep 05 2008

New noises for toddlers to make

This must be the human version of putting a bell on the cat. I can only imagine the sound of a whole store filled with toddlers running around in these squeaky shoes. But if the shoes give the toddler a sort of alternate source of noisemaking, they might be just the trick for the rest of us. A couple of evenings ago my spouse and I nearly had our respective eardrums obliterated by a (very cute) little girl screaming and running alongside the meat counter in a Nob Hill grocery store. (Maybe she had never seen so many plucked Cornish Hens in one place before then.) The mother seemed more amused than upset and just told the child she couldn't scream in the grocery store that way, but only after the mother caught sight of us flinching and holding our ears. The child did stop and did seem to be having fun more than having a tantrum. The next time we encountered the family the father had put the little girl inside their shopping cart and was keeping a close watch on her. Good Papa.

I shouldn't be too tough on the little girl's mother. If she's been listening to those screams for a year or two, she no doubt has hearing loss and probably isn't a good judge of how loud the toddler's screams actually are. (And a scream wouldn't seem as loud when you're walking behind the child. We were trapped at a 30-degree angle in front of the youngster's sudden blast.)

I think I'd take squeaker shoes over high-pitched screams. If riot police could harness the power of the shrill decibels a toddler can emit they would be able to disperse large crowds of angry demonstrators and deter looters in about 5 seconds. I'd wager that scientists are already working on it.

posted at: 08:31 | category: /Playing | link to this entry

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