Psychologists from SUNY and Clark University asked trial participants to do maths problems while listening to a range of sounds, including a screeching saw on wood, machine noise, a baby crying, motherese and whining, for a whole minute each. (What the fark is motherese? “Exaggerated baby speak adopted by adults” apparently. Shudder.)
Which sound was the most distracting? According to the findings, which were released last year, whining was the clear winner. Nails on a blackboard, sirens and heavy drilling didn’t come close. (Any mother could have told them that and saved them a whole heap of research dosh.)
Mind you, Sprog 1 has been practising the theme song from Chariots of Fire over and over and over again on her trumpet this week, in preparation for her Spring Spectacular concert. I’m wondering if it should have been added to the trial?
Oh, and the point of the study? Not quite sure. Something about “attachment vocalisations”. Sorry, science speak makes my head fuzzy.
Where am I going with this? Well, I wrote a blog about whining a year ago today. And I have writer’s block. And PMT. And a headache from all the trumpet practice. So I’m running it again.
Twice-in-a-week slackness … oh no! Am I losing my mummy-blogger mojo? Or just conserving my strength for all the cupcakes I’m bake today for the school band fundraiser stall?
I’m going with option b … (and little piggy faces on the cupcakes, with marshmallow snouts)
“What is it with five-year-olds and whingeing? Constantly. It makes my head feel like its exploding. I want to scream “shut up, shut up, shut up …” But I don’t, because it’s not recommended in the good parenting handbook. (I tell a lie. I did scream ”shut up, shut up, shut up” at a Sprog once. But I felt very, very guilty afterwards. Especially when the Sprogs started telling each other to “shut up, shut up, shut up”. Kind of like the time told Sprog 1 “don’t hit your sister” while simultaneously clipping her across the upper arm. Sends a mixed message. And might be regarded as child abuse in some quarters.) Sprog 2 whinges about everything. She whinges about getting up, she whinges about going to bed, she whinges about cleaning her teeth, she whinges about Sprog 1, she whinges about her shoes hurting, she whinges about the TV being turned off, she whinges about the music being too loud, she whinges about being cold, she whinges about being hot, she whinges about eating healthy food, she whinges about being hungry, she whinges about being thirsty … The whingeing is generally white noise due to its incessant nature, but it occasionally hits a nerve. Particularly when its accompanied by high-pitched wailing. Like on the weekend, when I bought the Sprogs Boost juices at the local shopping centre. There was no sign of angst prior to the juice purchase, but post juice purchase you’d have sworn Sprog 2′s life was about to be cut unnaturally short. “Arrrrrrgh … why do we have to keep walking? Why can’t we go home now? I want to go home RIGHT NOW. Arrrrrghhhh … I’ve got a BLISTER!!!!!! Arrrrrrgggghhhh.” I got a bit snappy at that point. “Sprog 2, why can’t you just say `Mummy, my foot is hurting’ instead of going completely hysterical?” (Especially when I’ve just bought you an expensive Boost juice, you ungrateful wretch.) I told her to suck it up and keep walking. She wailed even louder and dragged her foot along behind her like she’d been shot. As previously mentioned, Sprog 2′s wailing is pretty impressive. So I was forced to carry all 20kg of her to the car to avoid DOCS being called. When I started wincing and staggering, she asked what was wrong. “I am carrying you to the car. You are heavy. My back, hips, arms and legs are all killing me.” Sprog 2 is quite empathetic (unlike Mummy and Sprog 1) so she was concerned about my pain (though not concerned enough to get down and walk) and stroked my back the rest of the way. Cute but no cigar. Back at the car I tried to find the offending blister, but I’d left my microscope at home, so I didn’t have much luck. Hang on … I’ve just spent a whole blog whingeing about whingeing. How ironic. I’ll shut up, shut up, shut up now.”