The Wailing Child

My neighbor has a daughter that’s roughly somewhere between three and five years old. Honestly, I’m not a good judge of age so I’m going to stop at that pretty wide estimate. She’s small, much like a kid around that age should be, but this girl has got a set of PIPES on her. Holy heaven she can wail like a banshee.

The other day the weather was so nice I decided to enjoy the breeze so I popped my windows open to catch some of the nice aromas of the surrounding wilderness. Piercing through the serenity of the great outdoors came this unnaturally loud bellow. It was the little girl, just letting loose everything in her superhuman lungs. She was standing maybe five feet from my bedroom window (where I was trying to relax) yodeling away. If she would have told me she was trying to communicate with life on another planet I would’ve found her volume level perfectly acceptable and understandable.

The real reason she was letting out this blood curdling shriek? She was calling—nay, screaming—for her friend who lived all of two doors down.  Let me step back for a second and explain that prior to the aforementioned assault on the senses, these two girls had had a loud conversation (also right next to my bedroom window) that centered round the one girl having to go home for dinner and that she’d be back later. The wailing child (aptly named) was apparently not thrilled with this plan. So. She waited all of five minutes to start the kind of howling that would make any banshee proud.

Maybe she wasn’t allowed to leave her yard alone, hence my guess at her young age. Maybe she was super lazy and didn’t want to walk the twenty seconds it would take to reach her friend’s front door and knock on it. Who knows? All I know is that after a half hour she had gifted me a fresh migraine and frayed nerves from all the yelling she did.

She was screaming so loud I couldn’t even tell what she was saying. Her volume was so high that the message couldn’t get through the deafening barrage of sound. I made out her friend’s name but that was it. Besides that, it was all gibberish. Extremely loud gibberish.

And there I am in my house, dumbfounded that she’s able to continue on like a raving lunatic for sooo long. Where the hell were her parents? I know I’ve written a few times about people who have questioned my parenting methods. Allow me to turn the tables and tell you all that I certainly think her parents could use a little tune up in the personal decency department. I would never have allowed my kids to stand out there and just randomly scream like that. It’s not exactly what I would call neighborly behavior.

When I got pregnant (both times) everyone told me “oh this will finally make you realize how great kids are.”  Yeah, my kids. They’re awesome. Other people’s kids? Not so much. They still haven’t rubbed off on me quite yet and probably never will if they keep on trying to raise the dead outside my window. Remember kids: Silence is golden.

The Scream by Edvard Munch

The Scream by Edvard Munch

14 thoughts on “The Wailing Child

  1. Okay, I would have stuck my head out of the window and told the little girl to zip it up before I came out there and threw her into the next yard. Alternatively I would have either called her parents (if I had their number) or walked next door and knocked on their door (if I didn’t) and told them to get their daughter to shut the flock up before I called the police. There’s no way I would have just let that little banshee scream her lungs out under my bedroom window for half an hour and end up getting a migraine.

    Of course, that’s easy for me to say sitting here in front of my laptop pounding out this comment on my keyboard. Still….

    • Her parents are a little odd to say the least…it’s sort of a commune thing going on over there. Not exactly approachable. I did end up telling her to stop walking on my fence (split rail) which I’m surprised didn’t give her splinters (no shoes), which also got her to shut up because she ran back to her house.

  2. There are some young kids that live behind my house – a good 200 yards away – and if I open my windows on a nice day and they are out all I hear is blood-curdling shrieking. The second their foot steps out of their house they start playing “zombies” or some such shit, screaming at the top of their lungs until the moment they step back in their house. No one says a word to them, even though their parents are home. Drives me nuts, Right or wrong, my mother would have knocked the piss out of me for making such an assault on the neighbors. It’s a different world.

    • Yeah, my patience, or lack thereof, would never have allowed my kids to do such things. I wouldn’t have been able to stand it myself let alone allowing them to disturb others. Playing outside is one thing, making noise just for the sake of making noise is another thing entirely.

  3. I live next to a family that has a 6 year old autistic son.
    He loves playing with my daughter, although he can’t speak.
    He’s quite a great kid, and they’re a really nice family.
    Aside from this though, I understand where you’re coming from because 9am – whenever he goes goes to bed, he’s outside making noises and yelling. (his way of communicating)
    Most days I am okay with it, but on days where I am tires, and would also like to relax, it becomes a little unnerving.

    • Now see, I would understand that situation and try really hard deal with it. That’s a different thing altogether. You’re a very good neighbor to be patient as you are. That’s not the issue here though…this kid just likes making noise. So does her friend. They bark at my dog to make him bark. They ride their bikes up and down the road (a small, country road) screaming and yelling. It’s almost as if they try their best to be as noisy as humanly possible. In this instance though, I think she really was just trying to get her friend’s attention and just had no qualms about how much noise she made.

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