MomPower! Superpowers of the Mom Kind: Episode 1 – Cryanese

imageWhen I became a Mom, I had no idea that I would be getting/developing superpowers… Sometimes these special talents are useful in the non-mommy-related parts of our lives, but they’re supremely helpful in our pursuit to keep our kids safe and under control.

At first, I set out thinking that I would write one article to discuss of the MomPowers, but there are just too many of them to keep it from becoming a novel of epic proportions. Instead of do ing that, I’ve decided to start a series of posts with each one focusing on a single MomPower! They truly deserve to be honored individually.

As a part of paying homage to them, I encourage all of the Moms reading this to post a story or incident where they utilized the amazing MomPower being praised in that particular post!

This weeks MomPower: Cry Interpretation… Understanding Cryanese

Moms have Bionic Ears that are designed to accomplish many amazing feats. This week we will focus on the wonder of Interpreting Cries.

This Video shows exactly how I felt when I had my first baby…

Before I had kids, all cries sounded the same to me. One baby sounded just like any other baby… And older kids all just sounded like crying, screaming harpies. I hated being around babies, because I hated being around the crying and screaming… And I really think that’s because I didn’t yet understand Cryanese. Only after having my first child did I realize that MY baby sounded different from other babies in a crowd…even when they all were crying at the same time. I could tell if it was my kid crying in a room full of babies at a play group… With my back turned. Pretty cool. (I also learned that ANY crying baby would trigger the breastmilk “let down” mechanism… Super awesome mess if you’re unprepared for that. That’s for another post)
Soon I also realized that not only did each BABY sound different from one another, but that there are multiple types of crying…. Or different-sounding cries to express various emotions or desires. After Butch Cassidy was born, I realized that, even though he screamed non-stop (Colic Crying is an evil that I only wish on my WORST enemies) that his cries meant different things. I was still in the process of learning which cry meant what when I saw an awesome interview on Oprah that helped me better decipher what I call Cryanese. The woman being interviewed was named Priscilla Duncan, and she had developed a system of understanding the cries. I agreed with her descriptions of the sounds with what I had been hearing from Butch Cassidy, and it was extremely validating. When you have time, watch her here for more info:
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To me a hungry cry sounds kind of like an angry goat, and the longer you let them nehhhhh nehhhhh nehhhhh the goat noise becomes frantic… like the goat ate a bunch of caffeine. An angry cry sounds more like a seriously ticked off cat… And if you haven’t regularly clipped that baby’s fingernails, you could wind up looking like one attacked you. Tired cries… hurt cries… Someone please Burp Me before I blow up Cries… We as Moms become quickly acquainted with what cries mean. We become awesome interpreters of Cryanese, and it’s a good thing, too, because otherwise the world would sound like one big screaming fit. That would be a layer of my personal hell… Screaming kids and not being able to figure out what they want to make them stop screaming.

And since Crying is a form of communication for babies, it’s technically the precursor for learning to speak… And Toddlers aren’t the easiest people in the world to understand…. I call it Toddlerese. Toddlerese is a combination is gestures, beginning words and crying….. Which makes speaking fluent Cryanese first a necessary skill in Toddler Wrangling. If you’re one of the uninitiated in toddler management, just try communicating with one who’s tired or trying to tell you which stuffed animal he wants…. It can turn into an explosive situation if you don’t know how to interpret his signs. It’s kind of like dealing with a tiny caveman.

Next Post in the MomPower Series: Understanding Toddlerese

Is there a word your toddler says in a hilarious way? Or sounds like something you DON’T want them to say when they say it? Let us know in the comments below…. I would love to include them in the next post!

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