The annoying truth about ‘mummy voice’ (spoiler alert: I have one).
I’ve never spent much time around mums. My mum? Yes. All the time. Every minute I can. But not new mums. I was the first of my mates to have a baby, so pretty much everything has been unchartered territory, every day a school day etc.
So before Jack, (or B.J.), I always found mums talking to their toddlers pretty unbearable. Why do they use that high-pitched voice that’s all squeaky and unnatural? And address their child as if they’re one of the Von Trapp children?
They’re all ‘Please don’t hit Thomas with that tractor, Freddie!’ And ‘Please stop pulling that lady’s hair, Ella!’ In a sing-song voice that doesn’t match the manic eyes.
And as I’ve had to say roughly eight times a day since becoming a mum, sorry for judging, fellow parents. These annoying, squeaky-voiced, fighting-a-losing-battle, slightly-manic-eyed mothers are now me. I am them all.
I have identified the reason for this particularly annoying public parenting voice, or ‘PPV’.
B.J. I assumed that if I would ever need to discipline a child in public I’d be all ‘HEY CHILD, CUT IT OUT’. And don’t get me wrong, at home, I am. But when you’re in the park, or at soft play, there is a certain expectation to pull out the PPV.
You must be firm but fair. You must discipline your child and encourage them to share (even if you also feel that George is being a ‘poopoo head’). And it’s weirdly completely normal that you were talking to your friend like a normal 30-year-old just 20 seconds ago and now you’re both clutching a writhing mini person shamelessly talking in PPVs. In 20 additional seconds you’ll release them and continue in your much-less-annoying regular voice.
Here are 3 of my most annoying PPVs from recent weeks:
‘No, Jack, let go. We LIKE sharing. It’s fun.’
‘Shall we take our hands out of our pants? Like, now?’
‘Hitting people with sticks is a rather bad idea. It hurts their brains.’
Sorry to all the non-mums who used to like my old voice. Or, at least, dislike it less than my PPV.
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