Sunday, January 16, 2011

An Apology

To the nice, deeply Christian family that sat next to us at the McDonald's playland today, I am so deeply sorry for scaring the wits out of you during your post-church McNuggets.

You see, my son, the young, brash, and loving BooBoo, had crawled behind the video game system that McDonalds had put in the play area and was fiddling with the electrical outlet.  He has been repeatedly warned to not mess with these things, but for some reason is still fascinated with the domesticated lightning receptacles.

I do not like to use my command voice to address him, but since he was outside of my immediate reach and doing something dangerous, I was forced to.  As a semi-experienced father, I felt it was necessary to project my displeasure with his behavior in a way that not only stopped him from either electrocuting himself or destroying the video game, but also did so instantaneously. Please note that as I was vocalizing, I was rising from my seat and was headed over to physically interact with him.

I appreciate that you accepted my immediate apology once I returned to our table, but I want to point out that I did not actually shout.  What I did was to contract the bottom of my diaphragm in order to provide a short, focused burst of air through my windpipe, manipulate the muscles in my throat to bring my voice down about an octave and a half, and engaged the language center of my brain to select the proper monosyllabic commands that a two-year-old would understand to mean "Stop trying to kill yourself and destroy property".  The result of all of these preparations was a short, sharp, well-aimed command that my son responded to very quickly.  A shout is a general exclamation, usually emotional, that I have found to be ineffective.

Again, please accept my apologies.  If either of you should ever want to learn how to project your voice without it being a whining keen, please feel free to contact me.  I give the first few lessons in command voice and "The Look" for free.


Shannon said...

I was reading *your* words, but I was hearing and seeing *my* husband after one of the kids back in our McDonald's playland days. So funny!

MrG's said...

That is called a "command voice" I have used it from time top time with my son when he is fixing to do something real foolish and dangerous.

Joshkie said...


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