Baby’s Cry


Fina Bikkhuni

I once saw a documentary on the roar of tigers, how the low-frequency of the roar has the ability to paralyse its victims (humans included), giving them a chance to pounce.

Considering how things like this are tools of survival, I look at Fina. At just over five months old, her survival is still entirely dependant her parents. Her most useful tool to express her needs is her voice. I began wondering if her cry might have a similar use as the tiger’s roar, but with an opposite effect of forcing a reaction. There’s something about her cry that cuts right through my brain until I almost think I can feel my corpus callosum being vibrated. Probably not… but I can literally feel my eardrums vibrate, even during a relatively subdued cry. It presents itself as a seemingly impossible challenge in terms of keeping a still mind. Though I can’t control my initial reaction, especially when Fina hits that certain frequency, signaling that things have just hit a more serious level of not going well, what I have been able to work on is the level of stress that arrises along with it. Not that a crying baby shouldn’t be reacted to (there are plenty of other situations I can practice not reacting to!), I just wonder how much of the reaction is involuntary?




Once again, I would like to emphasis how wonderful Fina has been, and how lucky EunBong and I are as parents. I don’t want anyone to think I’m complaining about her crying, I’ve just been observing my own mental reaction when she does get upset. As I stated in a previous post, mindfulness is something I really have to work on! That said, I could just as easily have written a post titled, “Babies Cry”!

 As for the picture, I was going to post one of her crying, but I figured posing her as a Theravada monk would be a lot cuter! She should probably be in white but, oh well…  ^^


5 responses »

  1. Oh, Joseph, what an a-DOOR-able opening of awareness to the “magical power and marvelous action” of a basic and simple life function. Your insight and remarkable photographic skill bring a new perspective to a timeless (and seldom touted) aspect of parenting! Good job!! Both your parents were delighted! :~)

    Here’s some online advice to consider:
    “Getting down on all fours and imitating a rhinoceros stops
    babies from crying. (Put an empty cigarette pack on your nose for a horn and make loud “snort” noises.) I don’t know why parents don’t do this more often. Usually it makes the kid laugh. Sometimes it sends her into shock. Either way it quiets her down. If you’re a
    parent, acting like a rhino has another advantage. Keep it up until
    the kid is a teenager and she definitely won’t have her friends
    hanging around your house all the time.” – P.J. O’Rourke

  2. Hey Joseph.. oh ya there is all kinds of research about a baby’s cry and its effect on the parents and you are dead on..Its like a dog whistle to a dog.. it doesnt really bother us humans in fact we dont even really hear it..but the dog hears it accutely and responds. There is indeed a correlation between the pitch of a baby’s cry and her own parents chemestry and .. you are dead on about it being about survival..
    And as Im sure you are learning..The parents ability to find their inner calm directly correlates to the childs ability to calm down.. bsically the infant needs to know that the parents can and will take care of her and have confidence about that.. Once they sense doubt.. the get even more worked up.. so that ability to find inner peace is of the essence…. survival…but also with confidence and calm..
    Have fun with it..

    • hey Kadijah!
      I finally found a computer that lets me use the ‘reply’ link!
      Thank you for telling me about this.
      I should have thought to look up some reasearch, I was really surprised that I was actually on to something!
      thank you again!

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