We all want to be noticed.
People used to run naked across cricket pitches, their jiggly bits jiggling mesmerisingly, just to get on telly. Now streakers are probably too busy making youtube videos, but our need to be the centre of attention is still as strong as ever.
I suspect it’s a bit stronger if you’re a younger sibling, though.
Our baby daughter, desperate to be noticed over her attention hog older brother, has developed her own, strange alien language consisting entirely of raspberry noises.
Trying to get Dad’s attention at the dinner table, she starts with a series of surprisingly gentle noises from the inside of her cheek. First a relaxing whir like an old fashioned projector, building to the soothing thrum of a well oiled sewing machine.
When that doesn’t work she moves up a gear. Dribble dances on her lips as she makes a sound like a fat man walking on bubble wrap. Then she burbles like an outboard motor, finishing with a load, messy, squelchy bluuurp, spraying humus.
Dad’s still not paying attention. She starts getting annoyed, revving up like an angry motorbike, speckling the world with food. She purses her lips and trumpets at him like a tiny elephant with it’s trunk stuck in a trumpet. He’s still not listening. He’s bidding on more second hand trousers that wont fit, or stuffing his face, or staring zombie like into the distance, half asleep, or all three. She lets rip with a full, tongue out, parping raspberry, tailing off into a thin squeak of frustration. The idiot still doesn’t notice.
In the battle for attention, our daughter has a nuclear option. It’s not a raspberry.
Without warning she lets out an incredible, ear splitting shriek. The decibels are unbelievable. It’s like someone suddenly landing a harrier jump jet on your head. Dad tosses his phone in the air, stabs himself in the eye with his fork and lets out a series of very naughty words.
“What!?” He asks her, deeply shaken.
“Nothing.” Her grin says. “Just… look at me.”