There was a little piece on the radio in Dubai last week about the top 10 most annoying sounds (you’ll see where I’m going with this in a minute).
I was pretty sure that nails on a chalkboard would top the list, but there are – according to the neuroscientists who researched this – two other even more unpleasant sounds.
A knife on a bottle, followed by a fork on a glass are the noises our brains find most intolerable, apparently. Other sounds on the list are more guessable, like an electric drill and a crying baby. Then there were one or two I’m not sure I’ve ever heard, like a disc grinder and a ruler on a bottle.
Long before the presenters reached ‘crying baby’, it occurred to me that mums of small children could put together their own list of annoying sounds, based on the things we hear all.the.time.
You know what I mean – we love our children so much it hurts, but sometimes the words our infuriating, ravenous little darlings utter over.and.over.again can make you want to pierce your eardrum with a screwdriver be a little irritating.
Here’s my top 10:
“Mummeeeee, I’m BORED.” Followed two minutes later by, “Mummy, I SAID, I’m bored.”
“He started it!” [feigns innocence]
“YOU do it”
“I want a NEW mummy”
“I don’t like it” [throws food you’ve shopped for and spent ages preparing back at you]
“Mummy, [insert sibling’s name] hit me!” [don’t get me started about the goading]
“I’ve got nothing to DO” [sighs with weariness despite 10 million toys upstairs]
“It’s morning time!” At 5.45am.
“I’m NOT going to bed!” Every.single.night.
“Why?” repeat ad nauseam
I’m sure there’s more (‘he’s not sharing’, ‘after this programme’, ‘you’re not my friend’).
But I know – the day will come when they won’t want to talk to me at all, and I’ll resort to stalking them on Facebook – then, I’ll miss these gems! (Or not?)