All of that said...
I'd like to formally apologize to the neighbors because Plum? She's also a screamer.
She screams for needing help opening a pack of crayons or because Mr. Pants looked at her side-eyed or because it's Tuesday. Please tell me some of you out there have raised a screaming screamer. Because this girl is coming into her own these days and it seems that she is tossing her go with the flow attitude into the firey pits of Where Did My Sweet Baby Go? and heading straight for expressing herself in the loudest and most shrill way possible.
She's always been a vocal child. She sings, she talks loudly and she laughs loudly. But this latest development, her screams, can freeze your nervous system. This becomes especially amazing when Pants engages her in a scream-off. It's similar to a stare-off but with much louder results and amazingly long breath intervals. Pants eventually gets tired of this game and will say something like "Hey stop da screaming! It hurt my ears, OK?" Plum then takes the high road. Actually no. No she doesn't. She returns with a grand finale of a high-pitched, 30 second "take that!" scream and then goes on her way. Last word and all that.
So between headaches I have to meet her where she is. Even if I'd rather hide in the bathroom a few hours each day and have her magically regulate herself. We all know that's not gonna do it. So I continue to give her the words she is looking for. "Plum can you say, 'Mama I need help?'" or "Mama, I am mad/sad/hungry" and all that jazz. and I try to run interference when I think a scream is coming. The odds are against me still that I will successfully re-route a scream but the odds will change. And sure sometimes I feel like rocking in a corner and repeating the words "this is normal development, this is normal development" with fixed eyes on the wall but I can only do that once a week. The rest of the time I am in the trenches with my little screacher and doing my best to empower her to communicate more effectively.
Oh and taking two Advil every 6 hours. I also do that.