“The Voice” and The Mystery On Piper’s Door

Discipline is an issue for us at times, as it is in any household. We’ve tried many different techniques, however, we don’t hit in our house. Personally, I don’t need to hit or spank, I can usually get Piper to submit simply by using my voice. I know that I can make her cry just by yelling at her. Not that I ever want to make her cry, but that usually ends up being the result. Although I am soft spoken, having studied voice in college does have its advantages. I know exactly how to project, use resonance and modulation on my voice to get certain effects if needed. Also, at some point during the years, things just clicked and I acquired the “mom voice.” You know the sound, that mom tone that stops you in your tracks. I’m not being sexist: dad’s yell, but mom’s have that tone. I liken it to the Bene Gesserit voice power from the novel “Dune.” Since “the voice” has such an effect on Piper, I don’t use it much. I try to reserve it only for extreme occasions, like if she is running into the street or about to touch the stove when it’s hot. Sometimes it creeps into disciplinary situations, however.

The voice got used yesterday, although inadvertently. Piper was playing upstairs in her room. I went downstairs for a couple of moments, trying to think of new ways to pull my hair out. I heard little taps upstairs. I thought Piper was in her playroom, drawing on her chalkboard. I went upstairs after a few of minutes, because, “Hey, what can happen in just in a few minutes?” I was surprised when I found Piper in her bedroom, then when I saw the inside of her door, I was even more surprised.

I let out a shout I probably shouldn’t have. I used the voice. “No, no, no, no, no! What happened?” She cried almost immediately. But I stopped and apologized, because I knew this was really my fault. And I explained this to her: (a) she was just playing, she didn’t do this on purpose, and (b) I should have been watching her anyway. I calmed her down, explained these points to her, and said calmly that she simply should never draw on the door with her pens again.

But upon closer inspection, what I thought was just a child’s doodle kind of creeped me out. Was this some kind of message? It looked like something out of “Red Dragon.” What in the world could this mean, if anything? I thought we needed an expert’s opinion, so I emailed the photos to an old acquaintance of mine, Charlie Eppes, who happens to now be a consultant for the FBI.

He emailed me back saying that the letters do seem to have some intrinsic meaning. They appear to be ordered in some way, like in a code. The message has to do with time, and seems to be making some kind of prediction. He mentioned something about complexity and intrinsic indeterminability. He had assigned number values to all of the letters, and used a Fokker-Planck equation to try and sort it out. He couldn’t decode all of the message, but he did  ascertain that it had  something with a thing called “diggolees.” He also used another word, “doonkas.” Awesome. That makes a lot of sense, really clears it all up. Thanks, Numb3rs guy.

I asked Piper about it, she had no idea what I was talking about. She just pointed to the door, and said that she liked putting her stickers on it. She said it “made her happy.” Well, I don’t know anything about diggolees or doonkas, I just know that I want her door clean. I’d better get out the Magic Eraser before mom gets home. These “diggolees” can wait, now it’s scrubbing time.

Source: Some ideas were paraphrased (albeit incorrectly by me) from the numb3rs blog. This site was made by a professor from Northeastern University’s Math department. It’s really quite interesting, I suggest checking it out sometime.


12 thoughts on ““The Voice” and The Mystery On Piper’s Door

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  1. *Sigh* I remember the time my guy got a hold of some fabric glue I had lying around for a project. He thought it would be fun to squirt it on stuff. Stuff being the couch, the carpet, his clothes, himself… Or the time the other one sprayed Armor All on the kitchen floor. I wonder if that’s what they used in Risky Business…

  2. WOW! I can’t believe you actually emailed a photo of Piper’s diggolees to an FBI consultant! That’s too funny! Perhaps, “diggolees” and “doonkas” would make a good children’s book? It sounds like it to me. I hope you were able to get out the pen marks! 🙂 ~J

  3. Oh, it’s amazing what damage they can do in such a short amount of time. I can leave my daughter for 30 seconds and find her high chair covered in crayons. Lucky she hasn’t quite discovered the wall yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time. On the other hand, you’ll be surprised how quick baking soda can clean things up.

  4. Wow, Jeff! This had me laughing out loud this morning. So many times I’ve had to do this or that and just leave Maycee alone in her room playing or whatever for those 2-3 minutes while I take out the trash or whatever. It’s amazing what can happen, right? Just two days ago I was back in her bedroom trying to get it cleaned up after finally getting her ceiling finished up. Cleaning up drywall dust is no quick task. But, Maycee was only in the dining room playing, right? Next thing I know, I here her saying, “come here, sweetie, come here”. She was trying to put a tote bag on our dog, Louisy, to wear as a dress. Poor Louisy. I was able to maintain a fairly calm voice this time around as I said to Maycee, “Honey, please don’t put the bag on the dog.” Ha!

  5. Well, you’d think I know how to write, but I sure did use a lot of “whatevers” and “ups” in the above response, and let me clarify that I know how to spell “hear” vs. “here”. Brother. It’s been a week, but I loved your blog today! Thanks!

  6. Um, yes. Just . . . yes.

    We’ve been having a lot of issues with both of our children producing Sharpie permanent maker pens out of thin air, and decorating the house with them.

    Turn your back for a second . . .


  7. Very funny post Dad and adorable child.
    I remember my 5 year old boy playing barber to my 2 1/2 year old girl when my back was turned.
    And the time same boy took all the sanitary pads removed the backing and stuck them all over the bathroom walls. Tame child you have there, tame.

  8. I can completely relate to your reaction. When my daughter’s done something outrageous I often react first then think, “Probably too loud and definitely too strongly-worded.” But you know inside that cute head she had some plan for the art–the trick is channeling that. And keeping a scouring pad and quart of touch-up paint handy.

  9. Props for using Charlie Eppes. Man, I miss that show!

    Kids are fun, no? My 3 keep me on my toes, although I will say that now that they’re 5, 7, and 10 – it’s a whole different ballgame, in both good and bad ways, mostly good. My middle child used to draw on EVERYTHING. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to lose it and catch my breath and count to 10.

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