This morning, I awoke to Tori’s soft, “I’m waking up now, Mom” coos, just like always. But since it was only two hours since she’d last had me up, I made the mistake of rolling over and trying for five more minutes of shut eye. About 30 seconds after I dozed off, those happy little noises turned into sound barrier breaking screams.
To say I bolted out of bed would be an understatement. For one groggy minute, I thought one of the cats was trying to eat her hand off or something. But no, she was just complaining about the slow service, or so I imagine.
The screaming continued at about 15 minute intervals all day long. All day. From 6:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
I tried everything to get her to stop. I fed her. Burped her. Changed her. Distracted her with toys. Put her in her swing. Put her in her bouncy chair. Put her in her car seat. Rocked her. Walked with her. Danced with her. Even subjected her to my terrible singing voice (which prob’ly would have made me cry too).
Nothing worked. At least not for long.
At one point, I called my mom, trying unsuccessfully to hide the panic in my voice. She didn’t have the answers, but, amazingly, the sound of her voice seemed to calm the baby.
But eventually, of course, I had to hang up. And the screaming started again.
By 1:30, I was beginning to understand why people shake babies.
By 2:30, I was ready to throw her out the window.
By 3:30, I was ready to throw myself off the roof.
By 4:30, I didn’t have the strength to do anything but sit on the couch and make ineffective shushing noises at her.
That’s when I started wishing for some sort of baby translator – like the things they had on Star Trek that allowed everyone to understand everyone else. How else am I supposed to figure out what her different screams mean?
For all I know, she could have been trying to tell me that she disapproves of the scent of my deodorant. Or that I need to help the starving babies in China. Or that my current recycling habits (virtually non-existent) are killing the planet and ruining her future.
More likely, she just had gas. Or a tummy ache. Or was tired of the sound of my voice. What’s important is that she’s being quiet now…unfortunately, the sounds of her cries are still echoing in my head.
It gets better, right?