Are you the kind of supermom that comes to the rescue when her baby cries and knows exactly what to do to halt the flood of tears in their tracks? Or like me, do you fumble across the few causes (tired, hunger...) that may be the culprit and still can't stop the swell of the damn water?
I am a year into motherhood and still I do not yet have my baby cry decoder ring. I know that may sound like I am not in tune with my daughter, but although 80 percent of the time I can quickly figure out what the problem might be, there is 20 percent of the time that is still a crapshoot. Many times, Isabella will stop crying once I hold her. She is a momma's girl, so no one else will do.
Then there are the other times. If Isabella is fussy and has been awake for a few hours, chances are she is tired. If she is getting cranky and it is lunchtime, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that she is hungry. My daughter has never really been the type of baby to cry when she has a dirty diaper, she knows sooner or later her little royal heiney will be cleaned. So I just knocked out the easy three excuses for a baby's meltdown and what am I left with? Good question, I am still trying to figure out the answer to that one.
My baby is crying and I know she is not a) tired; b) hungry; or c) has a dirty diaper. What do I do? Well, since she is my daughter and one of my favorite pastimes is eating, I give her Cheerios. That may bring her whimpering to a halt momentarily, until she realizes I can't buy her silence with food. Fair enough little one, now what to do next? Next Isabella is handed a cup of milk. Still not happy? Ok, then try a cup of water. A small percentage of the time the beverage is the right answer for the bad mood. If it is not, then I am still stranded in the middle of baby blues island with not a clue of what to do next.
Since I have already used the 50/50 lifeline, I try the phone-a-friend option. My friend suggests that perhaps my child is teething and that I should try rubbing some whiskey on her gums. Ummm....no. Which century are we in again? I thought that trend was phased out when bell bottoms became passe. Note to self: check friend's house for dated bomb shelter, and do not ask friend for baby advice EVER again.
At this point, I mentally run through the list of culprits that often make my husband whine, which include hunger, sleepiness and boredom. Ah-ha! Perhaps my daughter is bored out of her little mind and is crying for me to entertain her. I get on all fours and bark like a dog. Isabella is still crying. I dance around the house like an idiot. Isabella has stopped crying. Instead she is screaming. Truthfully, I would scream too if I was forced to watch the spectacle of spasms that I call dancing. Apparently Isabella is not appreciating my finer talents as an actor and animal impersonator, so I spread a slew of noisy toys around her and attempt to overstimulate my child into a silent stupor. Note to readers: not a good idea, unless you want your child to scream so loud you are afraid the cops may show up at any minute to investigate a report of domestic disturbance.
I love my daughter, but at this point I am usually ready to commit myself to an insane asylum. I can no longer bear to hear her sobbing, it upsets me and I just do not know what to do to appease her. It is at this point that I decide to use my final lifeline, which is to tag out and pass her off to my husband. With his fresh perspective and creative solutions, he can usually find some clever way to soothe our baby girl. It may take him a few hours, but by then I have already dozed off into a deep slumber, so I don't hear a thing.