This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
We thought we were so lucky when we first brought Will home from the hospital.
He would give us 4-5 hours of sleep at a time. He slept most of the time and hardly ever fussed. We went on and on about how we lucked out and had the perfect baby. Well, it appears we may have spoken too soon.
Will has taken to eating every 90 minutes. And when we go beyond those 90 minutes, he freaks out. It’s amazing to me how one second I’m looking at my angelic son in a deep and fitful slumber, and then in the blink of an eye it’s like he’s that little creature in Alien that pops out of that guy’s stomach. He cries so hard and so loud I start to wonder if he’s been possessed by the Devil or something. And since this is usually in the wee hours of the morning it’s even more obnoxious.
At first I try the usual tricks to appease him. I put his head on my chest, I bounce him, I walk with him, I put him in his vibrating chair, then I try the swing and finally the pacifier. I usually have to sneak the pacifier by MJ, because she is convinced pacifiers are the worst thing on the planet. Seriously, if you ask her to rank the most evil things in history I think her list would be comprised of 1) Slavery, 2) Pacifiers and 3) Hitler. Even though we heard FROM THE NURSES AND DOCTORS that pacifiers are good for the baby if used in moderation, she’s still not convinced. It’s moronic if you ask me. Obviously the kid just wants to suck on something sometimes and there’s nothing wrong with a pacifier at those times. And don’t talk to me about “nipple confusion” because from everything I’ve read and heard, nipple confusion is a bunch of crap.
But I digress…
So anyways, I’m a grown man and obviously Will is a tiny infant. Yet the balance of power is in his favor. Furthermore, it’s amazing what I’ll say to my infant son to try to get him to stop crying. At first I tell him everything is OK, then I try to soothe him. But after awhile I start talking to him like he’s a fully capable adult who can understand me.
“Will. WILL! Seriously, what is this crying accomplishing? WHAT DO YOU WANT ME FROM ME?? I’ll give you whatever you need for five minutes of solace Will. You want a motorcyle when you’re 16? If you give me an hour of consecutive sleep it’s yours buddy. Fine. Your loss.”
Honestly, I’m trying to negotiate with an 8-pound baby. Meanwhile my wife’s body simply can’t handle feeding a baby every hour and a half. The poor woman is running on fumes, but to her credit she does her best to keep up with him. She’s hell bent on not giving Will formula for as long as possible. Despite some close calls at 3:30 am when he’s been awake and noisy for four hours, so far she’s successfully avoided the strong temptation of simply making up a bottle in the middle of the night instead of sacrificing her body to a ravished infant who she swears has razor blades for gums.
It also isn’t helping that I go back to work starting Tuesday, and she’s wondering how she’s going to cope without me helping out during the day. I’m pretty conflicted about going back to work myself, but that’s a post for another time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a crying baby to attend to. Big surprise there.