I can still remember the first few times I heard Eli cry. It was so hard for me to handle. It had nothing to do with the noise or the sound but the fear that my child was in pain. The first time I changed his diaper I couldn’t hear anything but his loud wail. I am standing over him trying to wipe this dark green, melted gummy bear, substance from his person and I can not stop crying because he is screaming. It was one of the moments when I truly feared I could never function as a Dad. How could I if every time my baby cried I cried.
O how times change.
I have learned since then that Eli is just communicating the only way he knows how. Listening and interpreting his cries has become a game for me. I try to hear and interpret the unique tones and sound he is making. I have also grown a thicker skin.
I have also learned sometimes babies just cry.
Sometimes they just scream.
Sometimes nothing is wrong and they still make noises that can crack windows and bust eardrums
A good example would be last night. Since Eli was born he typically has a time during the day when he just fusses. A close friend of ours called their child’s fussy time, “The Witching Hour.” Its an appropriate title. Eli’s, “Witching Hour,” is between 9-12 p.m. At any moment during this time Eli will just start screaming, flailing his long arms around and contorting himself in ways that change his handsome face into some demon that resembles a grumpy old man. The other night Eli started right after Drea decided to go bed and I was settling down for a man nap in my man chair. At first, as always, Eli just starts crying as normal so I checked to see if he was hungry or needed to be changed. He was dry and full.
Then my mind froze in fear…
Scary music began to play….
I looked at clock sitting next to our t.v….
I screamed…just kidding but I did think, “O man….its the Witching Hour!!! (insert high pitched female voice!)
I have learned that I can do nothing for Eli during these moments. He screams and I hold him. He screams and I bounce him in my lap. He screams and throws his hands in the air while flinging his head around. I do speedy ninja-like movies to avoid a painful headbutt. After about 3 minutes of screaming Drea came out and I did my best to assure her that we would be okay. It wasn’t a lie, it was more like wishful thinking. Drea closed the door to the bedroom while Eli screamed in my arms. The crazy thing is after a while I just held him. I stopped trying to sooth him and make him happy. I just laid on the couch with my son in my arms screaming like I was beating him with a really big stick.
I know at some point he stopped screaming…
I know this because I woke up a hour latter with him sleeping in my arms.
The, “Witching Hour,” had run its course and I was able to lay him in his bed and I enjoy the brief and ever so angelic moment of …