you may have noticed a real lack of posts this past week. that's because this has been the second worst week we've had with beatrix. she's been sick, upset, not sleeping, had to get some shots (!), and in general- a real terror. i would see her in the mornings for a half hour or so, during which she would smile and talk and remain calm and sane. then i'd go to my job in the salt mine and about halfway through the morning i would get a string of profanity-laced emails from bebe's mother complaining that she only sleeps for twenty minutes at a time, she screams and wails constantly, she votes republican... the list of atrocities goes on and on.
then i would get home just in time for the nightly bath (the only part of the night where she looked happy), and then it would be time to soothe her and attempt to shuffle her off to dreamland. this process was two-fold. first mommy would nurse her, take her into the darkened bedroom, and hold/rock her until she was 'asleep.' then she would swaddle her, put her in her crib, and five minutes later when she was wide awake and screaming, it would be daddy's turn.
daddy would repeat the process (nursing is tough on daddy's nipples!) and after a long while bebe would be asleep for real this time. by then it would be between eight and nine o'clock, so it was time to make dinner and go to bed. only for poor mommy, there was not much sleep in her nights. two weeks prior, beebs would go to bed around seven or eight, and this guaranteed that if mommy went to bed at nine, she could get a good chunk of sleep in before bebe woke up, usually around one or so. even then, she would feed and usually go back to sleep until four, feed, sleep till six, and then be up for the morning. not so much anymore.
her new schedule consists of bed time around eight, up at eleven (maybe to eat, maybe not), up at one (not hungry, just wide awake and ready to play), up at three (same thing), up at five for a snack, awake for the day around six, 'naps' for twenty minutes at a time, broken up by continuous bouts of shrieking, ALL. DAY. LONG. our house has not been a happy one. and i obviously feel bad for mommy as she's bearing the brunt of all of this (that's kind of an understatement), but i'm also at my crappy job all day long. the only thing i have to look forward to is coming home, and for the past two weeks that's included two screaming, crying, frustrated women. sweet.
things will obviously get better. the more alarming thing, and mentally draining thing, is why this behavior suddenly started in the first place. still no idea. but she's run a fever, had a rash, pooped really weird looking stuff, not pooped at all, slept too much, not slept enough, thrown up, thrown up some really weird looking stuff, thrown up some more... the thing i had forgotten about babies is that they're stupid. they can't talk. and until they stop being lazy and learn to speak the language (this is america, after all), no one has any f*@%ing clue what they're saying!
she can't tell us what's wrong- and there's bee something wrong, no doubt. she can go from a smile to an all out alien-abduction-super-size-anal-probing scream (wide eyes and all) within a tenth of a second. stop and consider this: you're holding your baby. your baby is talking, smiling, giving you the big eyes, thanking you for all you do with the only currency she has: her beautiful, perfect face. and then in the middle of your baby talk, your 'goo goo ga ga, who's daddy's little girl? yes, you are! oooohhhh, you're so pretty! daddy loooooves you soooo much!' her eyes get HUGE, and her little face seems to fold in on itself, like someone scrunching up a piece of paper. everything contracts, the body convulses throwing her head towards her knees, curling her into a ball, the big eyes slam shut, already red and irritated looking, the fists ball up, and the mouth opens and opens in a silent scream as the lungs draw that big breath of air...
it's like a fly-by at the county air show. this is the part where the jet, flying at super sonic speeds, comes racing past you as you sit in the bleachers, the warm sun on your face. there's a slight breeze and you marvel at the sophistication of such a device. and then it's gone, past you, already far in the distance, but dragging behind it, caught in its wake, is the accumulated sound of this incredible feat of science and technology, the sonic boom.
this is the point that the lungs have been waiting for. flattened by the the diaphragm, they release that breath and the old testament can't hold a finger to the wrath and raw fury that lays waste. it is as if you have literally stabbed her in the back, even as she stared up at you, smiling and happy. it is the most wretched and violent moment you will experience (and i've seen some violence in my day) as a parent. it's like feeling bad because you betrayed someone, while being betrayed yourself. and of course you're as upset as she is and there's nothing you can do to fix what's wrong, because no one knows what that is. not even her. it is a tragedy of shakespearean proportions. no one gets out alive.
i think what i'm trying to get across here is that there is a difference between a baby who cries all of the time and the exorcist-type shit going down in our house these days. yeah, when your baby cries, that's tough. but if the baby cries all the time, we say it's got colic, or that's its temperament, etc. and you can actually get used to that crying, to a degree. but when your baby goes from happy to holy shit someone just stabbed my eyes and my blood is acid oh god it's eating me from the inside, all while being held safely in your arms and for no discernible reason, TEN TIMES A DAY, it wears on you. that's all i'm saying.
so she's been to the doctor three times in two weeks, narrowly avoided an emergency room trip, and of course no one can say what's wrong. the two things we've narrowed it down to (pretty much on our own, thanks a lot modern medicine) are regurg and/or an allergic reaction to something mommy's been eating. we got some medicine for the reflux-type issue, and mommy has embarked upon the most ridiculous diet ever in an attempt to determine what, if anything, is causing or encouraging this behavior. we'll have to let you know how all that goes.
in happier news, in between the meltdowns she's been talking a lot more, and we're really excited that she can get her fist into her mouth. she likes to suck on it from time to time (who gives a crap about the thumb when you can have the whole hand? good thinking beebs...) and often looks like a baby caricature of that biting the fist thing greasers would do when they saw a hot dame in the old days. she also engages in some riotously funny (at least she thinks so) games of 'punish the monkey' on her floor mat. she's reaching and grabbing a lot more, and she's able to hold on to things a little better than before. and of course, the kid could scream and cry for twenty-three hours and fifty-nine minutes a day, but that one minute of smiles and small talk is all we need. she is totally the best baby ever.
we've added a few new nicknames to the list as well. if you've read mommy's blog you already know we call her 'face.' just this week i've added her blues alter-ego, ' 'ol wobble-head gilb.' she gets the blues so bad.
and since she hasn't been sleeping, i've also been calling her 'tyler burden.' many of you may remember that we referred to our unborn child as 'the burden' for a while. funny at the time, not so funny now a days. manifest destiny? all i can say is that having a baby is nothing at all like being young and single. some would argue they're mutually exclusive even, except of course on cape cod (little out-dated local humor there...). anyway, for those that don't know, tyler durden is the main character in the book/movie fight club. in the story, the protagonist is an insomniac who starts these little get-togethers to help men cope with the inadequacies of their lives by fighting each other. so our little insomniac is called tyler burden. and instead of a fight club, it's a face club.
the first rule of face club is, you don't talk about face club. the second rule of face club is, you don't talk about face club. anyway, on to the pictures-