Do Not Ask

Questions you should never ask new parents: these are along the lines of asking a torpid ABD graduate student, "How's the dissertation going?"

1. "Were you able to sleep much last night?" or a variation such as, "Are you getting much sleep?" The answer is always no, and I don't want to talk about it.

2. "Why is he crying?" I DON'T KNOW WHY. It's not like I'm just walking around, tra-la-la, and when my baby starts screaming I need someone to prompt me to think about the possible reasons. BELIEVE ME, if Henry is crying, I have tried feeding, changing, cuddling, rocking, swaddling, pacifier insertion, swinging, shhhhh-ing, and everything else I can think of. Other than that, I don't know what I can do or, indeed, why he's crying.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


I raised two and I still don't know why one was a crier and one wasn't. I was the same mom both times, so that wasn't it. One thing I do know is that you and Jonathan need to get a sitter and get out soon if you haven't already. The two of you. Doing grownup things and speaking to each other in sentences. No baby. Going to work doesn't count--we're talking date-time here. I know you both are bone tired, but this is important. Henry will be fine for a few hours and you will come back home happier, even if you are still tired.

The right pacifier can work miracles. There was one called Binky that worked for both of my kids. You should be able to find it at Target or Walgreens, but it sounds like you've tried that. People are so odd about babies, like they're common property when they are the most specific thing there is. Don't let the clueless add to your stress!

It does get better!

I didn't think I would survive the first few months with Emma. Today she turned 16 months, and I think I may just be getting the hang of life with baby.

Take care of yourself.


I once met my step-sister for lunch. She had her toddler in tow, and I had G as a babe. G cried, and cried, and cried. I finally took him to the (not-kid-friendly restroom), and he'd pooped his diaper. I felt like crap because I didn't think of it, but his poop was always so dependably smelly.

I went back to the table; my SS was surprised that it was something so basic; I was taken aback. And I felt terrible, of course, that he'd sat in his shit.

It's always just one big discovery on top of another.

Do what you can do, man. Hang in there.

I'm Sticking Him with Hot Needles

Oh, this brought back memories. When the little guy was screaming his head off one day in the checkout lane (it was always the checkout lane--presumably because we weren't moving, anymore), someone asked the "Why is he crying?" question yet again, and I just *snapped.*

"What is *wrong* with that *baby*?" demanded the nasty lady. And then, she wondered, "What are you *doing* to him?"

I explained that I'd been busy sticking hot needles into his wee little baby eyeballs, and opined that, judging by his volume, he didn't like it at all.

Properly horrified, but too dim to catch onto the idiocy of her question, she scuttled away.

"Babies," said the sympathetic checkout kid, "cry."

The checkout kid, we liked.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.