Someone once told me that having kids would change my life. I never really understood the truth behind the statement. Oh, you know it's true, much like you are pretty sure that falling out of a building will hurt, if not kill, you, but you have no direct empirical evidence to back up your assumptions.
I love my Chickpea. She is just now starting to have her own emotions, and it makes waking up in the morning so much more interesting. It's wonderful to see her holding her own head up, and looking around at the world. It's just lovely to hear her singing in that nonsensical baby talk, knowing that she is trying to talk to us. I love that her hands are always in her mouth, and that she is constantly drooling.
All of these things are great, and I have certainly had my life changed. However, what I could not anticipate was the utter helplessness I feel each and every time I am left alone with her and she starts to cry. Not the little cries mind you. Those I can handle. I am talking about the World Is Coming to an END crying.
I have created a system...a mental checklist, if you will, about things I need to do when she cries. Location, diaper, food, mylecon. If you follow that process, you can handle 95% of the ills that befall your child. If she is unhappy with her location, simply move her or hold her. If that fails, check the diaper. If that's clean, try feeding her (if it's been about that amount of time since her last feeding). Should that fail, and you can tell it's gas, give her some Mylecon (or should I call it Smile-lecon), and she will calm down.
It's that last 5% that is a real bitch. My wife tries to understand, but she cannot. She has the breast that lays that golden milk. It's very, very easy for her to calm Chickpea because no matter what, the child will take the breast and get drunk on mother's milk. I don't have that option, and so my problems rapidly devolve into stress filled, fear laced, panic filled moments of terror. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WRONG??? That's about all you can think. The helplessness can be paralyzing.
And I hate it.
And I have been changed by it.
It is funny to see in myself just how much more patient I have become. How I methodically try to work the problem as opposed to my usual run and gun style of problem solving. I know that this will pass, for no other reason than when she can speak, she can at least tell me why she is raising bloody murder. No, for now, I must learn to handle my non-communicative child like a problem to be solved to maintain my sanity. I hate that those 5% times can be so hard...so taxing...so unbelievably challenging and lonely. My wife can't understand the feeling, and perhaps she is not meant to. This is my growing process...my life to be changed.