If you can’t help your wonderful baby girl enjoy her first Valentine’s Day, at least make it memorable.
We have one hard and fast, yet simple rule when it comes to our 6-month-old daughter Maddie – Her waking hours are not to surpass the three-hour mark. You can flirt with the mark, but violate it at your own peril.
I’m not sure how often I need a refresher course on this one, but Maddie laid down the law on me once again tonight.
Our day got off to a rough start because it appears that peaches DO NOT agree with the baby’s digestive track. Her first taste of peaces came around 8 this morning. It will likely be the last taste for months, if not years to come.
Her tummy was all out of whack and under siege from gas attacks all morning. This made any decent naptime very hard to come by. By 2pm, she had only three half hour naps under her belt and if it those numbers stood up, it would be our shortest nap period on record.
After a couple unsuccessful attempts at putting her down for a nap, I noticed that her tummy must be much feeling better. That energy and smile came back and I was overwhelmed by illusions of grandeur. Fantasies of a harmonious and quiet Valentine’s Day bedtime process brought a warm glow to my heart.
As we approached 5pm, I decided to check the diaper and commence bedtime procedures. When I got to the diaper, without going into any gory details, I saw that the evil peaches had been expunged. I got busy changing the diaper when a dark cloud enshrouded the room.
Maddie’s mood was deteriorating and it was time for me to step up the pace. By the time I was done with the diaper, the baby was melting down and I was not prepared.
BUT? How could? What had happened was?
Now I was far out at sea with the shore miles away – I thrashed about and tried to soothe the baby, but it was too late. She had been up too long and I had no answers as to how to help her.
I tried to regroup and let her stew in the crib for a few minutes. That foolish action was met with brutal resistance. Now I have a desperate baby in my arms and there’s nothing to do but cling to the buoy and wait for the storm to pass. The tantrum has settled down all around you and it could have been avoided.
It’s always interesting to be struck with the harsh reality that you have no idea what you are doing. Whatever instincts or intelligence you gather along the way is completely washed away during moments like these. I wish Maddie had spent more time with the selection committee so she could have found a father who had at least half of a clue.
I will always be eternally grateful to my younger sister Rachel. Her vaccination advice continues to be a lifesaver after poor little Maddie had another bad reaction to her scheduled shots last night.
Having some idea of what to expect during this round of vaccinations made things a little bit easier – but not much.
I was hoping that Maddie wouldn’t suffer from the same reaction to her shots that she had last time, but that was obviously wishful thinking. About four hours after Maddie’s vaccination – my sweet little girl literally went berserk. She screamed with a fear and desperation that was more than enough to rip your heart out.
I instantly remembered my sister’s strange, yet very successful advice that she had shared with us when she was visiting two months ago. She said, hold the baby tight, rock her and sing to her. (You can’t be serious!) It worked then, I prayed it might work again!
I scooped up Maddie and held her tight, but for the life of me, I couldn’t think of the words to any songs at all. After 30 seconds, Maddie was screaming with an intensity none of us had ever heard before. Suddenly, through the fog of her wailing – the words to the song Everyday by the Dave Mathews Band came spilling into my swirling brain.
“Pick me up love, Everyday!”
The words spilled out into a jumble at first, but then turned into the song that I hoped would calm my panicked precious child. Like a magic spell, in less than 30 seconds she started to scale down. I kept on singing like an obsessed street person, terrified to stop even for one second. Two minutes later she was quietly staring at me, as I went over the song verse by verse, again and again.
Another few minutes passed by and the baby was sound asleep in my arms as Gina started coming by and applying warm compresses to the leg where Maddie received the offending shot.
It was a tough night for all of us, but once again, my sister’s unorthodox cure was a true lifesaver. She has two amazing children of her own, so I am thankful that she was able to share some of that critical knowledge with us.
Upon further review of why this strange solution actually relaxes the baby – I can only guess that when an infant reaches an uncontrolled panic mode, he or she is looking for a specific form of warmth, security and protection that allows them wind down in an active, yet completely safe environment. I’m not sure why singing (especially mine) conveys a sense of security; I just know that it works.