The baby’s fussiness meter soared off the charts Friday night leaving her Stay Home PaPa in dire straights. Maddie had been in a great mood all day long, but as the late afternoon drifted in – the baby went off the reservation.
The baby had been living the good life in her Amazon Rainforest bouncy chair, complete with swinging monkeys and bobbing tree frogs. But somehow, Maddie got lost in the forest and there would be heck to pay. The crying came on in a vintage Zero-to-Sixty fashion. One minute the baby was frolicking in the jungle, the next minute she was ready to burn and pillage.
She stopped crying immediately and gave me a big smile when I lifted her out of the chair – surely there had been some kind of misunderstanding, my little girl was as happy as a clam! But are clams really happy? Don’t people pry them apart and turn them into clam chowder?
Two minutes after I took Maddie into my arms, she came undone and began crying in fits and starts. I checked the usual suspects, no diaper issues, no gas problems and she wasn’t hungry. But the crying grew in intensity and we both struggled for the better part of 40 minutes. Time to get the baby outside for some fresh air.
I wrapped her up into a swaddle blanket and we hit the great outdoors. The cool air and the sounds of traffic calmed Maddie down – but she was determined that there would be no sleep on this evening’s docket. As soon as Maddie began to get drowsy, we headed back inside where she started getting upset all over again.
I passed her off to her Mom who was able to ease a little bit of the baby’s angst, but Maddie was still filled with restlessness. It was at this point when Gina passed the baby back to me and told me to just snuggle the baby tightly. Women never cease to amaze me with this type of intelligence – Gina was absolutely right as Maddie passed out into my arms.
About a half hour later, there was a huge wet tug on the knuckle of my index finger, kind of like a fish on the end of a line. Maddie had woken up and decided that my knuckle must be a great source of protein and nutrients. She shook the finger wildly, trying to draw on it’s hidden source of mother’s milk. I struggled, trying to draw my finger back from the snapping jaws of the child. I could feel my strength fading as the mighty beast ravaged the defenseless knuckle.
Sadly, it took very little time for her to realize that the knuckle had run dry and another food source was needed to satisfy her insatiable hunger. Lucky for us, feeding time marked the end of the screaming and her righteous indignation. The problem with events like this is that we never get to learn what actually caused the meltdown. But at least now I know to keep my knuckles well nourished and ready for the baby’s next feeding session.