What’s with all the tears? All the time. I get the baby thing. Babies have a very limited way of communicating. So I know, when nearly 1 year-old Summer wakes up for the 37th night in a row, at exactly 4:32 am, she’s crying because she wants the boobies.
Now, I’ve explained to the little lady that we really are phasing out this boob thing. Really. But she’s a stubborn gal and wants me to know that if I’m going to talk the talk, I’ve got to crawl the crawl (or something like that). So she’s testing me. I let her cry until 5 am (because that seems more like actual morning to me) and then I give her the goods. But hopefully we are making progress. I am slowly reducing the length of time she nurses. Summer continues to deem all other milk repugnant.
But when does all this sobbing peter off? My 3 year-old Dylan is a ticking tear bomb. This morning she was convulsing over the very notion of getting dressed. This afternoon – another full on, body on the floor, cranked up SOB FEST (almost as eventful as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, minus the gospel tent and crawfish po’boys). Dylan’s distress? It was too bright in her bedroom for her baby dolls to sleep. Oh. Now I see.
For the record, I offered to pull down the blackout shades and turn off the light but she remained completely distraught. I would have even sung those baby dolls a verse or two of, “Mary had a little lamb.” But Dylan wasn’t open to creative problem solving. Tears. Wails. And more tears.
I can tell you what definitely doesn’t work. Two summers ago, Rick, Dylan and I were vacationing in Italy. One afternoon, we were trying to prepare a lovely Tuscan lunch – some cheese, prosciutto, bread, salad with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasonings. Yum. We planned to eat it by the pool, surrounded by the rolling green Tuscan country side. I was 5 months pregnant and attempting to cut up fresh, bright tomatoes for the salad. If I couldn’t enjoy all the wine that Italy had to offer, I was going to soak up every crumb of the divine food.
But Dylan would not stop crying. Endless, inconsolable crying. I finally got down on her level and screamed, “STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW.” So what happened next? Oh, she cried harder. I was immediately ashamed of my behavior. How could I give birth to another baby when I was so cruel and incapable of caring for this child? I apologized for yelling at her. And then more “sorry’s” and “I love you’s” from me. Slowly, the tears dwindled and there was peace and comfort and quiet. Lunch came later.
In some ways, there is something so beautiful and authentic about openly and immediately expressing emotions (even with kicking and screaming). We adults are so buttoned up and conditioned to keep our tears tucked inside. So Dylan and Summer will cry if they want to. Even simultaneously at times. But still, a day without tears would be magical. Peace. Comfort. And quiet.
mama bird notes
Next week, I have a fabulous giveaway package to tell you about. I kind of want to keep all the goodies myself but I promise, the mama bird diaries will give it away. Stay tuned for details.
And remember, if you comment on the mama bird diaries by the end of this week, you are entered to win a $25 gift certificate to Flip Clips.