It doesn’t matter if it’s your first baby or your tenth; in fact, it doesn’t matter if it’s a human baby or a fur baby; but there is always a time when you are stuck trying to decipher what exactly this other being is trying to communicate.
Keen observers of our own flock, to outsiders it seems almost like magic that we can soothe and pacify even the angriest of child in mere moments. But just as Mandarin is a foreign language to me, so is the language of a child. It takes studying and vigilance to understand it, and patience to learn how to return the communication.
Even today, I still don’t always understand my two year old, and when I get frustrated trying to figure out what she wants, I turn to my trusty translator: my four year old.
She never steers me wrong.
Charlotte started out so easy, so happy, but then things started to change.
She started crying twice as often for twice as long, and it was quickly getting out of control.
On more than one occasion, her fits left me crying in frustration, because I had literally tried everything imaginable to make her happy.
I started to think my baby hated me.
It made me cry even more.
But why, oh why, won’t she stop crying?
And then finally, after talking with some friends on Facebook and going over all the things that had occurred the past few days, I finally realized that she had to be constipated.
A couple of teaspoons of castor oil later and I found myself sitting up in bed, cradling my now quiet baby, just staring at each other as a pacifier hung precariously from between my teeth.
Of course she still loved me.
But, like any new language, it took a frustrating amount of time to decipher the meaning of her cries.
It was agonizing and left me feeling haggard, lost, and like a failure.
Hopefully I won’t have to hear them again anytime soon.