Oh, screaming baby. …

Oh, screaming baby. Please stop screaming, screaming baby, please.

Kavi's not actually screaming right now, or if she is, I don't know about it, since I'm sitting in a cafe in Berkeley while Mya babysits. But last night was brutal.

We were having a perfectly good day for most of the day. I was in a good mood and so was baby; it was one of those days where I didn't try to do too much other stuff, and thus was able to smoothly balance Kavi's needs and my own. We ate, we bathed, we snuggled, we played. I read a fluffy collection of Valdemar short stories, and did a few dishes. And then Jed came by around 2, and after Kavi had napped a bit, he took over so that I could take a break and go run some errands (mailing Karina's Xmas presents, yay!). Soon after I came back, Alex came over, and we all hung out for a while, and decided to order Ethiopian instead of my trying to cook, because I was hit by a wave of tired. But then Alan and Debbie arrived, and the Ethiopian revived me, and we had a great conversation, and it was all good. Then, around 9-ish, Alan and Debbie and Jed left, and I put the baby down to sleep, and Alex and I settled on the couch to talk some more -- and that was when it started. The screaming.

I still don't know what was wrong with her. For a while, I thought she was teething. Then I thought maybe she was too hot. Then I thought she might be constipated. I still have no idea. All I know is that starting around 9 p.m., Kavi kept up a very steady pattern. Start to fall asleep, eyes close, eyes spring wide open, mouth open in a scream. Repeat, every 2-5 minutes. Over and over and over again. While we rocked her and walked her and sung to her (in English, and Tamil, and even Russian), and begged her to tell us what was wrong so we could fix it please. We tried Tylenol for teething pain, and rubbing Orajel on her gums, and giving her frozen things to chew on. We tried toys, and more or fewer layers of clothing. We could often get her to calm down for a few minutes, but then, just when we started to relax, thinking we'd figured it out, she'd start again. With the screaming.

Poor Alex kept me steadfast company until Kevin came home from a math party around 11 -- I had just managed to get her to go to sleep. I thought. Because as soon as Alex left, it started again. I handed her over to Kevin and went to bed, and somehow, an hour or so later, I fell asleep. Not sure if she'd stopped screaming by then or not. I slept terribly for the next few hours, half-awake, worrying about my little girl.

Kevin brought Kavi to me around 3-ish, saying she seemed cold, and she slept pretty peacefully next to me until 7, when she woke screaming again. Really anguished sounds, which I tell you, will break your heart when you have no idea how to help. But thankfully, it only lasted for a few minutes, and then she fell asleep again, and when Kavi woke up around 9, she was just fine -- her normal, sunny self, all smiles and giggles. As if the screaming had never happened at all.

But I tell you, it did. I was there. And I have witnesses.

Babies are confusing!

Speaking of which, huge congratulations to Dan and Nadya, on the birth of their son, Rowan, and to Beth and C, on the birth of their son, Samuel. Beautiful boys, with beautiful names. I'd tell you guys not to let this entry scare you, but the truth is, it doesn't matter -- you're stuck with them now. Enjoy! :-)

1 thought on “Oh, screaming baby. …”

  1. Oh my God, that happened to us last night. It was like my baby was in a trance. I brought her to our bed and rocked and sang and tried teething tablets and everything else and finally I switched on the light. She blinked a few times and then she was quiet. It was like snapped out of it. Then we had a little cuddling along with a bottle of milk and then she was sleeping like…well, a baby.

    Very trying on mom. It’s very hard to keep your cool and remind yourself that babies are too young to know what they’re doing. I’ve become more patient than I ever was my entire life. Motherhood is a humbling experience. They really should have Mother’s Day more than once a year.

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