I had a dreadful time last night. We went home for the weekend to attend a friends wedding shower. We stayed overnight at the hostesses house, so that we could put Lil E to bed at his normal time, and then live it up like the grownups we are.
Sadly for me, I have finally succumb to illness. After fighting off several strains of cold, cough, and whatnot...I have finally come down with something terrible. Body aches, headache, sore throat, major chest congestion, coughing, shortness of breath, running/stuffed up nose...YUCK! All of this is bad timing for me, with all that is going on with my work life. Details on this later.
That wasn't the dreadful part though, if you can imagine! There were about 60 people at this shindig, and thankfully I wasn't the only one with a baby! For a while, I was the only one is my group of home town peeps that had a kid. Now, one of my girlfriends is preggers, and a few others are trying. Phew...it was getting lonely being surrounded by all these succesfull, professional, unencumbered chicks.
At this party there were 2 other babies. Both, upon arrival were sleeping. I had heard stories about a particluar baby who constantly cried and these parents who just didnt seem to get it. But I thought it was an exaggeration or girls just talking to talk. It wasn't. This poor baby cried the entire time she was there-a good four plus hours. The parents seeming to be impervious to the cries-drinking and partying the night away.
It was certainly one of the most emotionally draining experiences I can remember. I can name 20 things (see below for a list) that I wanted to say and suggest to these new parents, none of which were positive and all unsolicited. It was so uncomfortable for me, that I had to leave the party, go upstairs and awake my son from a perfectly peaceful slumber and cuddle him, just so he knew how much I loved him. Then several times during the night, I awoke thinking about calling CPS on these folks. Not because the baby was crying. I understand that some babies are coliky and just cry. There was more to it than that.
I wonder in retrospect, what I could have or should have done. Is there still something to be done? Maybe I am just more sensitive because I am new Mom. Maybe there is more to their story that I dont know or understand. I am sure its a bit of everything, since life is never as easy as 1,2,3...
Too many questions and not enough answers. And worse is that there is no closure. Since I wasnt able to find my voice last night, I want to try and express it here:
1. your 5 month old daughter doesnt want or need to watch tv, expecially not COPS
2. your baby watches tv because you put her in front of it, she doesnt like it
3. She may be screaming beacuse she cant look away or close her eyes when she is over stimulated by it
4. put the drink down, and take care of your baby
5. pick her up, hold her-that flat spot on the back of her head needs a break
6. hold her close so she feels your warmth, so she is close to you and feels safe and loved
7. look for signs that she is overstimilated, and RESPOND
8. dont be so selfish, negligent and stupid (I cant help it...that is how I felt)
9. dont drink and drive (ever! but especiually) with your baby in the car
10. feed your baby-often
11. burp her
12. dont let your friends take pictures with their cell phones while she is screaming
13. Take her to a quiet, dark place to help her relax
14. Carry her in a sling, ergo, or carrier
15. When you are feeding her, craddle her close so she feels comfortable
16. When your baby cries for 4 plus hours straight know that it is stressful to those around you
17. Try and put her down for a nap when she needs it, not when it is conviennt for you
18. Perhaps try a pacifier
19. Your baby should come before you. Babies cant make decisions for themselves--we are all they have. They trust us to give them what they need.
20. look her in the eyes
21. talk to her
22. If your baby is crying for hours and hours straight, you may want to take your baby home.