It seems that Our Claire has been reading The Onion.
Did you know that babies and kids become holy terrors when they reach big developmental milestones? I'm not even kidding. It's not uncommon for babies to stop sleeping through the night (not that I know anything about babies who sleep through the night) when they're about to start crawling, for example. It's normal for their behavior to take a nosedive right before they start having a "language explosion" (where they suddenly learn a whole bunch of new words at once). Often parent bloggers will post one day that their little Muffin is driving them completely insane, and the very next day they will say, "Muffin is walking!" It is so common, known, and predictable, in fact, that whenever you see a "Muffin is acting so badly that I'm seriously going to just pad the walls of the house and go insane..." post, someone (often I) will suggest, "Is he teething, or is he about to bust out with something new?" in the comments.
So, it comes as no surprise that as Claire learns to walk, she has become quite the little dictator. She has cried a lot these past few days. I'm sure it's frustration. She knows she can get from here to there, but her wobbly little legs just won't cooperate. It's got to be maddening, and I'm trying to have empathy, but for the love of God, Claire, will you please just stop shouting?
BJ, the professor of patience, even said to her tonight, "You know, if you're going to cry over everything, I'm just not going to listen," or something along those lines. I couldn't really hear him over the shrieking.
Even the things that she normally loves, like bath, cause her to freak right out. I tried giving her a little baby massage tonight, because I figure that growing must hurt (it did when I was a teenager) and so maybe she'd be happier with a little back and leg rub. Nope, she cried and nearly arched herself right off of the changing table. She cried in the car today. She cried at the park. She cried. She cried. She cried.
And I wasn't even here for a good part of the day - I worked today and the girls stayed here with Grandpa Bob!
It's heartbreaking because she's normally such a happy little puddin', and I know that something really disruptive must be going on with her little nervous system if she's acting this way. This is when being a second-time mom is sooooo nice, because I know that This Too Shall Pass, and that she will be back to her sweet self in a few days, and that she hasn't become possessed or anything. Meanwhile, it's my job to ride it out with her, and to love her anyway, even though she has blown out both of my eardrums. It's my job to do what I can to keep her comfortable and safe, and to give her the space to learn what she needs to learn so she can move through this little phase and on to the next one.
Keep telling me that, okay?
(Thanks List of the Day for the pointer to the Onion story)