Don’t let this face fool you. He is a tiger, a gassy tiger. His scientific name is Panthera tigris colickyandwhatareyougoingtodoaboutit.
Every night this week, between 5 and 8 PM, he enters into a Henry Rollins rage, fussing until he’s red faced, temple throbbing, body jerking. I offer him my right boob (Miss Universe) and then the left one (Miss International) and then I offer myself some tequila because DEAR GOD ANYTHING WE ARE BOTH CRYING.
When I first had Nathan, I heard stories about colic, babies who were difficult or impossible to soothe. I nodded in sympathy and was so glad that Nathan was not a colicky child. He cried when he wanted to eat, sleep and be changed. Easy enough. But TJ needs work! Who knew this about babies? That they are not just beings that automatically know how to play Mario Kart and leave mommy alone!
Everything is an experiment and with a colicky child, I experiment with everything. Here is what I have tried:
Gripe water. This has eliminated most of the hiccups and Exorcist style spit-ups but the crying has persisted.
The swing and bouncy chair. Works only when he is just falling asleep. When he does sleep in it, it’s bliss. When he’s awake, I only have a few moments to wolf down breakfast before I have to pick him up again.
The pacifier. I tried to offer him a pacifier to give my boobs a rest. He was almost asleep, then woke up furious, his face saying, “This is some bull crap right here. Bulllllllll. Crap.”
Watching Oprah instead of Judge Judy because Grandma thinks Judge Judy is NOT NICE. This hasn’t worked either.
So to further experiment with my son’s gas, also known as ways to keep me from jumping off the balcony, I stopped eating dairy this week. This baby’s Precious Moments stomach cannot pick up what I’m putting down in this breastmilk, so I am doing this for his health. And my sanity. The problem with a sudden cold turkey dairy strike like this is that everything in my house has some form of dairy in it. Then at the grocery store, I walk through aisles that are now verboten, a constant under the breath muttering of, “Cheesecake! Mud pies! Ice cream! CHEEESE!” then I fall to my knees, my fists angrily punching the air above and the only sound muffling the clerk requesting more help at checkout is my screaming, “WHY MEEEE!!??!”
Also making it difficult: my mother has taken up this plight as her plight. The woman is all about plights! Now that I can’t eat dairy, she makes it very public that she cannot eat dairy as well! We had salad at the mall and she was *offended* that the lady at the counter didn’t let her know that oil and vinegar was a dressing option because she had already poured a bit of the Italian on her salad. Which was creamy! Which she could not have! Because she cannot eat dairy!
The one experiment that has worked is the rainstorm app on my iPhone (Bless you Apple!). The sound of the rain, the rolling beats, the tap-tap-taps–have worked wonders on this savage beastbaby. Right now he has slept for two hours and I deem this experiment a success. These are the moments I need, the moments of silence after a day of constant wear and weariness that remind me that despite all this, we are still moving upward and forward.