Star Powered Parenting 3
Our son is just over three weeks old and he’s reached an important stage in his development. Every parent watches with wide-eyed wonder and reflects back on this moment in their golden years. That magical time when a newborn is shrieking like a fucking banshee for no apparent reason with no signs of stopping. Ever.
And I do mean shrieking. This isn’t a somewhat-adorable high pitched cry. It’s an ear-piercing shriek. I’ve been attending metal shows for years and my ears have never felt so sonically blasted. I mean, it’s kind of cute to watch his little arms and legs shake from the tremendous effort to blast out that banshee scream, but then the ringing in my ears resumes and it’s not so endearing any more.
So far the only thing that gets him to stop is Mommy. Namely “latching on” to Mommy. My wife has jokingly started to call herself a human pacifier, even if the nickname is somewhat inaccurate when you look into the science of what our son is doing. At this stage, however, Daddy (that’s me) is absolutely useless when it comes to comforting the screaming banshee newborn. I mean it. He takes one look at me and starts screaming nowadays.
The rational part of me knows this is normal. Babies cry. A lot. And they do so for seemingly no reason, especially after every avenue of comfort has been explored. (Fed? Yes. Clean diaper? Just changed him. Swaddled? Securely. Burped? All over my shirt. In his mother’s arms? Yes, because Mommy’s arms are soft and welcoming, and Daddy’s are bony as hell.) The rational part of me knows that he’s a three-week-old newborn who takes comfort in the motions of breastfeeding even when he isn’t feeding, and that any time away from that paradise known as Mommy is worthy of screaming his head off. The rational part of me knows that this is an important, if loud, stage in his development. I know he’ll eventually unlatch from Mommy and stop screaming his head off when he’s not attached to her.
But then he shrieks like a banshee, blasts my ears with a sonic baby attack, and the rational part of me runs for cover.
One day I’ll be more than Mommy’s bony-armed helper, but today is not that day.