Everything seemed to be going so well on that beautiful, crisp Tuesday afternoon. The morning was relatively effortless and my 3-month-old baby boy was content and it seemed like I was going to have one of those magical days that made me feel like I had mastered motherhood. Silly, silly me. Suddenly and out of nowhere, my son started crying and I found myself at the mercy of an endless barrage of thoughts that rolled through my mind when I couldn't stop my baby from crying. Nothing I seemed to do or say or change or even wish, could keep him from wailing at, honestly, a pretty impressive decibel.
My "perfect," beautiful day was spiraling out of control and I was at the mercy of a tiny newborn and his (very healthy, I might add) set of lungs. How in the hell did this happen? Why in the hell was this happening to me? Don't get me wrong, initially I wasn't thinking about myself. I was concerned as to why my son was crying and set out to discover the cause and rectify the situation as quickly as possible. The only problem? There didn't seem to be any discernible reason why he should be even remotely unhappy. He wasn't wet and he didn't poop and he wasn't hungry and he wasn't hurt so why, oh dear god why, was he crying? The family cat wasn't bothering him and there wasn't a loud, sudden noise to startle him. One minute he was perfectly happy, and the next minute you would have thought the world was ending and he was the first to know.
A million thoughts ran through my mind as I held my extremely discontent child in my arms, unable to soothe him. Well, not a million thoughts, more like 93 thoughts. Actually, probably closer to 150, but so many of the thoughts I entertained were laced with a few too many expletives that have no business being repeated, so I'll just say 93 and call it a day. I'd like to think I'm not alone in thinking the following things, but either way, I can tell you they helped. Sure, my "perfect" day ended up being a freakin' disaster, but it provided me with a few, rather entertaining, notions.
"Did He Pee?"
When in doubt, check the spout, right?
"Did He Poop?"
Honestly, I would fall off the rails if what was going on in my son's diaper was a daily occurrence in my life. At lease I know there isn't a single thing wrong with his digestive system. After all, I have the diapers to prove it.
"Is He Hungry?"
"He Can't Be Hungry, I Just Fed Him"
Why does this tiny little human being need to eat so much? I mean, yeah science and growing bodies and whatever; I get all that. However, this is getting dangerously close to being straight ridiculous. I live with a tiny human being constantly attached to my boob.
"Does My Kid Have A Normal Appetite?"
No, but really; how often should a baby be eating? Where in the hell is that damn baby book...
"Did My Kid Inherit My Insatiable Appetite?"
I'm sure this is my fault one way or the other, so we might as well get to the bottom of the issue here and now. This is because I'm always hungry and now my kid is always hungry and the only thing that's going to make him happy is a constant, unending supply of food, huh? I mean, is this where we're at? Is this the situation?
"Why Do People Even Have Appetites"
Again, I get that there's science involved, but I haven't slept in a week so I'm not sure I understand what science even means anymore.
"Is He Hurt?"
Let me check every single centimeter of skin to make sure he doesn't have a bruise or a scratch or an abrasion that could potentially be causing my child an ounce of discomfort.
"No Way He Could Be Hurt, He Was Just Laying There"
No, but really. How in the world can this baby hurt himself when he's nothing more than a human bump on a log? He can't even roll over, for goodness sake.
"I Will Kill Anyone Who Ever Hurts My Kid"
(OK, not really. I mean, violence is never the answer. However, if you're a parent you'll be hard-pressed to deny that instinctual feeling that can leave you feeling somewhat unhinged when you even think about someone causing your baby harm. My mind goes to the dark and twisty places, you guys. Dark and twisty.)
"Watching 'Dexter' Was A Good Life Choice For So Many Reasons"
I knew those Netflix marathons would come in handy, one day.
"Is My Kid Scared?"
Did my kid have a bad dream? I know that babies dream because they spend so much of their sleep time in the REM cycle, so is a nightmare to blame?
This is easily one of my top three fears realized. Right behind clowns and someone canceling Grey's Anatomy.
"I Need Help"
Someone — hell, anyone — a little help? Please?
"I Have Never Cried Like This Before. Never. In My Entire Life."
In fact, I'm not sure my body is capable of producing the number of tears this kid has already shed. This must be some kind of record.
(OK, That's A Lie. When Derek Died On 'Grey's Anatomy,' I Cried My Literal Eyes Out.)
I think I just blocked that moment from my memory entirely, and for good reason.
"Wait, Is This Even My Kid?"
Hold up a second. Is this baby even my baby? What kind of mind-trickery are you playing on me, universe?
"Did The Nurses Switch Him At Birth?"
Right now, this seems like the only logical explanation.
"Does The Hospital Have A 30 Day Return Policy?"
All this crying must be a manufacturing error. Was there a crying baby recall I missed?
"Who's Idea Was It To Let Me Watch This Kid By Myself?"
Honestly, who in their right freakin' mind thought that this was a good idea? Clearly, I'm ill-equipped.
"I Have No Idea What I'm Doing"
This is a disaster. I had a better time following along in that Trigonometry class I ended up cheating my way through. This mom thing is hard.
"Can Listening To Someone Cry Cause You To Lose Your Mind?"
I'm going to need to talk to some medical experts and figure out what in the hell I stand to lose, because I'm pretty positive "sanity" is on the list. At the top of the list, actually.
"Maybe All Those Rock Concerts I Used To Go To Will Pay Off And I'll Temporarily Lose My Ability To Hear Any And All Sound"
Now would be a fantastic time to temporarily lose one (hell, all) of my senses. You know, just until this kid gets his sh*t together.
"I Miss Going To Concerts"
A screaming death-metal concert sounds really relaxing, right about now.
"I Miss Silence"
What does the absence of sound even sound like? I honestly can't remember.
"Maybe Google Knows How To Get This Kid To Stop Crying"
This is why the internet was invented in the first place, right? Someone couldn't get their baby to stop crying so they wanted a place where any and all answers magically appeared as if from nowhere.
"I'm Never Googling Anything Ever Again"
Mistake. That was a huge mistake.
"Aww, Remember When Ask Jeeves Was A Thing?"
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
"How Did My Mother Survive Me?"
That woman deserves a freakin' medal and probably a thousand apologies from yours truly.
"Birth Control Has Never Looked So Good"
It's not that I regret having a baby (even when this baby doesn't want to stop crying). It's just that, well, I will not be missing a single solitary birth control pill for the foreseeable future. Mark my freakin' words.
"There's No Way I'm Ever Having Another One Of These"
Nope. OK, maybe. Well, nope. Right now that's a hard pass on ever procreating again.
"He's Going To Blow His Lungs Out"
This can't be healthy. Or normal.
"I Mean, How Can So Much Noise Come Out Of Such A Tiny Little Person?"
I'm pretty positive we've passed the point of science and physics and biology and whatever else's ability to actually provide me a reasonable explanation as to how in the hell this is physically possible.
"I'm Being Punished For Being A Pain In The Ass Teenager"
I knew all those nights of sneaking out or ignoring curfew would come back to bite me in the ass.
"I'm Being Punished For Being Irresponsible In College"
I knew all those nights of bar-hopping and missing my college classes would come back to bite me in the ass.
"I'm Being Punished For Everything I've Ever Done. Ever."
I knew every mistake I've ever made in the history of my silly little existence would come back to bite me in the ass.
"Where In The Hell Is My Parenting Partner?"
No, but seriously. This is when the ability to transport from point A to point B instantaneously would really, really come in handy. Get it together, science.
"I Can't Do This"
I really can't. This isn't for me.
Wheres the towel so I can throw it in? Anyone have a white flag handy that I can start pathetically waving?
"Ugh, I Can't Quit"
The moment I want to quit is the moment I realize I could never quit. But damn, a beach on some remote island sounds pretty freakin' wonderful right about now.
"Bopping. I Heard Bopping Works. I'll Start Bopping."
Up and down and down and up and down and up and down.
"Oh, And I'll Start Swaying. Bopping And Swaying."
Well, this combination of movements proves that, yes, I could be a professional back-up dancer if I really wanted. This is some serious coordination, my friends.
"Wow, This Is A Work Out"
Crying baby: the new mom's gym. Always open and just as unpleasant.
"Maybe If I Start Crying My Kid Will Stop Crying"
It can't hurt to try my hand at a little reverse psychology, if you ask me.
"Those Baby Books Were Useless"
What a waste of time and money and time. Those are hours and hours of my life I'll never get back.
"Why Did I Decide To Be A Mom, Again?"
I mean, yes. I know it's because I found a wonderful partner that I knew I could happily and successfully raise a child with and I wanted a family and blah blah blah. But honestly, who in the hell thought this was a good idea?
"Maybe He'll Just Get Tired?"
This can't go on forever, right? Please dear god tell me this won't go on forever.
"Honestly, This Is Kind Of Impressive"
If I wasn't slowly losing my mind, I would offer up a well-deserved round of applause.
"I Think I'm Dying"
This is killing me. I can't pinpoint exactly how it's killing me, but it's killing me.
"They'll Have To Write 'Death By Baby Cries' In My Obituary"
That'll be embarrassing.
"Wait, Maybe I'm Already Dead And This Is Hell"
Donte done f*cked up when he wrote his epic Divine Comedy. "Baby crying uncontrollably for hours on end and there's nothing you can do about it" is the seventh circle of hell.
"Does This Kid Come With A Mute Button?"
He's officially become more annoying than my alarm clock, so there has to be a mute button somewhere on this child.
"How About An Off Button?"
Is it on his back? Behind his ear? Oh, I know. I bet it's on the bottom of his tiny little baby foot.
"Does My Kid Hate Me?"
I know this isn't personal, but this seems pretty personal at this point.
"Does My Kid Hate His Life?"
I've tried so hard to give him absolutely everything he needs. He hates that damn over-priced couch I knew I shouldn't have purchased, huh? The color is all wrong and doesn't go with anything else in the apartment and this is all my fault.
"What Is Life?"
How did we get here? What is our purpose, in life? What am I doing? I mean, now seems about as good a time as any to ponder the complexities of human existence.
"Is This Real Life?"
God, I hope not.
"Am I Real?"
I'm losing my ability to differentiate between what's real and what's imagined, which, I'm sure, is an excellent sign.
"If This Is The Matrix, I Would Love To Have Someone Unplug Me Right About Now"
No, seriously. Someone save me from this hellscape.
"I Owe Every Mother I've Ever Known An Apology"
I was such an unsupportive moron before I had a child. Seriously, every mother ever (and especially the mothers dealing with crying babies on airplanes); I am so sorry and I'm the worst and I'm sorry forever.
"Being A Mom Is Way Harder Than I Thought"
Nothing about this is easy.
"How Am I Going To Survive This?"
Not sure I'm going to make it out of motherhood alive.
"I'm Never Going To Survive This"
Yeah, this will be what kills me. Death by crying.
"Why Is This Much Crying Even A Thing?"
This shouldn't be allowed.
"Wait, Is This Humanly Possible?"
At what point should I consider calling my pediatrician or a specialist or the National Guard?
"Maybe I Should Have My Kid's Lungs Checked Out. Did He Get Bit By A Radioactive Spider?"
This seems pretty super-human to me. I mean, I don't fancy myself a Stan Lee, but I know my comic book characters. My kid is going to end up jumping buildings or saving planets or, you know, something.
"This Moment Will Forever Be Seared Into My Memory"
I will hear my baby's cry for years and years and years to come.
"Dear Parenting Gods, Please Don't Let This Happen Again"
This is how this works, right? Like, I survive one horrible crying fit and I don't have to do another one again? OK? OK. Good talk.
"This Is Probably Going To Happen Again"
The devil you know beats the devil you don't.
"My Partner Owes Me Seventeen Massages"
"My Partner Owes Me Breakfast In Bed"
And not just any breakfast. Oh no, I'm talking four star, exclusive resort, super-chef Bobby Flay status.
"My Partner Is On Diaper Duty For The Next Year"
It's only fair.
"How Much Time Has Passed?"
This kid has been crying for way too long. Is it tomorrow, yet? Is he 18, yet?
"Has Time Stopped?"
Have I found myself in some time-space continuum where the passing of time ceases to exist and there's nothing but endless baby cries, for all eternity? Dear god please don't let that be true.
"Wait, How Was The Concept Of Time Created?"
Was it to keep track of how often babies cry, because that seems legitimate.
"What Is Time?"
Nothing makes sense anymore.
"I'll Never Complain About Anything Ever Again If My Son Stops Crying Immediately"
I won't even bring up Shonda Rhimes killing off McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy. I swear.
"I Can't Wait To Complain About This Entire Situation To My Partner"
When he walks through the door I am telling him every single freakin' detail about this very moment and if he doesn't stand in complete awe of my ability to survive, we're going to have problems.
"I Can't Believe I Thought My Life Was Hard Before This Baby Started Crying"
What in the hell did I have to complain about before this very moment? Bills? Breakups? Working two jobs to support myself in a new city? Yeah, that was nothing.
"I'm Going To Just Think About My Happy Place And Tune Him Out"
I'm closing my eyes and I'm thinking about Grey's Anatomy. I'm in Seattle and McDreamy is telling me I can totally save this man with a bomb in his body cavity and Cristina is waiting for me with a bottle of wine, because she's my person.
"I Can Still Hear My Kid Crying, Even Though I'm In My Happy Place"
OK, I shouldn't be able to hear my kid's cries while I'm in the middle of open heart surgery in Seattle.
"I Don't Think I'll Ever Be The Same After This"
I'm positive this kid's cries are changing me on a molecular level. DNA strands are evolving. Memories are being erased. I'll be an entirely different person after today.
"I Hate This"
This is worse than the time I went on a blind date and the guy said he had an advanced degree in Kama Sutra, a horrific moment in my life I thought I'd never top.
"I Love My Kid, But I Don't Like Them Right Now"
I will always love my kid, but right now he's just not my favorite person in the world. There. I said it.
"I Will Definitely Be Re-Telling This Story When This Kid Turns 16"
This will be one of many stories I share as proof positive my kid is contractually obligated to take care of me when I'm super old.
"This Hurts Me More Than It Hurts You, Kid"
Not sure what in the hell you have to cry about, child of mine. I should be the one crying and you should be the one consoling me, if we lived in a fair and just world.
"No, Seriously. This Physically Pains Me."
My heard hurts and my arms hurt from carrying this tiny noise-maker and my legs hurt from bouncing and swaying and dear god in heaven, this is real pain. This is the most pain I've ever been in. This is the worst.
"I Hope This Means You're Going To Sleep Well Tonight"
I mean, you're tiring yourself out, right? This is going to be beneficial, in the long run, right? Give me something to work with (or at least hope for), kid.
"I Love You So Much"
I really, really do. You're acting like a dumpster fire right now, but I still love you.
"Even Days Like This Won't And Can't Keep Me From Loving You"
I'm two seconds away from losing every single part of my mind, but the parts I have left definitely still love you.
"If Every Day Is Like This, I'll Still Love You"
But let's not test this declaration of eternal love, OK kid?
"As Much As You're Driving Me Crazy, I Love You"
This is what unconditional love truly is. I get it now. You've made your point (and rather poignantly, might I add).
"Now, For The Love Of All Things Holy, Please Shut Up"
No, but really. Please.