You broke it already?!

That’s what my mother used to exclaim when, two days after Christmas, one of us children would report the untimely demise of that toy we’d been begging for for months.

Ladybug is 6 weeks old today – still practically brand new – and I’ve been trying to get her here for a good year and a half. Guess what? That’s right: broken already.

Please don’t misunderstand and send me long lectures on the fact that babies aren’t actually toys. I figured that out the first night home from the hospital when she had a stomach ache and I had exactly 30 minutes of sleep. But after that, she was so easy going and simple to take care of! Feed, change diaper, burp, put down for a nap, repeat. But suddenly, these last few days, she starts crying at the slightest provocation: I do nothing, she cries; I pick her up, she cries; I put her down to sleep, she cries; she wakes up, she cries.

Yes, I think it’s broken.

Okay, it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound. However, there has been a distinct increase of Ladybug-type crying (and a proportional increase in Carolynn-type crying) over the last several days. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t 6 weeks when some magic switch gets flipped and babies suddenly sleep 8 hours a night and start crying a whole lot less? Maybe the switch is broken, or maybe it was defective. Maybe Ladybug’s just out to get me.

The reality is that she’s not broken at all, and that’s just the problem. She’s working so well that she’s growing like a weed and becoming more active, making her more demanding as she always wants something new to look at or more food to eat or for someone to explain to her why her little body probably aches from all that rapid growth. Moreover, I imagine she’s demanding reasons why we insisted she come out here in the first place since she was so comfortable in the womb.

The amazing thing is, despite the sleep deprivation, frayed nerves, and this post, I actually feel sorry for the poor baby and still expend all my resources to ease whatever has upset her. I love her more every day (except maybe during that cursed midnight hour when she refuses to sleep because apparently shrieking is more fun) and find myself panicking at the thought of being separated from her for several hours just in case she should want to scream at me and – heaven forbid – I not be there.

In fact, Ladybug is working perfectly. She has brought me right into line. Now excuse me, I have to go and rescue my new toy before she decides to fire me.

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About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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