Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Crying Game

For the first few weeks of the Boy's life, he cried when he was hungry, or needed a nappy change. Although these crying episodes were more frequent than now, at least you had a 50% chance of being able to fix what it was that he was unhappy about.

As time has gone on, sources of upset have become more complex and harder to fix. Recent ones, as far as we can work out, have been:

  • He gets bored in his carry cot. We need to walk under trees so he can see the branches above, or hold him in our arms, to make him calm down.
  • He can't grab one of his toys that hang in front of his bouncy chair in his little, chubby hands. A felt snail that came with the chair is particularly likely to incur his wrath.
  • There are no toys hanging in front of his bouncy chair to grab onto. Especially the snail, which he has a love/hate relationship with.
  • The clockwork frog bath toy my mother got him. He hates it. He watched while we held it in the air above him and looked dubious. My husband put it into the bath behind him and it swam into his hand. He went nuts and was off kilter for the rest of bath and towelling time.
  • Some books that we read to him. Not all books. The Cat in the Hat is fine. "Oh, the Places You'll Go", a lesser known Dr Seuss offering, makes him cry. (NB. I am aware that it's probably just the tone of voice, him being tiny and all, but he does genuinely seem to take against some books and enjoy others. But then, I quite like Lord of the Rings but have to mentally restrain myself from defacing "Fifty Shades of Grey" advertising stands, so maybe there is something more to it).
  • He is very tired, but there is something interesting happening with the TV/the cat/the lights that he doesn't want to miss.
  • He is very tired, but the wrong parent puts him to bed. How could we??? This incurs a screaming fit that completely wakes him up again.
It is all worth it though. He isn't a crying baby at all, despite what I've written. It's just fascinating and frustrating, in equal measure, watching what upsets him. And reassuring him is easy.

Although, he is always beautifully calm when he wants to charm old ladies, workmates other random passers-by. Stuff you would think would be really upsetting, like the vacuum cleaner or John Travolta in Hairspray, he doesn't mind at all. And one smile at the end of a wailing fit is enough to make my heart melt.

I wish the Boy and the snail would make it up, though.  The frog is a bridge too far.


  1. The vacuum cleaner is probably a bit like white noise which they're supposed to like. Can't explain the John Travolta thing though!

    And to be honest, now you've got me wondering how often he is exposed to JT.

  2. He used to always fall asleep when he heard the vacuum, but he's started beI ing more curious about it now.

    He's only seen JT once, so no need to call social work! I had him on the changing mat for his kickabout time and Hairspray was on telly. He was absolutely transfixed and was so excited he started shouting at JT during one of the songs. I am not sure whether it was musicals or John Travolta. Maybe we need to watch Battlefield Earth.