Emory is an awesome baby. He sleeps soundly and quietly all day long. And he doesn’t cry! Which had worried me enough to conduct numerous google searches and flip through the index of Baby 411 in order to find out why my newborn doesn’t cry. Most of the feedback I’ve found reads something like this: “Enjoy it!” OK, then.
He does scream, however. He screams like a monkey. There are three levels to his crankiness. Level 1 is the flailing of the arms. When the arms start to flail, we know Level 2 will soon follow. Level 2 consists of “ehh ehh ehh” sounds. And if we ignore them, the sounds become progressively louder. If we pick him up during Level 2, he immediately stops fussing. But if we don’t pay attention to him Level 3 is met, aka Level Critical, and the monkey screams begin. And if we’re not dead tired it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
Last night we went out alone for one last romantic meal before my mother leaves. She offered to watch Emory for a few hours. As we drove up to the restaurant and I put the car into park, I suggested we nap for two hours instead. But we pressed on. We ate at a place in Brooklyn called Marlow and Sons. I treated myself to one yeasty beer and we dined in all sorts of yummy foods. While we ate, Toby and I got to talking about Emory. He’s all we really talk about anymore. We discussed the Monkey Business. We joked about the sounds he makes, the levels he has, and the fact that he doesn’t cry. When we started discussing Level Critical, Tobyjoe acted out the monkey screams, hand gestures and all. He had me laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face, tears of joy.
I don’t know why Emory doesn’t cry. Maybe because Mama cries too much and there’s only so much crying that can take place under one roof. I do know that our son has his days and nights mixed up, which has caused us a great deal of anxiety when it comes to trying to get some shuteye. It also makes me cry more often especially when I’m looking the evening head on. Once nighttime falls everything changes. Level Critical is reached at quicker intervals. And I must admit we’re at our wits with the whole sleep situation, unsure of how to make him switch his days with his nights. I read that this gets easier and to sleep when baby sleeps, but I always find there are other things to do, like clean up after him, myself, and his father. Or wash the bottles that have piled up in our sink. Maybe feed myself every now and again, or pump breast milk and more breast milk and then a little more of it. (I pump every 3 hours for 20 minutes in a desperate attempt to get my milk supply up. Emory’s demand has passed my supply. He’s up to almost three ounces with each feeding and my boobs only produce about 2.5 ounces with each pumping. I have read that this changes. I found a forum for women who pump exclusively. It’s been a lifesaver for me. Thanks, Lori.)
I know I’m complaining a lot these days. Truthfully, I love being a mother and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am still in bewildered awe over the fact that this little miracle came out of my body. And he’s so perfect. I can stare at him for hours. He smells wonderful and I know that he’s the single most amazing thing I will ever create. But perhaps all this writing will one day prove positive. I’ll look back at it and say, “We had a really hard time back then, Emory. But that’s all in the past now. All is good now.” And he’ll smile up at me when I sing to him and I’ll kiss his forehead and we’ll both know that everything is gonna be OK.