Friday, August 08, 2008

teaching tranquility

so i went to the pediatrician today for summer’s nine month check-up and also because i was sure there was some malicious illness corrupting my baby. when my doctor asked me if i had any concerns, i was quick on the draw: what’s with all this screaming?! ALL THE TIME. ALL DAY LONG. now i knew our daughter was a screamer from the get go, but this? this is intense.

ear infection? nope. teething pains? nope. broken bones? nada. well, surely this can’t be normal; give her some medication that will make this wretched disease wither!

uh, that would be a no. americans are big on the miracle drugs, but sadly, we haven’t invented a cure for “asserting control” or “finding one’s voice” quite yet. so until we do, all across the world, babies from eight to ten months will be screaming their lungs out just because they have discovered that they can. and those with advanced abilities, like our dear summer, will be screaming louder and longer than most.

the antidote the good doc gives me? remain calm. what?!?! me? calm? firstly, as a general rule, people with pointy hair are not “calm,” and furthermore, i practically fly off the handle when bryan takes huge bites out of 8 oz. cheese blocks -- not really the paragon of serenity.

(though lest i villainize myself too unfairly, in relationship to summer, my patience capacity has far exceeded what even i had expected. still, her power is increasing and so must mine.)

before leaving our appointment, i asked my pediatrician if i could teach her not to scream. oh yes, he said, teach by example (sheesh. like i’ve never heard that before): she screams, i respond calmly (if at all), and in a few months (or many, many long years), we should have most of the kinks worked out.

until then, i’ll be drinking lots of chamomile tea and searching diligently for my inner zen.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I loved this post! When Aubrey was that age, she loved to scream in a loud, high-pitched tone (and mostly only in the car). Needless to say, we did not take road trips during this period. It passed. I mostly ignored the screaming and encouraged (responded) the talking-attempts. Good luck!