e had an agreement, Raines
and I. It started a few days after I found out I was having a boy. I
had always pictured a girl – one who would color quietly in the corner,
one who would come to ballet lessons with me, one who really wouldn’t
disrupt our current lifestyle. Instead, we were having a BOY. Scary.
The next vision that I clung to was that our beautiful baby boy would
be exactly like my husband – cute, smart, funny…but above
all….EASYGOING. Low key. Relaxed. Slow to anger. I was OK with
that thought. If not a girl, why not an easygoing boy? I could do
this. So every once in while, I’d whisper to my belly, “Be like
Mike.” And Raines would kick back in reply. Agreeing. Or so I
a pretty happy baby. Most of the time. I guess, when I think back
however, there were signs early on that this little guy was not exactly
like Mike. Anyone who visited us in the hospital, back when
breastfeeding wasn’t going so well, might remember the little song I
made up. The words are simple: “It’s a mad, mad baby!!” Raines, when
breastfeeding would do one of two things:
1. Fall Asleep
falling asleep thing was so precious – it’s like he was so overwhelmed
by the skin-to-skin contact that he would just sleep. Poor little
man. I always felt guilty knowing that the first few days of his life
were spent in the nursery. He would sleep each time we’d try to
breastfeed, until he realized that he was starving. And then Mad Baby
would come out. Mad Baby had no patience for breastfeeding – he was SO
pissed that he was hungry that his entire little head would go from
beet red to actual purple. He’s scrunch up his eyes, open his mouth
wide and do almost a silent cry. Finally, after a moment or two of not
breathing (yeah, SO fun to watch) he would finally let out a
“Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah”. It sounded exactly like the Count on Sesame Street
(“ONE! Ah-Ah-Ah TWO! Ah-Ah-Ah). OMG.
moved past all of that. He breastfeeds like a champ, and I haven’t
sang the “mad, mad baby” song in a long, long time. His normal cry
isn’t even that loud. I went back to my “be like Mike” vision.
Recently however, we’re starting to notice that our little man has a
bit of a temper. Not Mike-like at all. He’s discovered an intensity
deep down that can produce a screaming fit like no other. It’s so
awful and so intense it can only come from an Ostwald. This fit first
appeared the night after Mike’s Mom & sister left. Looking back, I
think he was overtired. We were trying to get him down, he was crying
a little bit as I rocked him…and then BAM! The worst sound I have
ever heard. Mike came running into the bedroom – clearly thinking that
some SERIOUS sh*t was going on, I’m in tears, my child is screaming
WITHOUT taking a breath, and I start yelling at Mike, “Call my Mom!
Call my Mom!” Mom gets on the phone just as Raines calms. “Mom, what
could possibly be wrong? Should I bring him to the ER?” Mom sighs.
“Honey, it could be anything. You used to do this when you got a crick
in your neck – even as a baby.” Ostwald genes strike again. This is
not good. I inspect my child. He smiles back at me – seemingly
recovered from whatever pissed him off. He can move his head, all else
seems fine. A few nights later, he does it again. It still leaves me
shaking. At least I didn’t start crying that time. The next time he
freaks out, Mike is trying to get him down. I hear the screaming,
then, after what feels like forever, silence. I peek in the bedroom.
Mike is rocking him in his arms. Mike is very pale, but his jaw is
set. “You Ok, honey?” I ask. He nods. I know that regardless of
what Raines comes up with, Mike will eventually be fine. He’s used to
dealing with an Ostwald. Me? It feels a little too much like karma.