Parental Advisory

Parental Advisory: At War with Colic

So, I come home tonight to an empty house with Ellison in tow and, not but two minutes after we get home, Ell’s Bells and Buckets of Tears. She’s had a rough, uh, 24 hours really. Last night was bad. This morning at Lima’s was bad. Then she had another episode this afternoon and then, when we got home, she blew up. Short of calling an exorcist, I’m declaring war on colic. Yeah, sure, they’ll tell you there’s nothing you can do, but knowing that it has its grasp on our little daughter, I gotta do something. She screams until she sleeps sometimes and your heart just breaks for her. We keep saying that we’re close to it ending, but it hasn’t yet. You hear for ever that, “Yeah, about three months in, it just stops.” But now you seem to hear more, “Bro, we dealt with colic for like eight months.”

I’m all of tests of endurance, but this goes far beyond that. This is a test of your humanity. Make no mistake, I love this girl like crazy, but you’re looking for that break. That pass. You keep telling yourself, there are much worse circumstances and conditions than colic. This seems like a perfect place for a Dylan haiku:

And I froze to the bone.

The New York Times said it was the coldest in seventeen years.

I didn’t feel so cold then.

On a completely unrelated note, I started my Year of Dylan yesterday by listening to only his first self-titled album. Already finding it to be a rewarding experience. I gotta say, though, this could take on a completely different meaning if he dies this year which I’m anticipating. I’ll start Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan next week.

Anyhow, I’m at home with Ell’s Bells and Buckets of Tears last night and she’s col’ goin’ off. I’m trying to remain calm, but it starts escalating quickly. I take her into the couch and try to get into position for a nice long battle. While I’m sitting there shifting around on the couch I tilt far back and put Ellison on my belly where her head is positioned directly in my face. Like her screaming mouth was about three inches from my chin and she’s wailing. That’s when I did what any panicky husband would do. I took my hands, folded all of my fingers down except for my index fingers and then shoved them directly into my ears. I did it only for about ten seconds, but the break from the screaming was all I needed to gather my thoughts and move forward.

Here’s my tip. Carry some headphones around with you. Not the cheap iPod issue ear buds. Nope, we’re talking the kind that rich people wear on airplanes or the kind that you used to wear in during hearing tests (“raise the hand that corresponds with the ear you hear a soft sound in”). They have to cover the ear and fit rather tightly. Sure, you might look like a total tool, but the point is to armor yourself with some sort of defenses. It’ll make you a little cooler under pressure. Plus, I don’t know anyone who’s gonna laugh at you when the baby’s under the attack of colic. When colic attacks, no one’s laughing. There no time to kid. Keep some headphones nearby. Protect your hearing.

Also, in my panicky defense last night. I found a harmless push back on colic’s advances. We all know from the past posts of the different positions to hold the baby in, the five S’s, but I discovered a new one last night. While she’s going into the “death roll” in my arms, I pull my head down, aim directly at her head (which is now sweaty from the exertion) and begin to blow gently onto her head. It’s all I could think of doing. It’s about the force that you’d use to blow bubbles. Remember when you’d be blowing bubbles and when you’d blow too hard into the little wand, you’d just spit out the bubble fluid out the other side. Same applies here. You’re trying to blow a bubble. So start lightly and blow longly. Her screaming subsided just for a moment. I liken the result to that of holy water during an exorcism. It ain’t gonna cure it, but could take it down to a tolerable roar.

Just a couple of more things to put into your arsenal of weapons against the colic. Otherwise, Ellison’s fine. She’s about to turn four months old. She’s gotta smile that’ll absolutely melt your freaking heart. I told my lovely wife a couple of nights ago, “Ellison’s the kinda baby that, if I didn’t have a baby, would make me want one.” That’s a really weird proclamation.

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