Sometimes things get worse before they get better. In parenthood, and in life, patience is key. I think I was getting ahead of myself comparing Theo to Zeke when he was a baby. I kept saying “Zeke was sleeping through the night by two months.” But all babies are different, and boy, are these two different.
The first scream. Theo is just… loud. From the get go, his cries are so much louder than Zeke’s were when he was first born. Like most babies, he cries when he’s hungry, when he’s dirty. But most of all, he cries when he wants to be held–which is all the time. It’s hard to get anything done sometimes when he’s like that, including sleep. We think he’s has colic, and it’s especially bad at night. The tricky part about colic is that only certain things will soothe. For Theo, he likes to be held close, bounced, and patted on the butt. Which means one of us has to be awake to do that for him. We’re really tired.
The second scream. Zeke was an easy baby. For our first time as parents, we got pretty lucky. Like I said before, he was sleeping almost completely through the night by the time he was only two months old. That’s amazing in and of itself. He was also no very needy. So long as he was fed and changed, he wouldn’t cry and we could put him down to do other things around the house no problem. Fast forward a year and a half. He is still pretty good, but he cries for different reasons. He’ll pull you in one direction to play and he’ll cry if you don’t. He’ll cry if you take away his toys. He’ll cry because he’s frustrated you don’t know what he’s saying. He’s soothed by baby shark and nursery rhymes or just by sitting near him while he plays.
Put it all together. As I mentioned in Theo’s first month post, Zeke is getting a little jealous of Theo. Therefore, when Theo cries, Zeke cries. Sometimes it gets to the point where they’re almost competing with each other, or at least Zeke is. There was one day, Theo wouldn’t stop crying, so Zeke kept crying. He would stop, look at Theo, make sure we’re looking at him, and then cry louder. Where he learned to do that, we don’t know. But it makes for very tired and very frustrated parents. It gets to the point where I just don’t want to do anything anymore. The screaming seeps into my mind and erases all thoughts and motivation for the time being.
But I just have to remember: sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.