Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday.

Usually I'm a calm, composed person.  I wouldn't consider myself too reactionary or dramatic, at least not on the outside.  But there is one thing I really, REALLY, really cannot handle:
(sleep = joy)

My son screaming in the car.

We had a beautiful sunny day visiting friends in Sydney - good conversation, yummy baramundi, sweet blonde baby crawling around on the floor and eating cucumber on my lap - so good.

Then we attempted to drive home.  And our sweet baby began to scream.  He had survived the 90 minute trip there really well - possibly even enjoyed it.  He was not ready to be strapped back into his car seat a few hours later.  By the time he was really upset there was no safe place to pull over - it was dark, the roads were steep and winding.

I sang the Noah's arky arky song (which I always sing in the car) until I was light-headed, I tried to give him water from his sippy cup and pressed the button for him on his special toy for the car which has coloured lights and classical music.  But he just screamed harder, coughing, gagging, and the more I spoke to him the louder he got.  The tension was physically constricting my body like a python.  I actually had to plug my ears and close my eyes for a couple of minutes in order to not hyperventilate or scream myself.  I was frustrated at Chris, driving, as if it was his fault there was no where to stop.

We try to be as responsive to Saf's needs and wants as possible, so he has no concept of 'giving up' when it comes to crying.  He knows that we'll rescue him.  We always do.

When we finally made it to a safe stopping place and pulled him out of his seat he immediately stopped crying, looked at me with a huge smile and hugged me around the neck.  I was his hero.  I had saved him from the terrible car ride.  He was instantly happy and seemingly grateful.  Our family was peaceful again.  Daddy and Mama had a coffee until Saf was sleepy.  We walked him in the faithful Ergo carrier and watched the cool teenagers 'hanging out'.  When his limbs were limp we transferred him back into the car seat.  He never suspected a thing.

The remaining hour of the trip was quiet with Eva Cassidy singing us softly down the mountain, to our home.  I felt frustrated by my inability to cope with the stress of Saf's screaming - it's been awhile since I felt that helpless, especially now that he's growing in his rhythms and communication.  Chris says Saf's screaming reminds him of the days after his birth, on a bed of ice in the NICU to try and slow his metabolism after a traumatic birth and (what was thought to be) possible brain damage.  We couldn't even hold our baby - he would wrap his tiny hand around our finger and we could help keep the blue plastic pacifier in his mouth.   And for the first 30 hours I was at another hospital, not even there at all. Saf and I were separated after I imagined/longed for/carried him in my belly for nine months. We were helpless, and our baby was screaming even then.

My heart was designed sensitive to my baby's cries and I honour that.  It severely pains me when I can't help him, when I have to listen and watch him struggle.  It kills me.

I'm pretty sure, especially today, God understands.


  1. so menno loves your blog. he's the reason I'm reading it tonite. He reads it every day. (no joke) and thinks you're brilliant. I'm telling you because he said "we should comment on it".
    we both love you

  2. I know how you feel. I find myself with tears streaming down my face when I can't seem to comfort my own little baby girl's screeching. I've come to the conclusion that God makes some of us able to feel other's hurts as if they're our own. Its a blessing from a spiritual standpoint and a curse from a human standpoint. Embrace those moments if you can. (I know that's a big IF) :-)