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Ronan Smash

Terry Ronan

Terry and Ronan in his usual Bruce Banner mode

Ronan is generally a quiet baby. Apparently, according to the baby guides that I am minutes away from burning because I hate them so much, babies will cry for no reason. Everyone who’s met him so far (knock on wood) says he’s an amazingly calm baby.

Which is great. We can just hold him and unless he’s working on pooping, he’s pretty indifferent to everything. Right now, because he’s so young, he doesn’t notice lights, noise, or his father swearing constantly. (I’ve been told I have to clean up my act.)

However, like all babies, there are times when he’s just pissed off.

Tonight at dinner we were just sitting down to eat when he cooked off. He was in his crib, and when I had checked on him just five minutes before, he was awake and seemed his happy self. Then he fell asleep or remembered his previous life or his birth or some other trauma and started screaming.

This process starts with him breathing really fast, then all his limbs start flailing every which way. Then he closes his eyes and scrunches up his face. Then he screams. Then he turns green and starts grabbing military tanks off the Army base and crushing them with his bare hands.

Okay, not that last part but it’s pretty scary, mostly because I’ve been around babies that cry all the time and Ronan only seems to cry when he has a good reason, like we’ve thoughtlessly expected him to sleep on his own in his crib. So when Ronan goes nuts, it’s kinda cute and scary and funny and sad all at the same time. Also when we don’t know the reason it’s time for new parent panic dance.

We didn’t know why he was so upset at dinner tonight, but I can make him cry with the last-resort wake-up we use when it’s time to feed. The secret about breastfeeding is that it makes all the participants sleepy; both mother and child get hormones that make them sleepy, which is great for those late night feedings, because Terry just wants to sleep anyway at 5AM. (We’re envious of those mothers who feed in fifteen minutes, like the damned book says, because Ronan enjoys taking over an hour sometimes. Which is one of the many reasons why we’re burning those baby info books.)

Anyway, Ronan goes to sleep during feedings and one of my many jobs is to wake him up. Usually this is accomplished with the backslapping of the burping, which, like everything else in his month-old life, he just endures passively until he can get back to eating. However, sometimes he just can’t wake up, and that’s when I resort to the atomic bomb of Ronan’s life, the belly skulky.

The belly skulky is illegal in many schools because it’s an invasive procedure only practiced by bullies. You place your lips on the baby’s stomach, and then you blow on it like he’s a trumpet. Ronan HATES this, and it instantly wakes him up and he starts screaming. In fact, he starts a protracted war with the U.S. military, smashing jeeps and leaping into the air to swipe jets out of the sky in a fit of rage.

Okay, actually he just screams and cries and waves his fists around. This led to the first time he ever hurt me, probably not the last. In his piqued state, he grabbed my glasses and pulled them down onto my nose. To fully appreciate this, you have to wear glasses. While simultaneously pushing down and sliding off the bridge, the glasses eventually become stuck near the end of your nose. It’s painful, not in a permanent way, but in a “geez, that’s painful, ow” kind of way. Especially when you’re laughingly trying to comfort your crying baby and the last thing you expect is for him to grab your glasses and shove them down your nose until they got stuck. At first I thought he had shaved the skin off my nose.

So we hold the skulky back for last resort, because Ronan can unintentionally get you back. Plus, he hates it, so that’s a more important reason than any serious-to-minor nose pain.

Plus, he’s generally happy as long as he’s being held, so we have to count our blessings. It’s entirely possible that he will start screaming all the time just because I wrote this column.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 1, 2007 10:50 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Dreams into Nightmares.

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