Upon entering the bedroom armed with a full bottle in my hand, his crying is at maximum thrust.
How my wife hasn't woken up is surprising but, given how many of these late night feedings she has under her belt, she could likely sleep through a bombing raid.
I set the bottle down and pick him up out of the crib. As I do, his cry draws to a sudden halt and I can feel my blood pressure dropping.
|It's the adults who need the earmuffs, Vince. The adults!|
Could it be that all he wanted was some company? Yeah, maybe he just needed some time with dad.
In short order, this theory is laid to waste. The silence, as many parents are familiar with, was him merely reloading his lungs with enough air to fuel another silence-shattering shriek.
And, boy, he makes this one count. It doesn't sound like a cry. It doesn't really sound human. It is a combustible, cackling that soars well above the ability of words to capture its awfulness.
It's impossibly loud. It can't be ignored. It's inescapable and it's happening right next to my ear.
You often hear car accident victims talk about how time slows down prior to impact, about how milliseconds last minutes and how the brain operates with maximum clarity
visions and scenarios so detailed and long, they far outstrip the allotted time.
So, perhaps five seconds have passed since I picked him up; it just feels like minutes.
Alrighty, here's the bottle, and there's his mouth. So, I move toward it but, instead of taking the bottle, he's decided to start weaving his head from side to side.
Wherever the bottle is, he moves his mouth away. But, at least all this activity has distracted him from crying, right? Hah! He's a little quieter but blood is still pooling in my ear canals.
It's now sometime near 3:45 a.m. (I think.)
Eventually the bottle goes in his mouth and the crying is muffled and while his lateral Stevie Wonder-esque head movement has slowed, his mouth is still wide open and he's not sucking on the bottle.
This goes on for a few seconds (Again, who can be sure how many?) before I finally jostle him and the bottle around.
|Daylight. Horrible, horrible daylight.|
His crying has dwindled to a whimpering, grouse and his brow is furrowed. He is angry but, finally, thankfully, mercifully, his mouth closes around the bottle and his lips begin moving back and forth as he sucks away.
Together we sit and the unholy, blaring, soundtrack has been replaced by the quiet sounds of air forced in and out of a bottle and occasionally his grunting with satisfaction.
After about five minutes (maybe 20? Seriously, tracking time is just futile.) I prop him up for a burp. It's then that I see he's taken almost none of the bottle. His tongue has been blocking the hole.
We try again and this time, there is no doubt, he's finally eating. The brow is no longer flexed, and the anger in his eyes is gone. He is happy.
Meanwhile outside, birds are beginning to chirp and the sky is no longer black.