You know how sometimes a baby becomes, for some reason, inconsolable? And no matter what Mom or Dad do, the screaming continues. And no matter how much rocking, or feeding, or burping, or singing, or bouncing goes on, the screaming continues.
And with every second that passes, Mom and Dad both start going just a little more crazy. And their muscles start spasming. And their eyes start twitching. And their teeth start clenching. And they start pulling their own hair out while they try to figure out what is upsetting their baby so much?
Well, I have this theory.
What if the baby is just experiencing a really terrible itch?
Maybe Mommy’s hair brushed across her baby’s nose and left it itching like freaking crazy. And his little arms and brain aren’t developed enough to reach up and scratch it. And the more the baby thinks about it, the worse it gets. And to make it worse, Mommy’s not doing a dang thing about it. Instead she’s forcing milk down his throat or bouncing him up and down, all the meanwhile this itch is threatening the baby’s very ability to be happy or content or love any part of the world at all…
Or maybe after Daddy picked up his baby, lifted her in the air, and kissed her back, his whiskers set an itch in motion that would spread from her back to her shoulders and pretty soon consume every part of her. And her little arms and brain aren’t developed enough to communicate this so she just screams and screams as if to say, “scratch me, dang it!” But Daddy just makes it worse by shoving a binky in her mouth or singing about how everything’s going to be okay.
Seriously. We all know how itches work. We all know what it’s like to have an itch hit us so badly that we have to stop everything we’re doing to scratch it out. We all know how itches spread when we don’t take care of them. We all know how much worse they get when we try to ignore them.
Shoot. Just writing this is making me itch like crazy.
So what if all a parent needs to do for their inconsolable baby is give her a good scratch. Scratch her nose, and back, and legs, and arms. Find the spot that’s itching.
Just a thought.
I never got to test it because I only came up with this theory a couple years ago. But I think I want to have another baby just so that I can test it out.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. What do you think about my theory? What other things could drive a baby crazy that we so easily remedy for ourselves?
PPS. This blog post has also been recorded as a podcast. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.