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When the chill becomes shrill

Written by: Christopher Spicer April 26 2012 I’ve boasted in this column about how Everett is one chill little dude. As long as you remember to keep his bum clean and his belly full, then he’ll keep his temper tantrums close to zero. There are the occasional moments of overtiredness where he puts on a...

Written by: Christopher Spicer

I’ve boasted in this column about how Everett is one chill little dude. As long as you remember to keep his bum clean and his belly full, then he’ll keep his temper tantrums close to zero. There are the occasional moments of overtiredness where he puts on a fantastic display of fussiness, but other than that, life is usually just dandy.
The key word being “usually.”

Everett still has had a few times where he’ll let out cries so loud that a pack of coyotes in the wilderness will run to the nearest hiding place. Luckily, it isn’t a regular occurrence, because otherwise, I think I’d be ready to return him for a refund. They still offer those after four months, right?

In Everett’s first month, his prime fussy time was diaper changing. Even when he seemed to be at his most content, he’d burst into a flurry of tears when his diaper was taken off. At first, I was disturbed by how much he ferociously despised diaper changing time, but then I realized, I’d get pretty upset if someone started pantsing me throughout the day. Then I started turning diaper changing time into the period I’d sing and talk to Everett, and his response to the ordeal changed. He now is often his happiest and most talkative during diaper changes, because he has probably associated it with bonding time.

Once we had the horror of diaper changing solved, Everett had a new disaster to deal with—being put in a car seat. At first he was fine just sitting in the seat, but it was the tightening of the buckles that he’d express his disapproval, which caused coyotes everywhere to scurry. Everett despises getting strapped into a chair more than he hated being exposed. He eventually learned that the car seat always meant he’d get strapped in, and so just placing him in it would trigger the alarm. Luckily, Everett is like many other babies, because once the car reaches a decent speed, he will be soothed off to DreamLand.

Everett has got better with the car seat. If he is alert and in a good mood, he’ll usually just talk and giggle while I strap him in. If we wait too long to start driving the car, he’ll let out some powerful protests. If I’m putting a very tired or sleeping baby in the car seat, I’ll be serenaded with some of the most heart wrenching sounds known to a parent.

There has been one last thing that recently got Everett to go into fits of crying rage. This isn’t common, and some days we will be spared it. If Everett has decided that he doesn’t want to sleep or that he’d prefer to fall asleep on my (or Emily’s) shoulder, then he’ll perform the most magnificent of protests when he is laid down in his crib or bassinet. Usually he is tired enough at night to settle down for the evening, but afternoon naps tend to be a bit more of a gamble. I find he is fussiest when I really need to get pay copy done, because why sleep when daddy really needs to get things done? I haven’t really learned how to handle this storm of crying, because the bills and mortgage won’t magically disappear if I decide to just stop working.

Actually, I’ve forgotten one other time my son blasts out his tirade of tears—at any possible moment. My son is chill and calm. He really is. But there are those once in a while moments of explosions that he’ll unleash his cries and I’ll not know what to do. As I’ve stated in the past, that is usually when I just resort to finding his mom; this is my favourite solution.

I still believe I’ve hit the baby jackpot, and I have myself a low maintenance baby. Once in a while, my son decides to demonstrate to me what it’d be like to have a colicky baby. After he is done his little demonstration, I’m ecstatic that I am the father of a mostly mild mannered son.

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