Apparently, as humans we are programmed to respond to a baby’s cry. The sound of a baby crying invokes a physical reaction within ourselves, to varying degrees between individuals. It makes you feel physically uncomfortable, it can make you (usually the mother of the crying baby) feel anxious, hyper alert, distressed. There are very few people who find the sound of a crying baby melodic and relaxing. This is all part of our biological makeup as human babies are dependant on adults for their survival and the only way a baby knows how to communicate is by crying. So nature has literally designed us in a way that we are forced to take care of our young.
When my kids were little, I had that part of my primal self turned on super high alert. Part due to post natal depression, part due to post traumatic stress after IF and the loss of Ben, and part due to the fact that I am an anxious person anyway, my receptors were turned on Super High. It was not a nice time. Every time my children cried, I had an extreme physical reaction, it actually felt physically painful inside. It felt like some had rushed in and grabbed in my heart in a vice and turned it hard. Very tough.
But as time has gone by, that extreme reaction has lessoned. I suppose as the kids become more verbal, I feel confident that I don’t need to overreact. I know now that they can tell me if they are cold, hot, sore, sick etc. Plus now they are old enough to be full of shit, so some of that crying is FAKE! Sneaky little shits.
But it is amazing how that instinct, that deep inside
stuff remains. I see it at night. I will be asleep,
snoring with mouth hanging
open beautifully a slumber thanks to my glass of Chardonnay and half a
sleeping pill, and my kids just go ‘ah’ in the night and my eyes snap open, my
breathing stops and my heart beats faster. I lie there, in a state of absolute readiness, waiting to hear if the
‘ah’ is followed up by a serious cry or not. If it was just a brief bad dream, or talking in their sleep, I go back
to sleep, but if it something more serious, I get up. Even in my sleep, I have that instinct turned
Marko- not so much.
On Friday night, someone (MARKO!!!) forgot to put Adam’s nappy on, so he woke up in the middle of the night crying because he was sopping wet. I got up, stripped the linen, put on clean sheets, undressed him, put on new PJ’s, a nappy, gave him a kiss and a hug and went back to sleep. I got up later for a bad dream (Kate).
On Saturday night, Kate woke up crying because she had a sore tummy. I got up, took her to the loo to make a poo, gave her some medicine, lay with her for half an hour and went back to sleep. I think I woke up later for a bad dream as well. Last night was a disaster as Adam woke up coughing, Kate had a bad dream and one other incident that I can’t even remember.
Marko wakes up in the morning and says “how was the night?” (Meaning, how did you sleep, how were the kids?) This despite the fact that the man sleeps 20 cm away from me (where oh where is my king size bed), in a room only a few meters away from his children’s room. Clearly that instinct thing is not as switched on for him as it is for me.
How was the night? Clearly not as good for me as it was for you, my darling.
Men – annoying little fuckers. Can’t live with them, can’t kill them either.