Here’s the thing. We’re not pulling your proverbial blog legs here—most of the time Eamon is a sweet, easy baby. Would you believe that we’ve never seen him cry that hard for that long? No, really. So, then, the question is: what turned an event that should have been a nice Easter gathering into Screamfest 2009?
We present our theories, in the order that they occurred that day.
1. He was hungry. We ruled this out when we gave him a bottle and he still screamed.
2. He was refluxing. Well, crying that hard will give you reflux, but even a few solid burps he was still giving us the business, so…
3. He was tired. After about 45 minutes of screaming, I finally got him to sleep. He slept for about half an hour, and when he awoke…he was still screaming.
4. He was hot. When I changed his diaper, we realized he was so warm that certain delicate parts were actually stuck to his diaper (baby sweater vests: achingly adorable, but they don't really breathe). Ouch. But, even after I changed his clothes and let him hang around in just a onesie, he was still crying, so…
5. He had an upset stomach. I must have eaten something (who knows what? This child seems to be allergic to everything if he can’t even digest my milk), and his face was all broken out, and he had a light rash over his body. Still, that doesn’t usually bother him so fiercely that he can’t stop screaming.
6. He was overwhelmed. There were at least 30 people there. Many of them wanted to hold him, and Eamon has definitely started with the stranger anxiety (today at lunch he let my friend Charmaine hold him for approximately 3 minutes before he started screeching…she passed him back to me, and he immediately calmed right back down). I felt terrible, since many lovely-hearted people wanted to help, and kept offering to take him and walk him around…but every time we passed him away to someone, he just screamed more and louder.
This current theory is also validated by the fact that as soon as we got into the car, he was smiling and happy again. On the way home, we stayed with Aaron’s friends Marc and Keiko, and Eamon smiled and cooed at them (no one there tried to hold him), and was positively enraptured by their 4 year old, Ayana, who played peek-a-boo with him and sang him songs and basically was wildly entertaining. I don’t know how Eamon will feel about a younger brother or sister, but he certainly seems to like older ones.
Anyway, most people at Easter were very reassuring. There were several people there with babies, all of whom were smiling and cuddly-- except for Eamon, who wanted nothing to do with the entire affair. This was his grand coming-out party, and he would have preferred to have stayed in the corner. As a shy person myself, I completely understand, but it still would have been nice for Aaron’s family to see the smiling, happy baby that we know so well.
Not that he had a completely miserable time. He really enjoyed meeting Lucas, his cousin who is exactly 3 months older than Eamon. This was before anyone else showed up, and Eamon and Lucas really seemed to hit it off. Lucas was sitting on the floor when we put Eamon’s carseat next to him; Lucas immediately started eating Eamon’s feet, and Eamon burst into a huge smile. I assume this is infant for “let's be friends.”
As for the traveling part…Eamon travels well enough. Someone has to sit in the backseat with him, armed with a bottle and a bunch of toys, because Eamon also gets bored really easily. He slept most of the trip, so that was nice, and was still able to get to sleep at night, too. He’s also very interested in toys now, especially his Chatter Elmo, though I think this is more because he thinks the eyeballs look yummy and always tries to eat them (yes, he only plays with this toy with supervision).
So, we are tentatively looking forward to traveling northwards again with Eamon. This time, though, we’ll probably limit our visits to one family at a time, and preferably to see someone who enjoys playing peek-a-book. Or gnawing on his feet. Yummy.