i’m scared of my baby

so, since we got home from detroit, ramona has been very scream-y. not all the time. just like maybe she is developing a witching hour. she’s four & a half months old, so i thought we were out of the woods on that front. it seems like most babies who are going to have a period of purple crying every day get into the habit by two or three months of age. but gestationally, she is just shy of three months old, so maybe that’s what’s going on? or maybe she is over-stimulated from our vacation? maybe i need to be more vigilant about her nap schedule? maybe she’s having a growth spurt? who the fuck knows?

it’s horrible though. before she was born, i expected a scream-y, difficult baby, because i was always told what a scream-y, difficult baby i was. i figured what goes around comes around & i steeled myself for a fussy, horrible baby who woke up eight times a night until it was like ten years old. instead i got a sweet, happy baby who smiles all day long & started sleeping through the night at like two months old. i got complacent. she spoiled me.

now i find the screaming almost unbearable. even if it only happens for an hour or two per day…i have no words to explain. i know other parents are reading this & maybe rolling their eyes & being like, “dude, please. babies scream. what did you expect?” yesterday i had to lay her down on the table, go into the other room, & scream into a pillow. that didn’t really help that much & i wound up bursting into tears. which, weirdly, made her stop screaming. she got very smiley while i cried. i think she might be pure evil.

she’s going to the pediatrician tomorrow for her four-month check-up, so we’ll get her looked over & make sure there’s nothing wrong physically that might be causing the screaming. it’s just such a bummer because now i feel kind of scared of her. i don’t want to be scared of my own baby. she still sleeps well–she slept through the night again last night. jared was like, “maybe when you get up at 2am to pump, i should get up too & offer her a bottle. i mean, just because she can sleep through the night doesn’t mean she should. maybe she’d be happier if she had a midnight snack, you know?” i told him that all those parents out there with 18-month-olds that still don’t sleep through the night would want to punch him in the face if they heard him talking about intentionally waking his sleeping-through-the-night four-month-old.

jared’s parents are in town, which is nice, because they are all about ramona & they are currently napping with her in the living room so that i can sit & write this without being all stressed about her. but it’s also a lot of socializing & stimulation for both her & i, hot on the heels of our detroit trip. i am looking forward to getting back to our usual routine.

we went downtown for lunch today & i broke off from the rest of the group to grab some coffee. while i was crossing the street to catch up with them, i saw a woman with a little baby & we smiled at each other. then we realized that we had been in a prenatal water aerobics class together & had hit it off but never got around to exchanging contact info. so that was awesome! her baby came late & is now five weeks old. she had originally been due about a month after me. hopefully we’ll be able to get together for a baby playdate soon.

i also need to get going on revising & laying out my zine. i had originally asked five people to get back to me with editorial comments. one of them basically just said, “yeah, dude, i thought it was really good.” another sent extensive comments which i have not yet had a chance to peruse. two others haven’t gotten back to me at all, even though i’ve sent reminders. & the fifth wrote to me yesterday (a month after i sent the draft) to say she wasn’t able to open the file in her word program. okay? why didn’t you tell me a month ago? i don’t know; maybe it’s my fault for not sending the draft for a few more people on the assumption that some volunteers would flake out on me. but it’s like…don’t volunteer to give editorial comments if you’re not going to do it! & if something crazy happens & you can’t do it after all, maybe just drop me a line & let me know! i feel like if i can scrounge up the time to offer basic courtesies when i have a baby to wrangle, other people can make the effort when they don’t have babies, right? that’s how i feel about everything these days, i swear.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

6 thoughts on “i’m scared of my baby

  1. E-mail it to me, bro. I’ll read it tomorrow morning while I’m waiting for my groceries to be delivered and e-mail you back tomorrow evening or Thursday morning. Unless I’m maimed, dead, or some similar complication.

    1. ugh, sorry i didn’t email it to you. this week has just been too crazy with jared’s parents in town. i got pretty extensive comments from one person, so i think i’m just going to start editing, but i’ll send you the draft of the second issue when i have one. cool?

  2. Is Ramona maybe starting to teethe? I hear it can turn them into banshees for weeks/months before a tooth even makes an appearance.

    Whatever the case, i hope you guys get some relief from whatever is causing it. It feels horrible to not be able to soothes the screams. *hugs*

    1. she IS starting to teethe! i kind of thought that might be the issue, but people were like, “no way she’s too young.” she had her four-month appointment on wednesday & the pediatrician saw how much she was drooling & felt for teeth & sure enough–she’s teething. she’s also chilled out on the screaming a bit. for now. i think she had a bit of a cold too, & she was probably feeling overwhelmed about traveling/visitors, etc.

  3. I could definitely read your zine. Ive never gotten it together to write a zine but i write book reviews and some technical writing/ads. Just throwing that out there.

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