Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's in a Cry? {All Parents are Bi-Lingual}

It's 5:34 a.m. and the cry peels through the monitor. After nearly two years of the midnight call, I don't exactly startle out of bed. I slowly blink away sleep, but my body weighs heavy on my mattress. I lay there for a moment listening to the sound of my crying son and then whisper, "Baby? What do I do?"
It's decision making time.
You see, my son has essentially two different midnight cries. One sounds like, "WAAAAaaa..AAAaaaahh.... WAaaahh...... waaah.... wa......," which translates roughly to, "HEY! I woke up alone! I guess that's normal, but I don't really like it.... Mom?... Hello?... ZZzzzzzzzzzzzz." The second type of cry sounds more like, "WaaaaEEEHHHH! WaEH! WA! WA! WaaaaaEEEHHHH!" and means essentially, "Something is wrong! (Examples: "My teeth hurt!" or "I'm cold!") And I'm not going back to sleep until it's fixed!"
It is up to us, The Toddler Translation Division - otherwise known as "parents" - to decipher the sounds and proceed accordingly. Is he in pain or just protesting? Should we give it a moment or go check on him? He may fall back asleep... Should we try a bottle? Does he need medicine?
And then there are nights like last night, which present their own unique challenge. Our toddler may choose to practice his range of expressive abilities, resulting in something like this: "WAAAAaaaa....... WaEH!... WAAaaaaa... WAAaaaa... WaEH! WaEH!" Our best intelligence at this point understands this to mean, "I woke up alone! Oh, and my teeth hurt, now that I think about it. OWIE! But I am really tired... maybe I'll go back to sleep... NO! This hurts!! I don't like it! FIX. IT. NOW!! But I am really tired...."
In such a case, choosing the proper course of action becomes a matter of blind chance. Was that "tired"...? or "wired"...? If you take the time to fumble around for your pajamas, stumble upstairs and prepare a bottle, he very well may have chosen sleep by the time you reach his door. If, on the other hand, you choose to let him sort it out on his own, this could last all night. In which case, no one is getting any sleep. It's roulette. 50/50. Red or black. Dumb luck.
Last night, I chose to fumble and stumble. I bet a trip upstairs and ten minutes in the rocking chair that my son really did want to sleep. I won. The payout: me and my bed for three more hours.
Being bi-lingual is good, but being lucky is awesome.
That was two nights ago. In the small hours of this morning, my husband was not so lucky. Sorry, honey.


  1. you nailed it honey!! that's exactly what it's like :/

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  3. Oh the I miss them so much!!!