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Monday, May 28, 2012

Why is the crying so hard?

Janey had a very long happy period, but the last few weeks, the crying is back. It's not all day every day, but it's part of most days. And it's making me reflect---why is it so very, very hard to take? Why does one day filled with crying practically wipe out my memory and happiness of weeks of good days? My friend Michelle said something similar to this today, and I agree 100%, but I'm still not sure why it's the case.

I have some guesses. With most kids, when they have a bad day, you know the reason. And you know it will get better. With Janey, I don't know the reason, and I don't know if it will get better. There was The Bad Time, or several of them, when it really didn't. Of course, her big regression, and also that awful crying time several years back. They either never got better or didn't get better for a long, long time. And that scars you. It's probably some kind of post-traumatic stress type feeling. Everything flashes back, and I feel helpless and hopeless.

It's also I think hard-wired into mothers to be upset by their children crying. If we weren't, babies wouldn't last long. When a baby cries, we can't ignore it, or at least it's nearly impossible to do so. One of the first things you learn as a mother is how to understand the cries, how to try to stop them, to make the baby happy. And Janey is still my baby, in so many ways. When she cries, I feel I have to figure out why, and to stop her, to make her happy. And I can't. She's crying right now (Tony is with her), and it's all I can do to not get up, to ask her the question that almost never, ever gets answered "What's wrong, sweetie? How can I make you feel better?" It's usually useless. She doesn't know what's wrong, or she doesn't know how to explain it. She might have pain, or she might have heard a scary noise, or she might be tired or hungry or overwhelmed or bored or angry or frustrated or who knows what. I feel useless as a mother when she cries. I know that's not true, not logical, but a mother's inner instincts aren't always logical.

I tell myself during the good days to treasure them, to remember how it is when she is happy. I try to convince myself that someday she won't cry any more, that if we all keep working and trying, she will learn to communicate enough to not cry. I tell myself in the meantime I can't let the crying turn me inside out so much. But truthfully, none of that works. I don't know if it ever will.

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