Monday, June 25, 2012
I like mysteries.
Give me Netflix, a rainy day, no kids (when does that happen?), my leaf blanket, and my comfy couch, and I can go for hours without getting up- watching real life mysteries and trying my best to solve the crime before the 45 minutes are up. In fact, some of my best memories are of me and my sister (who was in middle school at the time) watching Unsolved Mysteries together, but only in the day time, because if we watched them at night, the missing serial killer would for sure end up in OUR yard and wreak havoc on us with his hook hand and creepy mask. (Oh, I should add here-- when my sister was in 7th grade, I was 22).
Perhaps the most frustrating thing for amateur sleuths like me is when there's just no answer to be found. I. Hate. That. It's frustrating to me that no one knows where the heck Jimmy Hoffa ended up. What's the deal with the Bermuda Triangle? Was Natalie Wood killed or was her drowning accidental? How the heck do those crop circles happen? But perhaps the greatest mystery of all comes in the smallest package.
We are given these children at the end of the arduous task of pregnancy and delivery. Our bodies are taxed, pulled, strained, and torn for ten months and then we endure the 8+ hours of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth known as labor-- only to go home with THIS revelation.
I have NO idea what I'm doing.
Life quickly becomes a riddle that apparently only the baby holds the answer to-- and the little booger won't talk. Is he too hot? Too cold? Gassy? Teething? Does her ear hurt? Is that tag itching her? Does she need to be held? Put down? Does he hate green beans or is he just not hungry? Is he behind for his age? Will he every walk? Why does he make that face every time he sees me? Is he scared of the dark or just protesting bed time?
Then, as they find their words, the mystery deepens and the plot thickens. Does "oosh" mean shoes or juice? Does "bah" mean ball or bye? When she says "ah dah... ah DAHHHHH" does that mean "all done" or "you better move before I throw this random ping pong ball into the toilet out of rage"? Does "dee-dah" mean anything at all? And if not, why the HECK does she say it all day long? Why does she eat sweet potatoes like they're going out of style for 6 weeks, until suddenly she acts like they taste like sewage and never touches them again? How can the same brand of diapers that he's worn dryly for months suddenly start leaking like the Hoover Dam?
Walker has been a pretty easy baby. Granted, weeks 3-7 were, um... NOT FUN. At all. But once he got his bearings and his tummy settled down, this baby has been a literal ball of fun. He smiles, laughs, coos, and chats all day long- really only crying if he's sleepy. He naps well, generally sleeps awesomely, and plays by himself like a champ. Which is why his sudden collapse of personality puzzled me beyond words.
Here's a mystery.
It was a normal Thursday morning. My friend Bonnie and I took Walker and Legend to the library and then to Walmart. Hunky dory, fine. Bought groceries. Came home. Fed Walker. Put a very happy Walker down for a nap. Two hours later, a very. angry. Walker. awoke. This was like Colic Baby, all over again.
For the next 48 hours, Walker cried. He shrieked, whined, fussed, yelled, cried, and agonized. He had to be upright, bouncing, or being carried around outside to function. Every nap, I'd think, "Oh, he'll be better when he wakes up," only to be greeted with a smile and a scream immediately after.
I was left pulling my hair out in question. His ears? He's drooling alot- is he teething? I thought colic was over-- gas drops help? Needs a walk? His schedule is off? Did he nap enough?
By the second full day, I was in tears as I rocked my baby in the dark quiet of his room. I sat holding my miserable baby and all I knew to do was what I should have done the first very hour of the ordeal. I prayed these words- "Lord, I've done all I know to do. Show me what his problem is so I can fix it."
I promise you, it wasn't even two minutes later when it hit me.
We had changed his formula.
Since the Colic Baby days, we had him on the Target brand of Similac Sensitive. Because of the convenience of being at Walmart that day, I grabbed their store brand of the same formula, thinking- hey, generic is generic... what's the difference? (Even though my friend Bonnie, who was with me said it was a bad idea). I fed him a bottle of that formula just before his nap on Thursday. He awoke fussy and it went downhill from there. The next 48 hours, he ate the bad formula and was in sheer misery the whole time. After the nap when I had prayed this prayer, I remembered I had a tiny container in my diaper bag with a couple of scoops of the Target formula in it. When nap time was over, I fed him that formula, and Happy Baby returned.
He's been here ever since.
There's a verse found in James 1:5 that says If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men liberally. Let me tell you something. I am convinced that there is no more genuine, no more sincere of a prayer than the one a mom prays for her child. And I'm convinced a mother has an audience with God that is unlike any other audience He gives-- after all, it's been said that a mother's love most closely mimics His. And whether it's unexplainable crying, a rash that makes her miserable, or sending your child off to college, that moment itself is real. And it's legit. And it's tangible.
And right then, it's all that matters in the heart of God.
So how then? In moments of fear or in areas of indecision, how do we hear the heart of God? It's simple, really. We ask. And then, we listen. To our "intuition". To common sense. To the process of elimination. And if we still have no answers, we quiet our minds and hearts and let the Peace of all peace take over until logic is out of the way.
And we take comfort in the fact that God loves our children. More than we can or ever will. And He holds the answers to all dilemmas. Especially ones that concern us or our babies.
He cares about the birds that fly. And the flowers of the field. And the brand of formula that makes your baby's tummy hurt.
If you find yourself scratching your head and unable to solve a mystery that has your heart in turmoil and your children in misery, how about you turn on Jack and the Neverland Pirates, park your little ones in front of the TV with a bowl of Goldfish crackers, and sit in silence. Listen to your heart. In the quiet, He speaks.
You may find the answer to two or three questions. If you'll just ask.