I’ve read all about how babies have different cries. One cry – maybe it sounds like “eeeeaaaahhhhh” – means the baby is hungry; another cry – “aaahheeeahhheeeahhh” – means the baby is tired.
I have studied Ryan’s cries for six months now. I have listened to him when he’s hungry. I’ve comforted him when he’s had some bad, bad milk
. I’ve watched him turn the sudden corner from playing and having fun to over-stimulated and in desperate need of sleep. I’ve heard all the different cries.
And you know what?
They. All. Sound. The. Same.
I picked Ryan up from daycare last night, and he was as happy as can be. He laughed at me when I said “hi” to him (I don’t know why that’s funny
), and he continued grinning at me as I loaded him into the car. Then, somewhere on the I-17, Ryan lost his mind.
He started whining, then fussing, then all-out screaming. I did the one-arm-reach-back-reinsert-binky move several times. I dangled a toy in front of him, which he promptly snatched out of my hand before he resumed screaming. He screamed as Mike got home and then screamed for another hour or two after that.
I listened carefully to the cry as I frantically bounced him, rocked him, tried to feed him, tried to cool him off. Does he sound like he’s in pain… does he sound like he is hungry… does he sound tired?
Um. He sounds upset. Definitely upset. Something is upsetting him. That’s all I’ve got.
“He must be teething,” I said.
“Yeah. Or he has bad gas,” Mike said.
“Plus, he’s got that ear infection still,” I offered.
“That’s right. Could be overtired, too,” Mike said.
We have that exact same conversation every single time Ryan cries. (Unless it’s been 3.5 hours since he last ate, in which case, he’s hungry. We do have THAT figured out.)
He did eventually wear himself out from crying so much that he passed out in a state of complete exhaustion. Probably dreaming of ways to put in for a transfer to better parents who speak the baby-cry language.
“Guess I’ll have to learn English if I’m going to communicate with you people. Sigh.”