Sunday, January 26, 2014

They Don't Tell You

Something other parents fail to mention when you're a new parent is that your child will have you completely, 100% convinced that they are dying.

Oh, your friends with children will say "She was screaming like somebody was murdering her!" They'll laugh as though it's a joke, you'll chuckle and think that it can't possibly be that bad since the friend is laughing about it. No big deal, right?


The laugh from your friend is a lie. An utter, bald-faced, lie.

Your child will scream at 11:30 PM with a high-pitched shriek that you only ever hear in horror movies. There will be something primal to it, a scream of such horribleness that it could only be born of pure terror and pain. Your child is dying. You'll be sure of it.

Except that you were sure of it the 4 other times you already checked on her that night.

And the 5 times the night before.

And the night before that.

Except then there was that one night. You thought she was just trying to get you to come in there, screaming like a murderer had crept into her room. She kept on for over half an hour so you thought "I'll just go look in on her and see how she is."

Her leg was caught between the slats on her bed and her body had twisted as she fought to free it. She must have been in terrible pain, and you let her be like that for the last half an hour.

Maybe that's happened again, now.

Maybe she's really in pain.

You need to go check on her to make sure it's not that again.

And of course it isn't. Her scream that has the neighbors calling CPS is just her trying to get you to come in to rock her until it's time to wake up. That'd be great, thanks daddy.

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