Before Will and before Hope, we thought we knew a few things about parenting ... or at least about the type of parenting we would never embrace.
We would rant about the durability of children. We would rail against smother mothers who wouldn't let their precious little ones cry for more than 2 minutes. We would scoff at those who documented every bowel movement, tear and feeding in a frilly baby journal.
We have become what we mocked. But at least our baby journal isn't frilly.
We thought about the irony last night as we pored over our inch-thick notebook documenting daily feeds, sleep and crying episodes. We wish we didn't need to be so hypersensitive. But Hope demands nothing short of zeal.
We went over the log in preparation of today's appointment with the notorious Dr. Spitenup, the pediatric gastroenterologist who derives his diagnoses from a series of rapid-fire questions about the quantity of Hope's drool, ratio of her tears and aversion to actual tests.
The results of the log were a bit depressing: Hope had periods of inconsolable crying roughly half of February. It's frustrating because the spells don't seem to come with any rhyme or reason.
One week, she'll be fantastic. The next, terrible. When my sister visited last weekend, we were a bit guarded when she fed Hope. "She's a tough feed," I said. "She can be tricky. Keep the binkie close, her back at a 90 degree angle and be ready for long breaks."
Beth must have thought I was nuts. Hope gobbled the bottle in about 5 minutes and seemed to beg for more, as she had for a solid week.
Hope went south the minute they left. Perhaps she missed her Uncle Rob's songs about Dragon Tales, but as soon as they walked out the door, the crying fits and the messy feeds resumed.
That's what's so befuddling. Every time we think Hope has turned the corner, she hasn't. One week is fabulous, the next feels like a steel cage match every time you put a bottle to her lips.
The good news is it cuts both ways. Every time we think she's headed for something scary, she bounces back, big time and surprises us.
More later. We're nervously preparing our percentages and talking points for Spitenup.