She is the dreaded, the feared. People shudder at the very mention of her. She’s got a piercing shriek and an even fiercer bite. She strikes terror into the hearts of men.
Around these parts, she is known as Señorita Discontente, Baby Banshee, The Brain Scrambler, and Screamy McScreamerson.
She is my 6-month-old daughter, Maggie, the single most disruptive fifteen pounds of flesh I have ever encountered.
And she’s giving me a headache.
Why is she screaming, you ask? Not out of discomfort, or pain, or hunger. She’s screaming just because. And that, folks, is what makes her so scary.
Very few days have gone by that she’s not disrupted one (but more likely both) of our other children’s naps. Just this morning, I’ve been up and down my stairs a total of nine times catering to Her Highness, one of those times to move poor, exhausted Michael away from her.
We’ve been waiting for the phase to pass. And waiting. And waiting. While our ears ring and our spirits shrivel.
She’s just noisy.
Some would say this is payback. When I was young, I talked a lot. Made a lot of noise. But we haven’t even reached that point with her yet. I won’t allow myself to think about how things are going to be when she’s actually speaking.
Some ask, “Well, don’t you do blah-blah-blah?” or “My friend so-and-so does x, y, and z, with little Kaiden/Colin/Cody/Whoever and that seems to work.” Really? Ok. Great. So why don’t you come over here and try it out? Give it a go. I can guarantee you’ll skulk away, shaking your head, like all the rest.
Family members have come into my house and asked me (and not just one), immediately upon entering, “Was that HER I heard from outside?” With all my windows closed and the central air cranked up? Yes. Yes, it was. Can we talk about something else now?
This morning, no one’s had a nap. Why? Maggie. That’s why. Clean laundry sits in the washer, my coffee cup stale on the dining room table, Michael bleary-eyed because he’s been awake since 6:45am, and my writing unfinished, all because of Maggie.
As awful as this all is, and, damn, is it awful, I can guarantee you that when I leave this chair and approach our tiny, tiny beast, she will beam up at me with that trademark gummy smile and those bright eyes, happily shrieking (yes, more shrieking), as if I am the only person in the world.
And, even though my hair is literally standing on end and I am at this moment fighting the urge to run screaming from the house in my spitup-covered pajamas, I will tough it out until the end of the day, end of the week, end of the month, end of the year. Because I love her.