scream feels

We have begun sleep training Joe, and by we I mean Joe screams and Morrison does the actual work of patiently listening to it, and I hide in the backyard. It only took me 90 hours of research, asking friends and hand-ringing to decide which approach to take. We’re doing what’s called a modified Cry it Out, in which the baby screams but also you occasionally let them know that you’re there, and that you haven’t left the house and left them to fend for themselves even though they can barely sit up unassisted and can in no way defend or feed themselves or comprehend or articulate loneliness OH GOD, MY HEART. In honor of our first successful night, in which Joe ONLY screamed for twenty minutes, here’s a small selection of the evocative, over dramatic things I feel when I hear Joe cry:

  • Like my heart is a chalkboard and his screams are nails
  • Like I’m being forced to eat foil
  • Like my love for Joe is being ground up like cereal crumbs in the bottom of the box
  • Like someone’s making a smoothie out of staples car keys and my fears
  • Like I’m a prisoner of war and I’m being tortured, they’ve taken my baby from me and are forcing me to listen to him cry while I’m chained to the wall in the next room, all so that I might reveal Secrets that I don’t actually know
  • Like a cavewoman whose cavehusband did not kill enough antelope to provide enough warmth for the baby and the baby is cold and screaming, but also I don’t have words for any of it yet, and so, I scream too
  • Like he’s being taken away from me
  • Like he’s a little bird in a nest and I can’t get to him because I don’t know how to fly
  • Like I want to run into his room and grab him and bury my face in his neck and stick him back into my womb
  • Like I will feel this exact feeling 100 more times throughout his life
  • Like I must accept this feeling
  • Like I, too, would like to scream
  • Like I need to let go

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