Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cracking the case of the unhappies

Every good mystery seems to start on a dark and stormy night, right?

Aptly so, we welcomed our youngest little boy into the world one night last winter. Dark? Check. Stormy? You betcha. And from the moment he arrived, Jackson has been our loveable little mystery.

Don’t get me wrong – I adore our sweet boy, but realistically speaking, Jack was a bit of a screamer, wasn’t a fan of sleeping and generally never seemed like he knew what he wanted. So, we set out to figure that out for him.

We tried it all: swaddling, special colic pillows and all the goopy, watery drops and serums known to man – not to mention having our poor doctor’s nurse on speed dial.

But nothing worked. So, we did what any parents would do: we went into combat mode. We hunkered down, put on some war paint, strapped on a baby sling (Jackson wanted to be carried about 100% of the time) and adjusted. Or at least we made do.

Jack and I got acquainted with the trees outside, since watching the leaves blow seemed to calm him down, and I learned that the bright lights in department stores amused him, so we headed to Target or Wal-Mart often times for nothing more than a walk through the store.

And that was life. It was one big waiting game until our spirited little Jack figured out what he wanted. For months we learned to loosely commit to social engagements depending on how Jack was feeling that day and I figured out I could still do my gardening with the assistance of a baby walker on the patio and a perfectly positioned shade umbrella.

And just when I started thinking this might go on indefinitely, it was mystery solved.

Three weeks ago, Jackson upgraded his rolling over and sitting up to full-fledged crawling and I’ve never heard him giggle so much! I’m sure it was a combination of time and a little maturity, but I solemnly believe he wanted what any normal person wants:  a little bit of freedom!

He is everywhere at our house chasing little balls and chewing on whatever toy his mouth happens to land on. But most importantly, he’s oh so happy. Sure, it took him (and us) 8 months to figure it out, but now we’ve got it down and everyone in our house is celebrating! Even our 4-year-old has stopped kindly suggesting to us that we “give Jackson back.”

So, it’s case closed. Book ‘em Danno. My husband and I have even taken off our war paint and relaxed a little bit – at least until Jack starts walking.

Aleshia Howe is a Communications Specialist for the Texas Health Harris Methodist Foundation and Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation, and Mom to an imaginative 4-year-old and a happy 8-month-old.

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