In my ideal world, Robert would usually look like this:
In reality, he often looks like this:
Yes, Robert is more of a fussy baby than my last two. Since I'm a more experienced mother, I don't let the crying get to me as much as I did with my first. I still don't like the sound of a crying baby, but I'm just more rational about it, and more inclined to think in the long-term. One of the ways I keep calm is to let Robert explain why he's upset. To do this, I use my high "baby-voice," and launch into monologues for the "audience," which usually consists of Eva and Patrick.
"Ahhhh!!!! That was the worst diaper change EVER! There I was just sitting in my carseat in the kitchen, minding my own business when suddenly, I felt like my tush was all wet and gooky. Well, I'm not one to just sit around when something like that happens. So what do you think I did? That's right, I started screaming - I don't mean crying, I mean screaming! And there I was, sitting in gook and screaming, and what do you think Mom did? Yep, she finished pouring Eva's milk. You heard me!
"But then, things got even worse. Finally, after a VERY LONG five seconds, Mom picked me up and laid me down on that plastic foam cushion thing. And next thing I know, she's unsnapped my pajamas and is exposing me to the world. And let me tell you, that air was cold! I'm not one to appreciate breezes down there, so I let the world know what was going on. Then, before I could have a say in the matter, Mom had one of those cold, wet wipey things, which she used to make my life even worse. You better believe the neighbors heard about that one!
"I just do NOT like being a baby. I would not recommend it to ANYone. When I grow up, I am definitely NOT going to be a baby. It is simply awful. So why am I a baby, you might ask, if I don't recommend it to anyone? I can't help it. I was just born this way. But believe you me, I do not intend to stay a baby for long. People always moving you around, changing your diaper, dressing you in horizontal stripes, and so on. First chance I get, I'm becoming a toddler. In fact, this time next year, you'll see that I'm no longer a baby. And then, a few years later, I'm going to quit being a toddler too. I do not plan on spending my life as a baby! One year is about all I can take, and then I'm going to leave this horrible baby life behind!"
I always like to throw in Robert's little reminder that he's only going to be a baby for one year. It helps me keep perspective on things and stay calm when he's crying for no apparent reason. Babyhood is very short-lived. By the time I get the earplugs in, it'll be over.