If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.
Vincent van Gogh
That quote by Vincent van Gogh was stated only minutes before his child started screaming bloody murder and he severed his own ear.
I don’t know how historically accurate that is, but for this post’s sake, let’s say it is.
It is amazing to me how rewarding having a child can be. Often you hear from parents of young children, “Oh, you just don’t know what love is until you have a child.” (Interesting side note; that is actually the most commonly uttered phrase, next to “When are you going to have a baby?”, that people with kids say to their friends without kids just before the friendship terminates.)
But seriously, having an infant child is up their as one of the greatest feelings a human being can possibly hope to experience in this thing we call life. At times, I can look down at my daughter and literally feel like my heart is about to explode inside my chest from the joy that wells up inside when she stares up at me with those big, beautiful, blue eyes. Hands down, the greatest gift that God gave us (next to his son, of course) is a baby’s laughter. The contagiousness of it is insurmountable and can brighten the darkest of days.
Although, when that child is unhappy…it is amazing to me how FRUSTRATING having a child can be. As a father on deck, I was warned about having a daughter and the frustrations that would ensue during adolescence. However, I didn’t get a whole lot of prep speeches about how infuriating an INFANT could be. It probably doesn’t help that one of the first nurses who handled Carolyn reported to us that our baby was a “screamer with a strong set of lungs”.
Fortunately, she doesn’t scream all too often, but the times that she does decide to wail it out, she can push the decibels to a point that make my ears want to bleed. When we start hitting those high frequencies, I can honestly feel my temperature begin to boil as I frantically try to alleviate the problem, if there IS even one. If her diaper is clean, her belly is full and there are no visible indications that she is in pain, then I will put her in her bedroom and walk away.
I feel guilty about doing this at times, but I know that it is the right thing to do. One of the other videos the hospital forced us to watch was one on “Shaken Baby Syndrome”. Now I would NEVER harm a defenseless, infant child nor would I ever advocate it happening. What I CAN admit to, though, is that I can at least understand what could drive a person to commit such a horrible act. It is very difficult to think clearly when a baby is screaming as if they’re on fire, and frustrating beyond belief when you can not, for the life of you, figure out what is wrong. I have to pray every day that God gives me the patience to handle moments like these like a mature adult and to not give into the instinctive impulses of the Id.
To me, the CRAZIEST part of this whole relationship is how rapidly these cycles can occur. I can literally go from the “heart exploding with love” mentality to the “temperature boiling over in anger” mindset, and viceversa, within minutes…maybe even seconds…and I swear I did not have a history of mental illness before having a child.
Anywho, I’m sure someone’s already coined it, but if not, I want to throw it out there; Infant-Induced Schizophrenia. I’ll forward this post to Web-MD.