Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Whine?

I really thought I wouldn't have to deal with whining until Ryan was able to talk. Ha! Rookie mistake. Since yesterday afternoon, he's been cantakerous and unhappy, and he's been expressing his displeasure by whining. Unlike a whining toddler, who can at least express what it is he's whining about ("No nap, Mommy! Nooooo naaaaaaaap!!!!"), all I get is a pathetic moan that sounds like it should be accompanied by a dramatic hand to the head and a collapse onto a fainting couch.

Ryan is the master of the pathetic moaning whine. He often uses it when he's overtired but doesn't want to go to sleep, and accompanies it with a dramatic clinging to me and a snurfling cry while wiping his face on my shoulder. He seems to prefer a rhythmic sound pattern: whine - snurfle - whine - snurfle - whine - snurfle . Occasionally, there are pauses in the rhythm for a few seconds, lulling me into a false sense of complacency, thinking that either he's asleep or, for some unknown reason, he's managed to calm himself. But those pauses are apparently only a chance for him to gather himself for a fresh onslaught, because the pauses are generally broken by kicking legs, flailing arms, and fresh wails.

The added problem of the flail is that when I'm not expecting it, since he's so heavy, I nearly drop him. In fact, when he flings his body away from me and pushes off my torso with those strong sumo wrestler legs, even when I am expecting it I can hardly hang onto him. If his logic circuits were a little more developed, I might be tempted to let him clock himself (GENTLY!!) once or twice, so he'd figure out that was a bad idea. But he's nowhere near ready to make that connection, so for now I just hold on for dear life every second. The added incentive to holding on is also that he's taken to clinging to handfuls of my hair (and snurfling into it, just lovely) so if he goes down he's taking a large portion of my scalp with him. No dope, this kid.

Right now, I feel bad because whatever it is that's bothering him (teething? upset tummy? some itch I don't know about?), I can't figure it out. So the whine hasn't become annoying yet, although if it goes on for a few more days I'm sure it could. But God has apparently built babies with unusual instincts for self-preservation, because the last time I went to check on him in his crib while he was whining, he turned and looked up at me with tears running down his face, and he broke into a huge beaming grin and darned if he didn't GIGGLE at me. How can a mother possibly be annoyed at a cute face like that??

So go ahead and pass me the cheese, please. It'll be just lovely accompanying this whine.

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