Last night, I created a new party signal for Michael and me.
You know party signals...the "if I scratch my left eyebrow, you need to come rescue me from the conversation I'm having" codes.
Our new signal is: If I run into a room cursing with one of my boobs hanging out and am holding a child who has been screaming at the very top of her lungs for ten straight minutes and turned an alarming shade of purple, it means I want to bail on the party.
Despite having not discussed this signal prior to attending the dinner party, he very astutely picked up on it as I enacted it for the first time. Our understanding of each other's nuances is one of the things I love about us.
This meltdown put Savannah to shame.
The impetus? Well, let me tell you a little story...
Back in the Before Bean days when someone handed me a child, my heart would beat just a little faster and if you looked closely, you'd probably catch a little bead of sweat forming in the nape of my neck. I know I'm not alone in this.
There are two types of people in the world: the children-holding lovers and the children-holding if I have to's (actually, there are also a handful of I will make sure my hands are always full if there is a child in this roomers).
I was a children-holding if I have to's.
There is always a parent who will thrust their baby into any set of open arms in a room (having not had the time to use the restroom in the last 72 hours, I understand this sentiment). Whenever my arms happened to be the open arms suddenly filled with a child, I would become immobilized with fear.
No one wants to be the person who makes the baby cry.
Because everyone knows babies can sense the good and the bad people in the world and if the baby cries when you are holding them, Jesus will come straight down from heaven and give you a test on the Bible. And since you forgot that Judges came before Ruth in the Old Testament he will condemn you to a life of wearing steel wool underpants. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HOLD A BABY AND IT STARTS TO CRY.
Now that we are in the action-packed Bean days, I have a new irrational fear to compulsively obsess about every time we see another human being.
What if they want to hold my child!?!?!?!?!
Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE for other people to hold my child (see above note regarding my ability to use the restroom); however lately when someone holds The Bean, they might get this:
Or one of these:
There's no way to predict which child they'll get. And so my angst begins because eventually someone wants to hold her and who can really know if it is worse to have people think you are a little weird for not letting them hold your child or to unleash Pandora's Box of baby hell.
And so we go back to last night.
We were having a delightful evening with friends when someone asked to hold The Bean.
I sucked my breath in quickly. Then thought rationally, "well, we've been here for two hours with no meltdown. And The Bean has been throwing smiles at people all night long. Maybe I can enjoy my dessert baby-free."
Rational thoughts have no place in parenthood.
I passed The Bean over. There were a few coos. Some looking around. A quick glance at her surroundings. It was going great! Right up until the moment when it wasn't. And hell broke loose.
There was no calming her down. Not mama. Not boobs. Not a dark room. Not walking around. Not the binky. Not a damn thing any human was going to try would help. So we ran. With our tails tucked between our legs because there really is nothing quite as embarrassing as having people think you can't soothe your own child.
She screamed as we put her into the car.
She screamed the entire car ride home.
She screamed as we took her out of the car seat.
She screamed as I carried her to the house.
The moment we stepped onto the porch, she stopped.
By the time we got inside to the nursery, she was laughing.