Three months ago, Jasmine Hynds had no idea what true love was until she held her daughter, Charlotte in her arms for the very first time. The love that she felt for her husband, her parents, and the rest of her family and friends, it was there alright, but it didn’t run as deep as her love for her firstborn. That said, there’s only so much screaming and puking a sleep deprived mom can take before she comes up with her own way of coping with a colicky baby.
“Hush, baby. If the enemy hears your cries, then they’ll know just where to find us and we’ll be doomed.”
Before you judge her harshly, keep in mind that up until that point, Jasmine had tried all of the traditional remedies for colic on her daughter. She switched Charlotte’s formula, bought bottles specially designed to help babies swallow less air, rocked her, walked her, played classical music, sang lullabies, gave her warm baths, rubbed her belly and took her for long car rides. Short of inventing an infant formula of Zantac, Jasmine was facing many more weeks of her little one’s barfing and ear piercing war cry. So in her perkiest sing-song voice, the one parents use on children too young to understand if they’re listening to the lyrics of a syrupy pop song or being told the list of dry ingredients found in a store-bought cake mix, Jasmine put on a smile and continued with her less than traditional tale.
“The world isn’t all Prince Charmings and rainbows, my darling. No it isn’t! No it isn’t! On the other side of the woods lies an evil corporation, run by the dreaded Mr. Morel. He’s been looking for Mommy for the past three months and if he finds me, he will take me away and force me to do his nasty bidding when I’d much rather be home with you. Yes I would! Yes I would! Regardless of how much sleep and hearing you cost me! Do you know what happens to babies whose mommies are taken away? They’re hauled off to the dreary land of Daycare. The workers there will try their best to love you like I do, but there will be dozens and dozens of other children there missing their own captured mommies; all begging for attention. So turn off those waterworks my little crybaby and remember, if you think you have digestive issues now, just wait until you’re old enough to eat your grandmother’s stew. That’s when you’ll know what real stomach pain feels like. And so ends your first lesson in guilt. Now go forth and smile, pookie.”
Sadly, Charlotte did not go forth and smile. She instead showed her exasperated mother how adept she had become in the fine art of projectile vomiting, sending her early morning feeding straight across to the other side of the nursery.
Jasmine tenderly cleaned up her daughter, but chose to put off cleaning the floor for now. The day her maternity leave would end for real would come soon enough, so the floor could wait. Holding her daughter, tears and all, was more important.