Out of the entire animal kingdom, human babies need the most attention and nurturing. A baby Wildebeest walks within minutes of being born [Animal Planet] while a human baby typically takes 6-12 months before it crawls. Nurturing a newborn is not only physical, but emotionally vesting.
I recall the very first day I left for work after my two week vacation (for the birth of my newborn daughter). It happened to be a Thursday. That Thursday, Isabella was miserable! Crying and at times, screaming. She had her mother to provide love, warmth, compassion -even her meals. And my wife called to notify me of the situation…
“She’s hysterical. I don’t know what is going on? She got her sleep and she’s eating – it’s just something else,” she said.
I came home and Isabella made a liar out of Natalie. If I hadn’t heard the cries over the phone, I might have thought Natalie wasn’t getting her recommended hours of sleep.
Now it’s Friday, I go to work again and I get the same phone call. Isabella is having fits and is just distraught all day.
At this point, it became serious. Does she have gas or intestinal issues? Is she sick? Does she need to eat more? We’re totally puzzled because you have to understand: this baby doesn’t cry. For the first two weeks, if Isabella wanted something, a noise or gesture was all she made. She didn’t cry for food. She didn’t cry for attention. She didn’t cry when she was tired. So why cry now?
Separation Anxiety. The idea of having the two of us around her 24/7 seemed normal so when I had to leave and be away for 8-10 hours, her world was turned upside down. Natalie would typically talk to and feed her while I would burp and walk with her. This was our routine and now it was broken. That was her life and she had the two most important people in it for 14 days so why should anything change? Well, she’s too young to understand the concept of work and paying for a house. You have to think on her level: Mommy and Daddy have been here for X amount of time thus they will be forever. Why would things change?
Oh if life were so simple, Isabella.
One form of baby communication is crying. They have plenty of non-verbal forms of communication, but crying is most commonly associated with babies. Usually, a cry is a sign of distress or discomfort so allowing your baby to “cry it out of their system” is only opening the door for further discomfort and probable future insecurities. I hold Isabella as soon as I can and as often as I can. Some say I am spoiling her but I believe she will grow up to be a secure, strong, independent young lady. Only time and strong parenting ethics will tell.
So that weekend I reassured her that I will be around by spending an ample amount of time with her. And during that time, I apologized up and down for leaving her; I’ll ask later in life if she remembers my apology.