I have just had 30 minutes of normal baby and it has been a total revelation to me. I had simply forgotten what a baby should be like.
I have no idea why, but for the last half an hour, E2 has been happily exploring the room, perfectly content on her own, looking at me now and again with a beaming smile. That won’t sound so revolutionary to most parents, but she has simply never done this. She was contently active on her own for a full half an hour without once bursting inexplicably into tears, or screaming desperately upon the very instant she caught my eye, or crawling over to me sobbing pathetically. She just crawled around the room, exploring, cooing, and smiling. Dear reader, this is not my child — she has never done this in her whole nine months of life. I hardly recognised her.
I had forgotten that this is what a baby should be like. We’ve had nearly a year of the polar opposite and I had just gotten so used to the crying, the constant needing, the panicking, that I’d completely forgotten that most babies aren’t like that all the time. I had completely forgotten what a happy baby was like, what it was to parent a happy normal baby. Seeing her tonight was a sudden revelation — a jolt back to when E1 was a baby.
More than that, it made it suddenly very clear how difficult the last nine months have been. In the same way that you don’t realise how difficult a mountain hike has been until you reach the top and look back at the trail falling away behind you, I haven’t realised how incredibly hard it’s been to meet this baby’s insatiable needs all this time until just now — until she suddenly became what she always should have been and I felt myself relax into it.
If it turns out to be this coeliac, at least that will be a diagnosis and maybe, with that, we can work towards giving her some relief. She deserves that. She deserves, at last, to become the baby she was tonight.