If I believed in karma, I’d say I’ve just been bit.

All those times I’d claimed how I cannot stand the sound of children crying? Oh the irony. Because some days, I’m convinced that I have the cryiest baby around.

“Cryiest” does not exist in the English language but dangnammit, it should.

Arddun head-butted my bony collar bone this afternoon. No real harm done – by which I mean no bruising, bleeding and mild concussion. But it’s given her license to com-plete-ly lose it and she’s been crying for 90 minutes since.

No, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened and no, I’m not having a freak-out. I’m just resigned to it, that’s all. I want to take a nap because I am still rather knackered, but I haven’t quite mastered the art of sleeping through histrionics yet (yet!), so I’m sitting here to blog about it instead.

In the last 2 days, it’s started to dawn on me that I’m losing my sense of shame. Pre-baby, the sound of babies crying so grated on my nerves, I was convinced I’d whisk mine out of the room if mine made so much as a whimper that went on for Too Long (read: 1.2 seconds).

But the sad truth is, I’ve just become immune to the sound of Arddun crying. I’ve also lost the ability to think of more than one thing at a time because when she goes off her nut, all I can focus on is calming her down on the spot while teaching her how to comfort herself. To ask that I remove us from the room while I shush her would be to ask that I cook a six-course tofu meal while a man in a hideously gay jacket booms from the stage theatrically (just watched Iron Chef yesterday).

In other words, it’s just too hard, and it’d never dawn on me to do it.

Usually I can calm her down in ten seconds. This involves a lot of shushing in her ear till the noise of simulated ocean or womb or whatever drowns out her baby angst and she stops to admire the curtains or secretly pee in her diaper. All well and good when we’re at home and out of everyone’s way. Not so good when you’re out in public and alone with her, your tea has just arrived, and the baby change room is on the other side of paradise.

But the fact is, I have a stinkin’ suspicion that I’m being quite inconsiderate and I’m a little helpless as to the protocol here. Just yesterday, I had an old classmate complain bitterly on Facebook about a parent who let her child scream blue murder in the elevator while she benignly stood by to watch. And then today, just when my Coke Spider had arrived at the Coffee Club, Arddun decided to wake up half an hour early for her feed and was rather grumpy about life. I shushed her in five seconds, but that was all it took for the older couple beside me to roll their eyes and up and leave in disgust. And I was left sitting there wondering if I’d just turned into a public menace with my 5-second contribution to noise pollution in a suburban cafe.

Perhaps I put too much stock on what others think. Except I remember being just like them, and I remember how tedious it can be to put up with ill-behaved children. And I don’t want to inflict my child on others. I want her – I want us – to be a delight to have around. To be considerate of the needs of others, to be kind. But it takes time and I’m so green and unimaginative right now, it’s not funny.

Have to go. Arddun’s still crying and I think it’s time I gave my new neighbour’s ears a break. :(

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