Monday, November 14, 2011

Seven Years Ago

Saturday, we celebrated Sonya's seventh birthday.  She had a fun filled day with a trip to Disney Studios to see a screening of the new Muppet Movie, (thanks to Melinda!), In-n-Out for lunch (also Melinda), then an evening slumber party.  That part sounded much better in my head than it did in person.  Five seven year olds in our house made it very, um, screechy in here.  Our house is not big enough for that much screechiness.  Sonya did have a great time, and fortunately only two of those girls actually spent the night.  However, I didn't plan to write about her party this weekend.  Instead I thought I'd give you all a story about baby Sonya.  Since I didn't start this blog until she was four, I didn't get to write about all the crazy baby stories that happened, what now seems like forever ago.  I know I've mentioned things here or there about when they were babies, but not an actual tale.  So in honor of her birthday, here is one of my favorites. Some of you may already know this one.  It's an oldie, but a goodie.

As I've mentioned time and time again, Sonya was a screamy baby.  Not colicky exactly, but she cried.  A LOT.  If she wasn't eating, sleeping, or in a trance next to the stove under the exhaust fan, she was crying.  Therefore I was stuck in the house for most of the first three months of her life.  I was afraid to go anywhere, unless I was sure she would stay asleep.  If she woke up, it was all over.  Once, I had to leave CVS in the middle of shopping, because her eyes popped open and she started to scream.  Now to be clear, that was the new mom Kristi.  The experienced mom of three kids Kristi, would just let her scream until I was done with my shopping, and if you don't like it you can go to another CVS, but I have to get this done now, thank you very much.  It's so funny how different first time moms are from those of us who have been around the block a couple of times.

Anyway, I hadn't yet taken Sonya into Andy's work to show her off.  This was mostly because I was worried about her crying, and disrupting the office. You know, my husband sorta needed to keep his job.  But it had been two months, and people kept asking to see the baby, so we said screw it.  If she cries I'll just leave.  Luckily, she slept  through almost the entire visit to his office.  Everyone oooed and ahhhed over her.  She was a very beautiful baby, as far as new babies go.  Still a little alien like, but adorable alien.  We were there for an hour or so and decided it was time for us to leave.  It was around then that she woke up.  She was okay for the time being, but I knew that the peace wouldn't last long.  So I said my goodbyes and headed to the car.  That is when the wailing started.

At the time Andy was working in Beverly Hills and we live in Burbank.  If you look on a map it's only about twelve miles.  Quick, right?  Only if you live anywhere but L. A.  It can take anywhere from 25 minutes (at 2am) to an hour to drive those twelve miles.  Since I was leaving at 4 pm on a Friday, I was looking at the hour plan.  With a screaming baby.  Yay.

So I started my drive and I did all the things I had done before to try and stop her from crying.  Things that had worked at one point for five or ten minutes.  Shushing, humming, shaking the car seat back and forth, chanting in a Native American like style-you have NO idea.  Nothing was working and the sobs only became louder.  I was ready to lose it, so as a last resort I decided to try music.  A song that I had played incessantly when I was pregnant with her.

I'm not sure why, but for some reason the first time I was pregnant I became obsessed with Barry Manilow.  Don't look at me like that.  Come on-tell me you can't belt out all the words to Copacabana.  My mom was a Manilow fan when I was a kid and I remember listening to him often.  I don't know if it was some sort of pregnancy craving or what, but I listed to that Greatest Hits CD over and over again.  One song in particular, which is one of my favorites,  Mandy.  I was so obsessed at the time, we even considered naming Sonya, Mandy.  She's so not a Mandy though, so it's a good thing we nixed it.   So I put the song on thinking maybe it was one of those things she heard so much in the womb, like the white noise, she would like it.  It was probably my first real parental instinct success.

I started the song on the CD and within two piano notes, she stopped screaming.  Although, I could hear her kind of whimpering a bit still. It was like she wasn't sure if she was okMandy, she was quiet.  So for 45 minutes I sang Mandy, over and over and over again.  Needless to say, I was a little sick of the song by the time we pulled in the driveway.

After that, car rides were much more quiet.  Anytime she would start to cry we would pop the CD in and BAM!  Tears ended.  It was the craziest thing.  Thankfully, I didn't have to sing EVERY time.  Although, anyone will tell you about how fabulous my singing voice is.  As long as you ask them after a few drinks at a Karaoke bar.  

 Eventually, she did become a better baby and didn't hate just being awake, but anytime she started to have a break down in the car I would break out that song.  Worked every time, up until she was about two.  Although she still did like the song, and would ask us to play it over again when she heard it.

I haven't had Barry in my car for some time now. I should play it and see how much it still effects her, if at all.   Even if it doesn't help her now, it saved my sanity back then.  Because Mandy-she really did come and give without taking,  and I thank Mr. Manilow, and my mom who introduced me to him, for that.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful first born girl!  Even though at times you might be difficult, I will never forget  how happy you make me, and I won't ever send you away.


Hollyhome said... mommy played me Mandy over and over again...thank goodness that never stuck as a nickname :)

cran said...

Wow. We took a trip from Maryland to Toronto once, in a van with three boys under ten and a tiny girl who screamed because she couldn't take that car seat another minute. Popped in a CD I had picked up for $2.99: Cow Songs. Needless to say, the whole family knew all the words (counting songs about cows and ice cream) by the time our trip was over. A small price to pay for peace and quiet. And you know what? She just turned 13 and she is the only one in the family who would curl up and die without her iPod. Music is a miracle worker sometimes.