Choosing Laughs Over Tears

The combination of hormones, sleepless nights, a crying baby, and not enough time or energy to eat a real meal have brought me to my knees, sitting on the floor in a puddle of my own tears more times than I care to admit lately. But luckily I am blessed with a husband with a great sense of humor and infinite patience who reminded me at the end of a particularly rough day that, “Sometimes you just gotta laugh.”

I had been looking forward to Saturday all week mainly because it meant my husband would be home, and we could go on a family walk with the baby and dog. We didn’t have a big outing planned, but just getting out of the house at all has become a huge accomplishment with both a baby and dog in tow.

Chad and I took turns watching the baby while the other showered, packed the diaper bag and began the seemingly endless preparations we now run through for even the shortest excursion. Mind you, all this was just with the simple goal of taking a fifteen minute walk down the street to the chocolate store to get a candy apple.

We were finally ready to go at about 11am, with the stroller, diaper bag, and dog waiting patiently by the door. Now for the baby…

He was fed and burped, but he still seemed pretty fussy. We tried rocking him and he seemed to relax, but as soon as we placed him in the stroller, he scrunched his face up, wriggled his arms and legs, and let out a wail.  We immediately took him back out of the stroller and the crying stopped. We tried burping again (he spit up on my dress, but I shrugged it off not wanting to delay the process with my own clothing change). We changed his diaper again. We did anything and everything we could think of to make him more comfortable in the stroller, and gave it another try.

He seemed calm enough as we snapped him in, and we were beginning to get excited. We got as far as out the door and on the front mat before the crying began again. Out of the stroller he went, and again we went through our process of elimination to find the source of his fussiness (and again he spit up on me… at this point, I figured I’d just pretend the white streaks were part of the dress design).

Fifteen minutes later, we tried again. We almost made it halfway down the street this time before the wailing began again. We tried pushing him along, hoping the gentle rocking motion would soothe him, but it only got worse. He cried louder and louder until I stopped the stroller, took him out, and rocked him. Back home we went.

We tried feeding again. We tried our list of options again. Brayden took a nap. Then we attempted to leave the house again. We almost made it to the end of the street this time. Again with the wailing. Frustrated, I said, “I’m over it. Let’s just go home and call it a day.” We went back home and looked at the clock. We had spent 6 hours of the day just trying to take a fifteen minute walk down the street to a chocolate store that was now closed.

I was mad. A whole day ruined. A day I had looked forward to all week. I rocked Brayden to sleep again for his next nap, but I was angry. After a few minutes, Chad came in the room, looked at the two of us rocking back and forth with scowls on our faces, and laughed. “We just spent 6 hours trying to take a fifteen minute walk down the street. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.”

This wasn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last day of changed plans and disappointments, but for my sake and the baby’s, I’m going to try to choose laughs over tears next time. There will be other walks and opportunities to get out of the house, but I probably won’t remember them as clearly as the day it took us 6 hours to just get out the door.


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