Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The complain cry, fake cry, hungry cry, real cry and Daddy's cry

Fatherhood has so far been an amazing journey in my life.

Noah's smile has completely overwhelmed me and it's incredible how this little (ok, not too little) boy can devour my heart in such a short space of time. Maybe because we have no help here in Thailand, aside of b-feeding, I can proudly say that I am absolutely involved in every aspect of taking care of Noah (aside of cutting fingernails, because I am too scared to do it), and I wouldn't want it any other way.

As a result, Noah and I have fostered a deep bond (at least I think so), so deep that he has technically considered me to be his potty, the safe and sound mountain to lean on when he needs to poo. He will usually stick on me and look me seriously in the eye while he's getting rid of waste. I am not proud of being viewed as a toilet, but hopefully he has already the belief that Daddy will always be his pillar of support whatever happens.

Last week, this poo-poo thing became more complicated, because he failed to do it for a few days though he tried as usual, and it became a little worrying. When I was changing his nappy on Sunday morning, he started squeezing and I finally got to see the hardened stubborn stools which have gotten too big for him to excrete easily. Noah **cried in anguish as he pushed with dear life, successfuly getting rid of only a bit of it.

(**Through the last few months, Li Li and I have concluded that Noah has a few types of cries:

  1. The 'complain' cry, which happens most often when he doesn't want to sleep, complaining until he finally falls asleep or breaks into a real cry (with tears and all).
  2. The 'fake' cry,  the whining when he does not want to be left alone or placed somewhere he does not feel like being in, like on the playmat or exersaucer. These usually do not involve any tears, and can be rectified immediately by carrying/accompanying him.
  3. The hungry cry, the cry that doesn't stop no matter what we do to appease him, but immediately stops when food is given.
  4. The real cry, when in pain or shock, the kind that absolutely breaks my heart.)

A couple of hours later, while I was playing with him, he suddenly let out a shriek of distress, I knew for sure that he was trying again. This was the real cry, the wail that sent tremors through my skin right into my heart, the cry that causes tears to spurt out of his tiny eyes like in comic books, the scream that breaks my soul into a million pieces.

I held him closely in my arms to support him and when he screamed again, I caved in. This was a momentous  instant in my life, I cried together with my son. I couldn't help myself, the tears just came and I wept as ferociously as Noah did. He looked at me a few times with his teary eyes while I was crying and consoling him at the same time and he must be thinking, " Hey what are you doing Daddy! You are supposed to encourage me, not distract me with your loud sobs, I am trying to concentrate here."

Li Li came in and got a shock, I still don't really what she felt when she saw father and son weeping together in the room. She took over Noah and left me to recompose myself.

Looking back, it really seems lame, to cry like a baby over my son's constipation? But when I thought about that moment again, I can still feel my heart wrenching as my son suffered pain and discomfort.

Thank you Li Li, for making this collage which sums up my relationship with Noah

So this is what being a parent is all about.

It's not about saying "It's ok" when it's not ok.

It's about laughing with him when it's ok, and crying with him when it's not.

PS. He's officially not constipated anymore, in case anyone of you is still worried.


  1. That last line is spot on. =) Glad for you the ordeal is over. Mine lasted fairly longer and I've already forgotten how much tears I shed or how many times it ripped my heart. Well, that's what parenthood is all about, we still have so much more to go through and learn and feel!

  2. He hasn't pooed for a couple of days actually, but we are optimistic that he will do it soon! Sigh..... I think it is more devastating, what I did, because I am a Daddy, Daddies are supposed to be stern and strong, not emo like a Mummy!


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