The face of cruel, unyielding defiance
Sure, there was a delightful moment in the midst of the Meltdown that involved fart noises, stomach-poking and infectious baby laughter (see: Wild mood swings, above), but overall it was like running clean for the first two-thirds of a NASCAR race before getting rammed and sliding around the oval for the rest of the race. By the end of it all I was happy to drive into a wall just to end it. That wall was The Wife, finally coming through the door. NJ was so happy to see her that I had a hard time convincing The Wife how bad it all was. Their reunion was sweet enough under normal circumstances; to me, The Wife's arrival was akin to that of a Marine kicking in the door and releasing the hostages.
A lot of it is her missing her mom, of course, and there's also a gradual weaning process in progress. ('Process in progress' -- say it five times, fast!) I think NJ's not too happy with gradual dominance of formula over breast milk, and I'm not sure I blame her because this formula stinks something terrible. Her formula burps are almost as bad as our dog's.
The other thing at play is NJ's recent realization that sometimes, when she's being put in her crib or on the floor mat on her own, she can elicit the beginnings of a crying jag and one of her parents will swoop in to her rescue, picking her back up and lavishing her with love and attention. I'm wise to this and have started to ignore it, so now there's the initial bleat of crying at being put down, then another as she realizes that the first bleat isn't bending me to her will. Then (I imagine) she sighs and shrugs her shoulders, because almost instantly she's shaking a rattle or batting a squeaky bird around. But I still think there's resentment there. It'll probably finally boil over when she's 35.
The weaning and the manipulation ("The Weaning and the Manipulation" -- isn't that an old Truffaut film?) have me a little worried about next week, when The Wife goes to New York City (the town so nice they named it twice -- the other name is "Manhattan") for four days. Call it Super Solo: Armageddon. If I haven't blogged my guts out after two days, pray to your god and send lawyers, guns and money.