Finley, little dark-tressed nugget of love that she is, has a dark secret. She has within her wee ten pounds of self an insane capacity for shrieking with indignation. Her preferred hours of rage are:
1) The precise moment in which Sean and I try to catch up on the day and on through the news, pausing before dinner to cruelly suggest we might eat in peace.
2) Just after the girls have been successfully read, coddled, cuddled, chided, coerced and threatened into sleeping.
3) During any episode of The Last Comic Standing.
4) Throughout the 7.5 minutes I take to wash up before bed.
It isn’t usually a problem as I realize how fleeting this time really is, before we know it she’ll be a year old and this sort of inconsolable and inexplicable carrying on will be but a distant memory that we look back on with the twisted fondness one has for escaped agony. The other night though, oh the other night…
There was a different pitch to her cry, a piercing tone and unrelenting intensity that was nothing short of an ice pick Macgyvered up to a an air compressor being sent again and again like some sort of medieval battering ram into my ear. I tried everything I could think of to soothe her, but she twitched, jerked and screamed herself into such a state that we reached the point of no return. I did something I have never, ever done before.
I called for back up.
I think the times in a marriage when the balance shifts precipitously, whether it be for vulnerability or anger, you recognize it in that moment and make a split second decision. Sean’s reaction was lightning fast. He was home and carrying Fin out into the cool night air in less than five minutes. He handled it as if it were the most natural thing in the world, no judgement, no worry. I had no shame, no guilt, just an overwhelming sense of peace. I had not screamed, had not cried, and had not been made to feel helpless.
I had always been too embarrassed to ask for help or to admit defeat. Who knew doing just that could make me feel so triumphant?