Googie

My wife woke me up last night. I had fallen asleep at 7:00 when I put our son down. In fact, I think I fell asleep before he did. I am feeling kind of googie about being woken up since it took me three hours to fall back asleep. Googie is our word for fussy, cranky and tired. I will tell you the origins of it.

My wife named our son googie-baba in the middle of his colic. It’s an all purpose word, sort of like Aloha Googie-baba always refers to our son. To be googie is to be crabby, but it is sometimes an exclamation, like “Googie!” or “Holy Shit.”

Like I mentioned before, our son had colic for the first few months of his life. He was a textbook case. It started a couple of weeks after he came home from the hospital, and lasted until 6 weeks after his due date. He was born 3 weeks early, so that was 9 weeks. It was worse in the evening. He often would scream for hours at a time.

We fed him, rocked him, walked him around the house, but his wailing continued. He would be quiet for breastfeeding, so I fed him until my breasts were sore. I never expected a screaming baby, and just the persistent noise of it made me want to jump out a window, or run away from home. I was completely blindsided. I had been told to never let a baby cry, and I was stunned to have a baby who cried for no apparent reason. I was desperate to console him. I told friends that I felt like I was being destroyed.

The few things we found that work were breastfeeding and co-sleeping at night, swaddling and a pacifier. He would scream when these things weren’t happening. We found that he liked to be in a wrap, and walked outside with a pacifier in his mouth. In fact, that was the only way that he would nap during the day in the first few months, so that is what I did. I walked up and down the street at all hours of the day and night in order to calm him. My neighbors made fun of me. He was born in January, so I was doing this in the cold. It was like a drug, he could be screaming in the house, down the stairs and then out the door, but he would fall right to sleep once we were on the sidewalk. As soon as we came home, his eyes shot open. I was a complete wreck due to lack of sleep and the necessity of walking constantly until about 10:00 or 11:00 at night.

Some suggestions that we were given did not work were gripe water, eliminating dairy from my diet, the family bed in the daytime and letting him cry it out before 3 months of age (I will talk about this more later. We do let him cry now in order to get to sleep, but it’s a whole different ball game. 5 minutes of fussing now precedes an hour of sleep).

I had coffee with a friend whose son just got over his colic. She told me as the afternoon progressed, and it would become close to the evening (when most babies get colicky) she would start to cry. She would just think over and over, “I’ve ruined my life, I’ve ruined my life for no good reason.”
I completely sympathized. Right next to us, in identical car seats, were two sweet boys both smiling. You never would of guess the havoc the had wrecked.

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