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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Dad Knew Stuff

My Dad Knew Stuff

 My daughter was an extra sensitive, fussy baby, probably because she was our first.  She was very difficult to put to bed, always wanting one more story even when she was too small to even know what the story was about.
When I thought she was asleep, I would silently creep out of her room.  As soon as I pulled the door almost closed, she would burst into tears.  We were told just let her cry, she will tire and fall off to sleep.  My limit was about 73 minutes before I would give up and go in to comfort her…she never tired and fell off to sleep.  Experts!
For any new parents out there, this only lasted for about two years, so hang in there.
When Mary Beth was maybe 7 months old we were visiting my parents on The Eastern Shore, Maryland.  We went out sight-seeing with my dad and the baby was sound asleep as babies tend to be when riding in the car.
When we parked to check out a Chesapeake Bay view, Mary Beth woke up, and she woke up cranky.  It was nap time and she had only slept about a half hour so we knew she was still tired.
My wife rocked and rocked her.  Still she cried.  She tried to breast feed her.  Not working.  She tried singing.  Still crying. 
I took over. I played peek-a-boo and only got boo-hoo.  I tried bouncing and that only made the crying worse.  Holding tight…nothing, funny faces…made things worse.  After about 20 minutes of 7 month old howling my wife and I were at our wits end.
“Hand her to me.” My pop said.
“It won’t do any good dad, she just keeps crying.”
“Give me a shot, I know stuff.”
“Here, take her, but it won’t do any good.”
My dad put Mary Beth on his lap in a sitting position, and proceeded to rub her toes and the arch of her foot.  She stopped crying instantly. Her eyes started to droop; in less than three minutes she was sound asleep.
“How the Hell! What did you do?”
“Like I said; I know stuff.”
I have fathered three other infants, all who had similar fits of uncontrollable crying.  In each case, I would put the child sitting upon my lap and massage their foot and toes.  At no time did this technique ever work for me.


  1. Your dad had that touch :) Glad it worked for him :)


  2. My grandmother sat the baby in her lap and crooned "Doodle dee, doodle dee." same outcome. Never worked for me.

  3. You dad knew stuff. Love this.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  4. I was excited to read this because Mrs. Chatterbox has a co-worker who recently delivered twins and the babies are crying morning, noon and night. The parents should try your dad's technique anyway.

    My dad also knew stuff---about animals. He was the animal pied piper of the neighborhood. All sick animals loved him, even though he never wanted the responsibility of owning a pet, or letting his kids have them.

  5. Funny how the longer we live, the smarter our parents become.

  6. Some guys got it, some guys don't! I get grief from Queenie 'cause I can put any tiny tot to sleep. And most adults, but that's another story

  7. Umm...I was the human pacifier. I watched a lot of TV back then.

  8. When I was a kid, I was sure my dad knew everything. When we were in, say, a large auditorium, I would ask him what the huge chandelier over our heads weighed. He'd think a minute, turn to me & say, "1,387 pounds." I believed him, not realizing he had pulled the answer directly from his butt. I used the same source (my butt, not his) later when answering the questions of my own children because it at least momentarily stopped their questioning. As far as I know, my children gave this same sort of information to my grandchildren. I assume this system will carry on through the ages.

  9. I guess one must have the "touch." I kind of wish I had a cranky kid handy to try that.

  10. I guess you could say he had the Midas Touch. Silence is golden, you know.

  11. Well, of course it didn't work on you children. You need to try something like this with your grandchildren. How else are you going to frustrate your kids?

  12. Crying instead of sleeping is something I've heard a lot about, even witnessed a time or two, but I don't understand it. Because mine didn't do it. They were good sleepers, all of them. I'm beginning to think I had the easiest babies in all the world.

  13. That's a great tip! Some parents just figure things out along the way. My sister and brother-in-law did the "cry it out" thing when their kids were babies. They wouldn't go in for anything. I think the kids eventually just tired out and fell asleep--I don't remember them saying there was a time when they cried all night.

  14. Oh wow. That's a great tip and I'm going to try it with my grandbabies. :) Thanks for sharing this Cranky.

  15. I loved the last sentence! Who knows maybe your dad was lucky that day :)
    Though I do think like scared or hurt animals babies relax when held by someone who is confident they will relax them - which is never what a new parent is.


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