After a couple close calls in the famously forbidding Fire Swamp, Westley, formerly known as the Dread Pirate Roberts, offered the following sage reassurance to Princess Buttercup, who was growing doubtful they'd emerge alive:
"No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt — no problem. There's a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too."
And this afternoon, as Veda swings contentedly in her swing, enjoying a full belly of Mom's milk and the soothing repetition of both the swing's motor and the Juno soundtrack on the stereo, I too am reassured.
For what are the three terrors of the Newborn? One, the Persistent and Maddening Cry. Well, in the past two weeks Penny and I have encountered that on several occasions, and had ample opportunity to learn how to overcome it. Changing her diaper seems to work well, even if it does temporarily worsen the screaming, as does holding her in my arms and climbing the stairs several times, and if that doesn't work there's always music, or dancing, or both, or the pacifier, or swaddling her tightly so she feels secure, or trying to feed her again, or burping her, or softly singing old rap lyrics in her ear. Between these many resources -- and calling in the Grandmas when necessary -- we can almost always get The Cry under control, so no worries.
Two, the Mind Bending and Disorienting Sleeplessness. This is another formidable foe, indeed. But it's one Lope and I have encountered repeatedly, Lope in particular, and again we have developed methods for dispatching it. Taking shifts is probably our foremost tactic, with me borrowing Veda for a few hours each morning so that Lope can get some shuteye without a baby on her chest. We also employ the Sleep When The Baby Sleeps strategy, recommended by everyone, ever, and of course Lope avoids caffeine at all cost before breastfeeding, and on top of all that a little white-noise generator that sits at the bedside seems to work wonders for all three of us, the little one included.
So there you go. The terrors of the Newborn, vanquished. We've already succeeded. But what, you ask, about the B.M.O.U.S.es? Bowel Movements of Unusual Stinkiness? I don't think they exist.
*Note: Not that I see myself as dashing Cary Elwes and Lope as my hapless rescued princess in this scenario. Not at all. If anything, she's the one scaling the Cliffs of Insanity and outwitting dastardly evildoers in a heroic black mask, while I fumble around with ill-fitting baby clothes and struggle to dodge sudden streams of pee.