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The soundtrack for the past three days has been the high-pitched shrieking of a nineteen month old. Constant save for when she’s been asleep or eating, and a few times when she’s had her attention diverted by her always-entertaining brother (who may just get a Lifetime Pass for sitting down and playing Hot Wheels with her during one of her crying jags).

I think that there should be a Virus Of Some Sort for everything. “Why didn’t you meet that deadline?” “I’m not sure. It was probably a Virus Of Some Sort.” “Why don’t you release the election results?” “We’re not sure. It’s probaby due to a Virus Of Some Sort.””Governor, what prompted you to disappear for three
days?” “I believe I was infected with a Virus Of Some Sort.” “What’s wrong with our baby, Doc? Why has she been crying inconsolably for the past 48 hours?” “I’m not sure. She probably has a Virus Of Some Sort.” It would cover so much. The perfect Non-Answer.
So she probably has a Virus Of Some Sort, and that’s as helpful as a screen door in a submarine, which is to say that I’m feeling that particular strain of utter helplessness and utter rage. My instinct, when my kids are in distress, is to scream and break shit. Go all Papa Bear on the Universe for putting them through the wringer. I’m gritting my teeth as I write this with shaky hands: it’s about an hour and a half past her lunchtime, about two and half hours past her bed time, she’s done neither, she’s feeling it, we’re feeling it. There’s a special kind of Hell you go through as a parent and that’s the one where you are powerless to help your kids, and the only thing you can do is to say pleasepleaseplease, to no one in particular. There’s brief lulls – maybe she’s trying to nap, maybe she’s distracted by her stuffed Cookie Monster, maybe she’s just too exhausted to nap or cry – and it starts up again, the crying, the pain, and it just keeps on comin’.