You give anything a funny name, and it's bound to grow on you. You'll probably even start to look forward to it. What once terrified you can now make you laugh. And isn't that the greatest triumph of all?
A few months ago, C found a particularly effective way to tease her mom. She would grit her teeth, squint her eyes and ball her fists as she shook herself in some weird sort of baby frenzy. The first time she did it, I almost called the doctor. I had no idea what to make of it. Was she having a seizure? A stroke? Method acting?
Whatever it was, I wanted her to stop. And I'd say so as I unballed her little baby hands with my fingers. "C'mon, C," I'd say. "You're freaking Mommy out. Please stop." And what would she do? Just laugh. Then, after seeing the effect it had on me, she'd do it again.
After calls to my mom and talking with my cousin Christy, who's a doctor, they assured me that C was normal and healthy. That subdued me for the most part, but in my mind I was always one fake seizure away from dialing her pediatrician.
She never did this for Ian, and for a while he didn't believe me. (I'm not sure why he thought I'd make something like that up. What mother gets a kick out of telling her husband that their baby is convulsing on a semi-regular basis?) But then one day in the car, when she thought he wasn't looking, she did it. In her car seat, looking at me through the window.
"Oh my gosh," Ian said. "She's hulking out!"
And it was as if a light had gone off in my head -- a green, oversized, unpredictable light. She was having fun, and why wasn't I?
Instead of diving head-first into parenting books and websites, instead of planning exactly how I was going to explain this to a team of highly trained physicians, instead of worrying myself into my own convulsive frenzy, I should have been taking pictures. Heck, video.
So, finally, after months of being stunned into some sort of parental paralysis when C felt the need to "Hulk Out," this time I grabbed the camera and documented it for history.