“AH!” I held the screeching baby as far away from me as possible. His face was redder than I thought anyone’s face could ever get. He had sticky snot streaming out of his button nose, and drool was dripping of his chin. His shirt was soaked with sweat, and his hair was plastered to his head and face. He had been screaming and crying like this for at least an hour! Okay, not really, but that’s what it felt like to me.
Frustrated with the kid and myself, I held him close again. I was past caring about how I looked; let him drip and drool all over me. I started to pace, cringing every time a murderous shriek entered my ear.
I felt like I had tried everything. I ran through a mental checklist again. I had checked his diaper, it was clean. I had tried to feed him; his food was now the kitchen’s decorations. He didn’t want water or milk or juice. He didn’t want to rock in the rocking chair or bounce on the yoga ball. I had even tried taking him outside, but it didn’t seem to help and I didn’t want calls from the neighbors. He was supposed to be asleep but every time I laid him back down in his crib, he howled even louder.
I stomped my foot in anger. I hated that I was so clueless. I babysat all the time! I was a pro! But this obnoxious child wouldn’t shut up! I felt tears forming in my eyes and that made me angrier. At this point, I was debating calling the parents. I never liked to call them; it made me feel like a failure. But I just couldn’t handle this kid anymore.
I was heading down the stairs with the wailing kid when I had a new idea. “Okay,” I said to myself. “Try this one more thing. If it doesn’t work, call.”
I turned around and went back to his room. I stood by his crib, holding him close, and I started to rock back and forth on my tired feet. Softly, I stared to sing. “I’m trying to be like Jesus, I’m following in his ways. I’m trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say…” His screams were miraculously quieting down. “At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice, but I try to listen as the still, small voice whispers…” He was now just sniffling and breathing heavily. “Love one another as Jesus loves you, try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught.” I looked at him. He was quiet, and his puffy eyes were drooping shut. Smiling, I set him down in his crib and covered him with his blanket. I tiptoed out, sighing as I silently closed the door.