When a baby starts crying…everybody reacts. Sometimes it’s a relaxed, normal reaction, such as the baby’s mom or dad…who are used to the crying. Even the grandparents can be pretty relaxed with it, because they know the baby and what this type of crying means.
The reactions of a friend who is holding the baby are a little more nervous. They often range from “What did I do?” to “I don’t think your baby likes me!” looks. Everyone wants to be the one who picks up a baby and the baby just snuggles up and smiles, or the one who picks up a crying baby, and the baby miraculously quits crying…just because they saw your face. Of course, the reality is that unless you are the baby’s mommy or daddy, or maybe grandma or grandpa, you probably aren’t going to get the reaction you hoped for from a crying baby. They want their mommy or daddy, especially at bedtime or mealtime.
Some of the funniest reactions to a crying baby, in my opinion, come from other children. They often think they are going to be in trouble for somehow hurting the baby, because after all “Why in the world would this baby cry unless it was hurt”, right? Claims of “I didn’t do anything!” or “What did I do?” are fairly immediate when they are handed a baby and the baby simply turnes into a screaming bundle of noise in their arms. They just don’t understand that the baby is feeling very unsafe right now, because this person who is holding them isn’t much bigger that they are…and “Where is my mommy!!”
And for the child sitting next to the poor little one who is holding the screaming baby, the looks are a mixture of “Whew, I’m glad that isn’t me!” and “Will somebody do something about this kid!” They are really just glad the baby didn’t cry while they were holding it, and…”Maybe I’ll wait for a better time for my turn…thanks!” Kids just don’t want to be singled out as the one that made the baby cry!
Now a sister or brother who is used to this “screaming kid who has joined our family” has an even different reaction. Day after day, they hear the baby crying, and they often can’t figure out what this kid’s problem is, and why they can’t “be more like me”…because “I never cry for no reason!” and “Why did we get this kid anyway!” When they found out they were getting a little brother or sister, they were so excited, and when the baby arrived, then confusion set in. “Ok people, this crying is just not what I signed on for when you told me I was getting a brother or sister!” “I kinda wanted a bigger kid…you know, like a new best friend…soooooo, could we just trade this one in one a better model…I think this one is just a bit defective!!” “Hey Mommy, can you please turn the volume down on this kid…or better yet, maybe we should put him in his crib…and shut the door please!!”