The Baby Isn’t Eating…

…and as a result, my husband may need to be hospitalized.

Teething is painful, and not just for the baby. Apparently, sometimes when teething is happening, babies don’t eat.

This is a big problem, because babies are humans and humans need food in order to live. But it’s an especially big problem for our baby, because her father is Italian and for him, watching his child not eat is like he’s being physically stabbed all over his body. He actually clutched parts of himself — his stomach, his arms, great handfuls of hair — while beseeching her to eat.

At one point, he went outside to cry and vape and I had a talk with the baby.

“Listen,” I said. “You can’t do this to your father. He’s Italian. You have to eat or he will actually collapse.”

The baby farted.

Here, I’d like to say that it would really help if either she spoke English or we spoke Baboo. As it is, we’re having a lot of trouble communicating.

There’s good news, though: it turns out that if you have a nice pediatrician, it’s totally cool to call the office and ask them to call you back so that you can yell, “We’re in the parking lot of the Botanical Garden and the baby hasn’t eaten all day and we thought fresh air would help but she still won’t eat and now her cheeks are all pink from cold. And now we’re pretty sure our baby is starving and also has frostbite. What do we do?”

That was me, BTW. And I was the parent who was less upset. My husband was on the verge of disintegrating with anxiety in the backseat of the car, where he was clutching the baby to his chest.

The answer to my questions turned out to be: she doesn’t have frostbite, because it’s too warm out, just put some Vaseline on her cheeks, and give her Tylenol and feed her with a syringe if necessary. (But please, if your baby isn’t eating, call your own pediatrician and see what they say.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to feed my baby with a syringe and my husband with a highball glass.

“Fuck this botanical garden fucking bullshit.”

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

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