After a frustrating year on the tenure-track job hunt, my eyes are still on the prize, and I've learned that sheer will might be the most important quality required for this career track.
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Dear committee head,
I know I've already mentioned this, like, 10 gazillion times, but, in case you didn't catch it, I won't be at next week's meeting because I'M ON MATERNITY LEAVE!! I made it abundantly clear these past few months that I would not be doing any committee work from November to March - so I could focus on lab work the last month of my pregnancy, and make sure my head is on straight after coming back to work before adding on extra duties. We had this discussion at our first meeting this summer, and again at every subsequent meeting (since you couldn't remember then either). I again reiterated my plans when I took time off because of high blood pressure in October. To make sure this wouldn't be a problem, I passed on all the information, email correspondence, survey information, etc from my last event well before my due date, again impressing my coming absence. Maybe the fact that my belly was growing larger and my gait was turning to more of a waddle was lost on you. Or maybe I'm just that vital of a person to what you're trying to accomplish that you're hoping I'll suddenly be able to drop my child off at day care 5 weeks early. Otherwise, you certainly wouldn't be bugging me right now, wondering if I would be at next week's meeting and requesting emails that I sent you a month ago. So here it is - unless you would like to move the meeting 30 minutes away from campus to my condo, watch me pump and breastfeed, listen to my sweet baby boy who is starting to exhibit signs of colic, and comfort me as I cry because I can't fix my child, then LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!
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Colic is the worst, because it seems unfixable. The only think that would work with my daughter was to cradle her little bum between my intertwined palms with her head and back resting on my forearms. THen I would do rapid leg-squats up and down, chanting "this too shall pass, this too shall pass...." Alternatively our pediatrician taught us what we call the "monkey hold": Extend your forearm, palm up. place baby butt on palm and baby's belly lies on your forearm head on the crook of your elbow facing away from you. Now you have butt-taping control with your finger and swinging action with your arm and a free hand! This actually worked magically well.
Don't worry, Dr. O. Your little Monkey is not broke! That is what babies do (some better than others). My little one was especially found of the super-tight swaddle + bouncing. Good luck!!
and tell committee head to leave you the eff alone already
Hope the committee finailly figures it out and baby is just going through a short phase of crying instead of colic!
Awww Dr. O, hold on through the screaming. Our girl did a lot of that, too, and for us the only thing that worked was similar to what Namnezia described: lots of bouncing, constant bouncing up and down from the knees or sitting on a yoga ball. Also, playing "Love Rollercoaster" really loud--that always made her clam up for a little bit (until the song was over). Email me for a link to the youtube video of it... lol.
Thanks everyone. We're not sure that it's truly colic, as it just started this past weekend. He usually falls apart in the middle of the night, which is bad enough, but I've experienced a few episodes during the day while Hubby is at work. We can temporarily soothe him with his music machine or swaying left to right with him cradled in our arms, but this never lasts more than a couple of minutes. Poor thing seems to have an upset stomach, and we can't tell if the preventive measures we're trying are working or not. I keep treating this like a controlled lab experiment, which I'm slowly learning is a mistake since there's little to no reproducibility. It's more like throwing darts in the dark, with a baby screaming in your ear.
@Arlenna - Hubby totes want to try singing that song next time things fall apart. ;-)
Committee head has backed off now, but I wouldn't be surprised if I get another email before our next meeting. Hopefully I'll be feeling a little less overwhelmed at that point...
Why on earth are you wasting your time on committees as a post-doc?
CPP - It's a committee for postdoc training and development; actually developed some good connections, including a few faculty that have reviewed grants and written recommendation letters for me. About done with it though.
I am totally with you on the throwing darts in the dark feeling. It's very frustrating for experiments to be so poorly controlled- but then, twins would be worse.
Anyway, the stomach comment put me in mind of something. When I was talking to a friend about my little guy crying at night, they mentioned that the baby they knew with the worst 'colic' actually had serious stomach problems. The doctor put the baby on prilosec, or some kind of proton pump inhibitor, and happy baby and parents ensued. It's unlikely, but if the crying is *really, really* common, it's worth asking your doctor about.