http://archives.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/conditions/04/24/heart.role.reversal/

So I just read this article that says that stay-at-home dads are 82 percent more likely to die from heart disease than dads that work outside the home.  This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

Thump thump…  thump thump…

Why is this?  It must be a genetic difference.  There must be something wired into a woman’s DNA that makes them less prone to the effects of prolonged crying.  I know no one loves the sound of a crying baby.  But some have a higher threshold for it.  My wife can handle it.  She can hold Ellie while she is crying and kicking and try to soothe her while she cries.  She knows she is doing all she can and that it’s normal for babies to cry.  It’s not that she doesn’t care.  She accepts it.  She can be in the car with Ellie crying and screaming in the backseat and be ok.  She’ll just sing to her to calm her down and she knows that Ellie is really okay and that everything will be alright.  Of course she doesn’t like it, but she accepts the situation and the cries roll off of her like water on plastic. 

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I, on the other hand, have a low threshold for it.  I was driving home the other day.  I was about an hour away.  I knew that Ellie was fed, had a clean diaper, and should be ready for a nap.  It was a perfect situation.  The car ride would just put her out for a nap.  WRONG.  After about 5 minutes, Ellie decided she didn’t want to be in the car or the car seat anymore.  So she cried full force the whole way home.  I tried singing all her favorite songs, reaching back to pat her head, to let her chew on my finger, to let her know she’s not the only one in the car.  I’m normally very good at getting her to stop crying.  So when I can’t soothe her, I take it personally.  It’s like I have failed.  Or I think there must be something really wrong even though deep down, I know there isn’t.  I can’t help it.  I don’t have the magical DNA that repels cries.  So when I got home, after enduring an hour of a crying baby in the car, I felt like someone had repeatedly punched me in the face, and that my heart was going to explode.  My senses were sharpened.  Every little noise sounded like a jack hammer in my head.   Once I got her out of the car seat and held her, she immediately stopped crying and smiled.  We went inside and she started playing like nothing ever happened.  I wasn’t able to easily forget that torturous experience in the car and I remained shaken and jumpy for the rest of the afternoon.  She looks up at me saying, “what? You’re still worked up about that!?  Let it go Pop, now give me a zerburt.”

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I can’t help it.  Her cry is like lighting, and my head is like a lightning rod.  The first couple cries don’t really hit me.  But then she throws a really strong one and it hits me hard.  I feel the electricity in my brain first.  Then it travels down my body, through my heart, then into my feet.  My feet start jostling around, up and down, and they involuntarily carry my body to wherever the sound is coming from.  This is even when my wife or my mom is with her and comforting her.  This electricity sends me to the scene.  It’s instinctual.  I must stop her from crying.  I know I need to let it go.  I know I need to develop a thick skin.  But since I don’t have this gene, maybe I should stick to eating a heart smart diet for now.  God save me when she’s a teenager…

Thump thump…  thump thump

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