The veil of sleep had lifted several long minutes ago, and Madeline was all alone in the room. All alone between the bars of her crib, awake now for what seemed like an eternity. She might have been hungry, might have been frightened, might have been lonely, but one thing was certain: She was in the throes of full-on panic.
Mother heard as soon as she opened the back door. Madeline had found an entirely new pitch above her normal pitch, and was wailing away in it, the siren of distress sounding from deep within the house — Find me! Help!
Anyone who has raised children knows the sound and feel of a baby wailing to be gotten. There is a primal, almost irresistible instinct to respond. So the signal found its mark, accomplished its purpose, and she was still teary-eyed when Mother carried her outside to me. The hair on the back of her head — the only place hair has grown so far — was matted and damp from the exertion of crying out for rescue. She softly hiccuped for air as the rhythm of panic subsided.