Purple Crying

Updated on September 29, 2019
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects including education and creative writing.


The crying wouldn’t stop. Madeline sank to the floor near the farthest corner of the room, covering her ears with her shaking hands.

“Oh, please, baby, please,” she uttered between gasps of air and sobs. “Listen, to your momma, and just go back to sleep.”

But the baby wouldn’t stop. He got louder, drowning out her pleas.

“Stop, baby, please!”

She broke down, wailing at the top of her lungs, trying to quell her baby’s crying.

She took a moment to compose herself. As she did so, she noticed the young guard staring at her, perplexed.

* * * * * *

The guard peered through the portal in the door at the distraught and solitary lady locked in the dark gray room.

“This is horrible,” he said.

The orderly standing near him didn’t share his sentiment.

“What’s horrible is what she did to her baby.”

The nurse finally arrived with a syringe in hand.

“It should be a lethal dose,” the orderly snorted.

“For Christ’s sake,” the Nursed replied. “The girl cracked, already. That’s enough punishment for her.”

She took a moment to compose herself. As she did so, she noticed the young guard staring at her, perplexed.

“Her baby had Purple Crying syndrome,” she said, answering his unspoken curiosity. “Baby kept crying and crying for no apparent reason and despite all she tried to do.

“But she’s young and immature. She’s practically a child herself. She didn’t have what it took to be a mother at her age. So she did the only thing she could think of doing, despite the consequences.”

The guard ruminated upon this while the orderly merely gritted his teeth and shook his head.

“Are we ready?” the orderly said sternly. “Her purple crying bit is getting on everyone's nerve in this godforsaken ward . And that means I’m going to have a long, hard night.”

People, don’t want to understand,the nurse thought. She finally signaled to the guard to open the door. Within seconds after the door was opened, the three subdued Madeline and gave her the sedatives.

* * * * *

Still, as she faded into slumber, Madeline could hear the cries of her baby boy.

“Hush, little baby,” she slurred. “Hush…”

And then, there was peaceful silence.

The crying finally stopped. Madeline finally got her child to stop.

"Still, as she faded into slumber, Madeline could hear the cries of her baby boy." “Hush, little baby,” she slurred. “Hush…”
"Still, as she faded into slumber, Madeline could hear the cries of her baby boy." “Hush, little baby,” she slurred. “Hush…” | Source

What is Purple Crying ?

All babies cry. That's a fact. It's their way to communicate a basic need such as being hungry. Sometimes, however, the causes can be a mystery. The element of this particular story has to do with a mysterious moment in a baby's life known as Purple crying.

Purple crying is not named after the color. Instead, each letter in "Purple" stands for something. According to the site,growingyourbaby.com, the letters represent the following:

Ppeak pattern (usually around 2-3 months before decreases).
Uunpredictable .
Rresistant to soothing
Ppain-like look on face
L long bouts of crying
Eevening crying

There are ways to soothe babies with this condition; however, a person like Madeline may not know or have the patience to heed such advice. It can be possible that this period in a baby's life can make some parents stark-raving mad to the point they do something drastic and shocking.

Luckily, as a father to three, I've found one remedy: a quick drive at night until the baby or babies fall asleep. But, that method is not fail-safe. There are times when the mysteriously carry on and there's little you can do about it, except wait it out.

As for the syndrome part: some websites on the subject have called it Purple Crying Syndrome. Another site uses a registered trademark for what it calls it (so I won't repeat it). Either way, the "syndrome" may or may not be accurate. On the other hand, it does have a literary ring to it. So, let's just say there's a bit of poetic license at work when used in the story.

© 2014 Dean Traylor


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