Most parents knows the frustration of a crying baby. Many even know the frustration of a crying baby who seemingly never stops. But mercifully few act on that frustration — and anger and hopelessness — in ways that harmful or, worst case, deadly.
Tobias told a judge that one day earlier this year, she had shaken her son when he wouldn’t stop crying. Then she smoked a cigarette to calm down. The baby continued to cry and so she shook him again, at which point he may or may not have hit his head on the computer.
Tobias will likely spend 25 years in jail for second-degree murder. The cause of his death is attributed injuries sustained after he was so vigorously shaken.
The story has been spun as a FarmVille addict gone wild — that Tobias went as far as killing her baby in order to get some peace and quiet so she could plant her crops. But it’s less FarmVille and Facebook’s doing than the impulsive and impaired actions of a young mother. Of course, colic or regular old crying, doesn’t excuse what Tobias did — not at all. But she was clearly ill-equipped to deal with her son’s incessant crying. Why didn’t she just put on headphones?
Experts counsel parents who are ready to snap to just put the crying baby in a crib and walk away, something everyone who is ever caring for an infant alone should be reminded of.
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