Things That Go Bump in the Night .
by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
I’m always wondering why I torture myself with having a baby monitor for the twins and have come close to ditching it many times. The basic problem with a baby monitor is that they do exactly what they’re supposed to do. Besides letting you know if your kid is screaming bloody murder, they monitor every little snort, sniffle and non-pressing whimper which, if you’re anything like me, can keep you awake for no reason. Plus, I’m often privy to the entirely of Rick Springfield’s children’s CD –which I love but is admittedly getting played to death. Am I a glutton for punishment? Am I paranoid? I suppose both.
With my first daughter, I wasn’t sure if we even needed a monitor seeing as our bedroom was about eight steps from the baby’s plus she spent the first four months in a bassinet making her whimpering noises next to my right ear. I laughed in the face of people who had video monitor. You’ve just spent twelve hours with your baby. Now you want to spy on them while they sleep? I’d have to be at the rock bottom of my DVR queue to choose “watching my baby sleep” as an option.
But then we started letting Elby sleep on her stomach – hang on, there’s someone at the door… aaahhh…it’s CPS! They’ve come for me! Did you call them you bastard? I can explain! Look, she accidentally slept through the night for the first time on her belly and my husband and I didn’t want to mess with a good thing so we just decided to let her continue. But we bought a kick ass Angel Care monitor that sounds an alarm if your baby stops breathing for ten seconds. I became a dichotomy between the laid back, “Dude, whatever works” and the decidedly less sanguine “Holy crap, what if something horrible happens?” But, the child slept and thus, so did we; everyone was happy. Eventually the monitor was lent to other paranoid new parents for periods of time until the twins came and the monitor made its way back to us – still in perfect shape.
Quite a few times a night, even if I have the volume turned way down, I am stirred awake by crying and have to decide whether to lay back and pray it stops on its own or if I need to do a “drive-by” whereby I creep into the babies’ room and check for a client that needs to be held a minute or two or just given a little pat and an “It’s okay” or even, God forbid, a ‘nother round of Rick Springfield; every once in awhile it’s something a little more serious.