I received the baby monitor we registered for. It was what I wanted, right? I mean, I asked for it. I requested it. And I got it. So first lesson: be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.
During Scotty's first few weeks at home, I realized I was in some deep trouble. See, I had lived with Emma for the better part of eight years at that point. For anyone who knew or met Emma, she didn't have a normal cat meow. She had this guttural, deep "MA-OW!" that erupted from her body, usually starting as early as 5am. Her meow was so distinct that not one, not two, but three different people actually talked about her (and the meow) in our wedding video. Yes, we have interesting friends, but more to the point is Emma had a very, er, unnatural sound to her.
I had literally been conditioning myself for eight years to ignore all noises around me to get a healthy night of sleep (and she wasn't allowed in our room at night, making her "MAOW" even louder from behind a closed door). By the time Scotty joined us, I was very good at sleeping through even the loudest of small, brown cats -- which wasn't a good thing. His little meek, whimper-like baby noises came through the monitor as little squeaks, barely audible, and completely unrecognizable to my sleeping brain. I'm not kidding you, but the first few times I heard him in my sleepy state, I had forgotten we even had a baby. (Mother of the Year, right here. Thank you, thank you.)
So after leaping out of bed several times and running to the nursery, worried that he had been crying too long, I turned the monitor way, way up and started re-conditioning myself to jump at any noise (which is oh-so-fun now, as I re-condition myself for the third time in one year to try to sleep through the night). It worked for awhile, but the monitor was so full of static, that kept me up more than Scotty's night wakings.
Eventually, we figured out the night stuff. But the nap time stuff...oh, lord. That stupid monitor crackles, snaps and practically pops at every noise. I caught myself the other day, sitting on the couch, motionless for almost 20 minutes, fixated on what I was hearing on the monitor. Every sigh, every turn or roll, and the damn thing went off. There would be three blissful minutes of silence, and then Scotty would moan. And it would send my brain into a tizzy. Why isn't he sleeping? Why is it taking him so long to go down? Are we moving to one nap? Is that healthy at his age? Honestly, I'm not exaggerating, but naps are the worst part about staying home. They cause me undo amounts of stress. Listening and wondering what's going on in the nursery, twice a day, every day, is literally crazy-making. As in, I would rather go outside and weed the rocks in 110 degree heat than listen to that stupid monitor (which is essentially how I spend most of August.)
And it wasn't until this weekend that I realized, this isn't a Scotty problem, this is a baby monitor problem. Aw, snap.
How did I realize this? Brian, of course. He put Scotty down for the first nap, and I watched as he just casually hopped in the shower and ran around the house, doing stuff. He didn't sit by the monitor, holding his breath. He didn't gasp, wring his hands, or cry every time Scotty made a noise (amplified 300x, thanks to the monitor). No, Brian had the belief that Scotty would fall asleep, and he trusted him to do so. He didn't need to sit there and wait for it to happen. And you know what? He fell asleep. It took about 20 minutes, but he fell asleep on his own, regardless of a vigil by the monitor.
I'm not going to lie; breaking up with the monitor has been very, very tough for me. I usually can last about 10 minutes before I go running back to it, snap on his little dial and anxiously await a peep, scream or moan (what if he got his foot stuck in the crib and I missed it?). I keep telling myself, he's fine, I do not have to sit in silence until the monitor is quiet, but it's hard. I finally put the monitor in a different room, forcing me to get up if I want to turn it on. And on one particularly bad day, I actually pitched the monitor off of our second floor balcony in a burst of unprecedented violence.
(Of course, I immediately ran downstairs and checked the monitor, plugging it in to make sure it still worked. I'm fairly certain I apologized to it as well, officially making me a crazy person. See? Staying at home makes you do unspeakable things.)
I'm taking my monitor-free lifestyle one day at a time. You have to know, it's very hard to just cut someone - er, something - out of your life so completely, after everything he - um, it - did for you. I keep remembering the good times with the monitor, the times when Scotty fell asleep quickly and I was able to listen to blissful silence. Or the time Scotty's leg really did get caught in the crib rail and the monitor alerted me to his danger. See? It wasn't all bad. The monitor has his good side, too. No, no! I can't do that. I cannot justify the monitor's behavior. I must move forward.
I feel like the Chris Brown and Rihanna of baby monitors. We evolved into this terrible cycle: breaking up and getting back together, then breaking up. Yes, we even had some violence in the relationship, but next month, you're going to see pictures of me and the monitor riding jet skis in Miami. Not healthy, I know. ::sigh::
One day at a time, I tell myself. One day at a time.
And I as type this downstairs in the kitchen, the monitor is in our bedroom. It's on, I admit. And yes, I've been straining to hear what's going on in Scotty's room the entire time I've been writing this. I think I need a 12-step program.
Oh baby monitor, why can't I quit you?