Next month Adam turns one year old and he is still not sleeping through the night. Jack, who is turning five next month, conversely was a champion sleeper from the beginning; born with the innate near-feline ability to sleep for 12 hours stretches and through disturbances with decibel levels that would not only startle most people awake but render them at least temporarily deaf.
120 dB – Approaching 747’s that mistake our porch light for a landing beacon and trace an unfortunate flight path over our property. 90dB – Our bedside clock radio/blender since there’s nothing quite like waking up to adult contemporary and fruit smoothies. 70 dB – The constant car door slamming from our next door neighbors who we could only determine were training for the World Series of Chinese Fire Drills Regional Qualifiers.
Most nights we had to wake him up to feed him. He spoiled us.
It may be that Google Maps plots the directions to the Sturgis Bike Rally from any starting point in the country to follow a route directly passed our house between the hours of 10pm and 4am or that his room is just simply closer to the front of the house resulting in more road noise, but Adam still wakes up at least twice a night. He is the antithesis of Jack; the crying counterweight screaming in the night balancing the scales of parental fairness.
Our fatigued desperation has compelled us to unprecedentedly solicit the advice of other parents and thereafter attempt the culled methods, tips, old wives tales, homeopathic remedies and techniques guaranteed to get your child to sleep though the night or your money back.
Included among the failed attempts are the cry it out method, the co-sleeping method, drinking chamomile tea before nursing, a motion activated musical mobile, sleep training, an inverted facelock sleeper hold, hypnotism, a pre-bedtime bath, nitrous oxide hits, repeating the phrase through gritted teeth “Why won’t you sleep Baby?”, allowing a giant glowing butterfly to flap into the room through an open window then hover ominously over the crib, reruns of Jay Leno’s opening monologue, C-Span…none of them worked.
The closest thing we’ve found to a solution to our late night woes was when we put a Homedics White Noise Sound Maker in his room to drown out the din of the world by surrounding him in a computerized cocoon of artificially reproduced nature sounds. This particular White Noise Maker has six self-described soothing, natural sounds that help calm a baby to sleep. We’ve tried all six of the sounds with Adam with varying degrees of success. In order of least successful to most successful are:
6. The Heartbeat –Meant to simulate a mother’s natural heartbeat it is actually a meddlesome downstairs neighbor banging a broom handle on the ceiling because Homedic sound engineers were cranking Freebird at 2:00 in the morning again.
5. Rainforest –Sneak into a Petsmart after hours, mic every animal, kick the cages, and press record.
4. Waterfall – If you’ve ever stuck your head out the window of moving car, have gone skydiving or simulated hurricane conditions in a wind tunnel then you’ve heard the Homedic Waterfall.
3. Summer Night – In this Monroe Midsummer Night’s Dream the crickets are really just squeaky brake pads.
2. Rainfall – Put a pound of Oscar Meyer Bacon in a cast-iron skillet, put the skillet on the stove, turn the burner on high, listen carefully; fat rendered waterfall.
1. Ocean – If seagulls owned espresso machines or were at least allowed into Starbucks you too could enjoy the dulcet ebb and flow that Ventis young Adam to sleep every night.
So thanks to a glorified sound effects machine we’re sleeping again. Even if it’s only for 4 hour stretches we’re sleeping again and to that end it matters very little to me that Adam has developed a fondness for seabirds, an addiction to caffeine, an insatiable hunger for breakfast meat and an unnatural affinity for southern rock anthems.
It matters very little ’cause I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you’ll never change. Lord knows, I can’t change. Lord help me, I can’t change.
Alright Mrs. Esposito! Alright! Stop Banging! I’ll turn it down!