Archive for September, 2011

The Monitor

There are few items from a baby shower registry that remain useful after three years. Most of the essentials have run their course – baby towels, baby car seat, teeny outfits, bottles. For us, one item remains a constant in our repertoire: the baby monitor.

We sleep on a separate floor from Little Miss Red. Don’t freak out. It’s all we’ve done and all we know and it doesn’t bother us. We know people who co-sleep with their kids for years, people who share a room with their kids and everything in between. This is Madison, people. It’s fine. She’s fine. And it works for us.

But being on separate floors requires that the baby monitor, a device that most people have packed or given away at this stage, is very much a part of our life. I have Super-Sonic Mother Hearing, so I often wake when her breathing changes. I often say to CH, “she’s waking up,” he oblivious until she cries or starts talking.

When Miss Red was still small, but older than a newborn, I loved hearing her gurgles and squeaks over the monitor. As she grew, it became stories or songs. I feel like it’s a fun peek into her psyche – listening to her conversations with herself.

The baby monitor also means that CH and I never quite sleep well anymore. I mean, that’s a part of parenthood, but  since we need it on, we can hear her turns and sighs. Frankly, we hope to always have one tucked away in her wall or something as she gets older and potentially more daring.

Hindsight being what it is, I wish we had sprung for the video baby monitor, which might have saved us a few trips up and down the steps. And now, as Miss Red fights sleep until 9:30 or 10 p.m. each night, we could peek into her antics. Instead, we always check that it’s on each night, walking around to see the red lights light up, fixing the dial to make sure it’s at the appropriate sound level without being too staticy. It has become such a part of our nighttime routine that if we do ever get to pack it up or give it away, I imagine us still practicing the baby monitor rituals, as parents like us are wont to do.

–          MD

The Cough

The cough is back. You know that terrible cough kids get – where they are asleep, yet hacking up a lung, almost choking as they do so? Little Miss Red had The Cough last week, resulting in CH and I taking turns getting up with her to soothe her, as she cried out after each ragged cough sliced her throat raw. We’d hold her and rock her, finding that the only way to ease the coughing was to have her upright for 10 to 15 minutes. Yes, we’ve tried it all. We found that a combination of honey as a throat soother and Vick’s spread on her chest, back, feet and under her nose helps, but sometimes a little person just coughs.

We should be thankful, really, because a year ago The Cough was a visitor monthly, almost predictable. Now it’s rare, but we can thank the new germs from her preschool class as soldiers that finally cut down her immune system.

The Cough thankfully went away, even after I was called to pick her up early last week, and CH and I each took a day off of work to be with our dripping faucet of a little lady, trapped in the house by The Cough and rainy weather. It came back last night. From 2 to 3 a.m. I was with her, helping as I could, then slept on the couch to listen for her, just in case.

Our house is so small that her cough reverberates, but the closeness of being on the couch means fewer steps to take to comfort her.

Crabby when we woke her up, she was happy in the car ride to preschool, marker and paper in hand. “Look, mama, I drewed a flower.”

–          MD