If You Do Something Once, Plan on Doing It For a Year

If you rock the baby to sleep, have her sleep on your chest, feed her until she’s snoring; that’s fine. Go ahead; but just know you are signing up for this task for at least a year.

Babies like what they like. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle in someone’s cozy arms or be lulled to sleep whilst rocking back and forth to your dads humming?

I remember when I watched my first baby, around 28 years ago. A friend was going to her mother in-laws funeral. She left me with these instructions.

  1. Sally will wake up at X time.
  2. Enter her room wearing my scarf, hanging on the outside doorknob.
  3. Do not turn on the lights.
  4. Be sure the bathroom door is open about 5 inches and the shower light is on. (That is enough light for you to see)
  5. Sit in the rocking chair to feed her but don’t move the position it is in.
  6. Be sure to turn on the mobile before you sit down.
  7. When she is done hold her upright for 17 minutes.
  8. Change her while singing somewhere over the rainbow.
  9. Stand on your head and spit jellybeans.

Ok, so the last direction was just me being sarcastic.

Of course I tried to follow all of these steps. And of course she cried the whole time because I probably opened the refrigerator or forgot to turn off the television.

I felt like what a new mom must feel like. I totally turned off my common sense. I didn’t do what seems natural because I had to follow the directions.

My friend came home to a screaming infant.

#fail

This regime came about because it worked one time. The chair, the light, the noise and the smells suddenly settled her fussy daughter.

I totally get it.

PARENTS WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE IT STOP.

How else did the midnight car rides come about? Desperate parents will do what works. Outsiders will view these intricate steps as ridiculous, but new parents see it as perfectly normal behavior.

When my son was born my husband and I walked around OUR HOUSE with one shoe on. We had to scoot our foot under his bottom in the light-blue bucket chair and bounce it up and down. It became a mindless ritual; Tap-Tap-Tap, rocking him until he fell asleep.

It became the routine; it was our new normal because he stopped crying. It worked!

We did go through a few of those chairs, but it didn’t matter. That chair went everywhere with us. It became more important than my make-up

(whose kidding who here, make -up went out the door when I left work to go on maternity leave)

Eventually there is a break in the insanity. Common sense seeps in a little bit and the routines get much more manageable.

What’s your crazy story? We all have one.

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