Tuesday, July 4, 2006


I just had a deja vu. My wife and son have gone to the birthday party of one of his friends, and I'm sitting home with my infant daughter, who turned two months old just yesterday. They've been gone for two hours, and my daughter has slept most of that time away. But the time she hasn't slept, she's been crying.

I've tried all the tricks in my arsenal, short of putting her in the car and going for a drive. I've laid her on her tummy on a blanket on the floor. Laid her on her tummy on an ottoman and slowly rocked her. Sat with her in my lap in the glider and slowly rocked. Held her and walked around the house. Sat her in her bouncer and turned it on vibrate. Laid her on her tummy on the couch and rubbed her back.

A couple of those tricks seemed to work for a short while. But nothing lasted long. Then I put her back in her swing, put a pacifier in her mouth, turned off the television (cartoons, of course), and turned on the music on the swing.


That's when it came to me. The deja vu, I mean.

When we brought my son home from the hospital almost three years ago, this same swing was a life saver. My son refused to sleep in his crib. He refused to sleep in his pack 'n' play basinet. He refused to sleep any place we put him -- except for this wonderful swing.

For probably the first three months of his life, the only place he would sleep was in the swing, with the music playing. My wife and I spent those three months sleeping on the couches in the living room with him -- she on the full-size couch while I was folded into the love seat. Our little boy would swing happily off to dreamland while we tried to get whatever rest we could -- seven minutes at a time.

See, to maximize battery life, the Fisher Price Ocean Wonder Aquarium Swing we have stops playing music every seven minutes. My restless son in his first months of life would wake up every time the music stopped. I would wake up, too, to restart the music. It wasn't long before I could pop up, restart the music, and drop back to the couch without actually interrupting my sleep. Don't ask how. If you're a Daddy, you probably already know.

My daughter is now in her swing, and I've restarted the music for her three times. That's what brought the flashback! That familiar music from three years ago.

It just stopped again! Will she wake up? Should I restart the music again before she does? So far, so good. She seems to be sleeping quite soundly.

Oh, the memories.


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