How to care for baby: the don't check on them editionJohn Cave Osborne
I have an answer. You do it. At least I do it, because my wife is an absolute saint who puts up with far more than she ever bargained for. And I’m not even talking about her large brood of children, but instead the child-like man she’s married to. (Me, y’all.)
So, yeah, I pretty much do whatever she says regardless of whether or not I think it makes sense. Because seeing as how she (reluctantly) puts up with my nonsensical ass? It’s the least I can do, right?
Because just the other day, I finally drew the line. At least as it pertains to one popular request she makes of me. No. I didn’t tell her that I drew the line, so for all she knows, I’m actually continuing to do exactly as asked, but I’m here to tell you otherwise. (Don’t worry. She never reads my stuff…)
What’s the request you might be wondering? The one she makes virtually every night.
“Honey, will you go up and check on Luke?”
It KILLS. Because, truly, what purpose does checking on a sleeping baby (toddler) serve?
Wait, don’t answer that. Because the purpose it serves is a good one. Namely, making sure that junior’s okay.
But my problem with it is this: all checking on a wee one really does is to assure he’s good at that particular point in time. So once you check on him, great, we know he was good. But what about in 30 minutes? Should he not be checked on again?
What about in an hour? Hmm? Because a ton can happen in an hour.
Which means, at least in my opinion, checking on an baby / toddler while he or she is asleep is a pointless endeavor. Unless, of course, you’re willing to continue to check on that child intermittently throughout the night in, say, five-minute increments. Possibly three. Which, when you think about it, would essentially render the monitor you bought kinda useless.
This request of my wife is nothing new. She made it a zillion times when the triplets were little. And then, I tried to weasel my way out of it with the up-side, down-side theory.
Up-side: you confirm that your children are, indeed, okay in that single moment in time.
Down-side: You’ve done nothing to assure their well-being during any other point in time between that specific moment and the next time you see them presumably the next morning.
As big of a downside? You might wake them up, at which point, of course, they’ll be more than happy to illustrate that they’re doing just fine via ear-piercing screams that will take you quite sometime to quell. But, hey, have at it.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the following: I don’t mean to make light of tragedies we hear about all too often that involve SIDS or some other unforeseen ailments which claim the lives of our innocent ones. I can’t even begin to imagine such a tragedy. But checking on a baby or toddler while he or she sleeps does little to safeguard against such tragedies.
And it’s my opinion that if you live in fear of such an occurrence, then the wrong side has control of your thoughts.
So how have I been handling the oft repeated request from my lovely wife?
Go upstairs, then lurk about outside Luke’s room for a moment or two and see if I hear anything. If I don’t, I simply assume he’s asleep and that all is well. Which is when I provide the following report to my wife:
“All’s good, babe.”
Because that’s what I truly believe in my heart.