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Friday, June 01, 2007

Qualitative Vibraters – but does it work?

Like most families, my children are a variety pack. [translation = should have gone for the clone option] Ideally, I would like them all to behave in the same manner under any given set of circumstances. [translation = a need for predictability, routine and sameness] Since my offspring fail to meet my requirements in this regard, I have had to adapt. [translation = Darwinism]

Whilst I am allergic to shopping, I would have to admit, with reluctance, that my house is full of items that I have purchased. [translation = with the very best of intentions] I have made a considerable number of errors with my buying habits, as evidenced by the weighted vest. This was supposed to calm and ground my older son. I am uncertain whether the item in question, failed to ground him, or merely kept him pinned to the floor, but that is why it is so important to nail down your parameters before you start?

So, saying, whilst the vest failed for him, it had quite a different effect on Mr. Sparky. One of my [many] mottoes, is ‘if in doubt, try the other one.’ [or two] Hence, once I had managed to woman-handle my youngest son into the loathsome garment [with scratchy bits] he did indeed become calm. [translation = reduction in spark emissions plus or minus 7, to a significance of 0.5] [ish]

Habituation, should of course be our watchword, or maybe ‘addiction’ might be more apt? Certainly, once he was in it, thereafter I was unable to extract him from it. It became his second skin. [scratchiness and all] This was not an outcome I would have predicted. [translation = or guessed]

I could attempt to list further experiences in this regard, but for the moment, we will simply fast forward to the current investment: the sound machine. To recap, in brief, the sound machine will calm my sons and assist their ability to relax and drift off into blissful, dreamful sleep, with the added benefit of drowning out motor mouth. Thusly, was my logical prediction. [translation = feeble hope]

Currently, on day [or night?]……3, we determine the following.
1. The sound machine is adored by senior but loathed by junior. [Translation = they of course share the same bedroom]
2. My daughter is miffed at being completely left out of the equation. [translation = the usual bad rap of the typical sibling]
3. ‘loathed by junior’ roughly translates to ‘screams his head off.’ This would not be considered an improvement over the motormouth status.

Hence, I now have two moaners and one happy child. [translation = not a good percentage rate, especially if the object of the exercise is blissful happy sleep] All too often around here, the ‘object of the exercise’ is buried. [translation = I forget what I was trying to achieve in the first place] Fortunately, others around here are now able to take matters into their own hands. [translation = self advocacy]

Spouse and I debate ‘what to do now?’ downstairs in the family room. [translation = it is too loud upstairs with one screamer, one moaner and a happy one that is purring {plus two cats}]
“Perhaps we could swap them around?”
“How do you mean?”
“Put the sound machine with attached child in the single room, and leave the other two together, sound machine free?”
“We could put noise reduction headphones on him, and music headphones on her?”
“That’s always a possibility, but they always get tangled up during the course of the night.”
“True.”
“What else?”
“Take it back to the shop?”
“Throw it away?” [translation = recycle]
“Listen!”
“Listen to what?”
“Exactly!”
“What am I listening too?”
“Semi silence!” We stand in the middle of the family room staring at the ceiling. [translation = the bedrooms are directly overhead. Maybe we have x-ray vision?]

I creep upstairs. I peer into the semi gloom of the first room, where my daughter languishes. [translation = sleeps in a thoroughly untidy manner] One hands clutches a free gift, a small plastic guitar that plays the same 20 bar tune in an unending cycle. [translation = until the battery runs flat]

Next door, Junior is asleep, mouth open and drooling. [translation = must practice lip closure exercises!] His brother is also asleep. [translation = although as often happens, his eyes are open] He has a soft cherubic smile on his face. There is no sound from the sound machine. Come to think of it, there is no sign of the sound machine? I am unable to detect it’s little green light?

I grovel around on the carpet. I find the socket, [translation = outlet] and the plug. I trace back along the cable, [translation = cord] hand over hand, to his bed. I peek under the duvet. He lies on the sound machine. It is in the middle of his tummy.

I lay the palm of my hand on the small of his back. I can only assume that the thing also vibrates? Or maybe it’s warm? Or perhaps it’s the texture? Or maybe it’s territorial? Or maybe it’s consideration for other people’s aversions? But my life is a guessing game not science. I’ll have to extract it! The sound machine, that is to say. An electronic device in close contact with potentially wet pull-up would not be a happy combination.

So in answer to the question ‘yes, but does it work?’ I can only offer the inadequate explanation above. But as a professor once told me, ‘first define your terms.’

4 comments:

KEYNOTER said...

Ah, how sweet. Know what you mean. It's the same with dinner. There's always someone who's not happy with I've cooked that day.

Attila The Mom said...

Hehehe. I am SO THERE!

A few years ago, I got "a tingler" for the family.

It gives one kid the heebe jeebies, and it soothes the other kid so much he falls asleep sitting up!

MotherPie said...

I love the Brit use of "whilst" --
With three children, I've always found that two behave well and one seeks negative attention. I could speak to one, give physical attention to the other and the third then would become demanding.

Why is this? Someone told me four is a balance but after three I was too full of chaos!!!

We can never script our parenting, can we? And you have more challenges of unscripted living!!! The machine under the tummy...

Bev said...

For what it's worth...
I have problems staying asleep and wake up at the slightest provocation. I tried the sound machine. It doesn't work for me, and in fact made me fear I was psychotic. The sounds it made sounded like talking, actually forming words and sentences as I tried to fall asleep.I don't know how common this sort of reaction is, but I know I never want to go through that again.

I have found that a simple fan on my nighstand works much better. I find it very hard to sleep without its whirr.

 
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