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.”
“What else?”
“Take it back to the shop?”
“Throw it away?” [translation = recycle]
“Listen to what?”
“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.'

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Suck on that!

“Honestly Madz! You're such a sucker!” offers my worldly wise pal. [translation = American]

{And there was me thinking that it was only Brits who contracted people’s name to a single syllable!}

In the background I hear a debate in the family room, first echolalic and then deliberate.
“Mummy is a sucker?”
“No, she is…..suck ….her, you dumbass!”
“A suck her?”
“Yeah, she not a suck him coz she is dah wimmins!”
“Oh right!”
“Mummy is a suck her, Mummy is a suck her, Mummy is a suck her.” It sounds vaguely normal, in a most disconcertingly offbeat manner.
“What it is?”
“What it is dah ‘suck her’?”
“I don know.”
“Mummy is dah bad suck her.”
“Yeah she don suck no good.”
“Yeah wonky teef.”

I don’t think I have often heard my children discuss me. Still you never hear anything good about yourself if you ear wig. Maybe I exist afterall?
“Mummy is a bad suck her, Mummy is a bad suck her, Mummy is a bad suck her,” they chorus and giggle. They add their own sucking noises to punctuate the spaces and display their prowess. I wonder if anyone else is listening?

“So you really think that's gonna work!” I return my attention to my pal, although I feel a tad uncertain of my ground.
“Yes. Absolutely. It is the perfect solution. Background noise. White noise. It's exactly what they need to send them off into blissful sleep.”
She peers at the controls, “You really think sticking them in a room with that thing, that thing that makes waterfall sounds is good for them? He'll think he's drowning, you'll traumatize the little guy.” I look at the options, “I don't suppose 'rain' will do it either?” I mumble. “It does have volume control and a timer!”

“Maybe you could rip that chip out of the machine and install it in the kids?” As always, she has a valid point.
“I'm sure I saw the 'guaranteed' words somewhere.”
“Guaranteed to what though? Make you poorer!”
“Money back!”

“So what's the theory, come on! Tell me, give me a laugh!”
“Don't be so scathing, I've put a lot of thought into this purchase.”
“Oh yeah, like you're the Queen of research or what!”
“Sarcasm doesn't become you! Can’t you go back to being a nice American again?”
“You’ve gotta stop generalizing about Americans, it’s unhealthy!” [translation = my personal translator of all things American with the bonus of psychobabble speak]
“Well, anyway. It's like this. Firstly, it's a plug in not batteries, so it won't run out of omph in the middle of the night and send them all bazzy.”
“True, but the 60 minute timer means that they'll be awake on the hour to turn it back on again.”
“There is that possibility if you're being negative.”

“Whatever. Anyway, the 'noise' will mean that it'll drown out junior's motor mouth which is driving his brother barmey.”
“You don't think that the noise of the machine together with motor mouth might just send him over the edge?”
“Can you turn yourself back into a positive minded American again please?”
“Stop generalizing!”
“Anyway, next there are a choice of sounds to meet different people's perspectives.”
“O.k. so assuming you discount the rain, the waterfall, the rainforest which is also bound to be a bit drippy and the ocean. Far too much water all round for that OCD little guy. So what does that leave you with?”

“Er, heartbeat and summer night.”
“Have you forgotten we live in California? Every night is a summer night, just open the windows.”
“Sure!” [translation = I’m sure that note of derision is growing.] “You know those nights that you can't sleep yourself? What can you hear?”
“Er my heartbeat, pulse and breathing?”
“Do you find it helps?”
“Er no,…… it makes it worse.”
“Do you still have the packing and the receipt?”
“Ah…..well…….you see…”
“You Europeans don’t have a monopoly on saving the planet you know! We Americans file our receipts first and then recycle.”
I would appear that I need to practice my sequencing skills.

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