It started off innocently enough.
We moved Little Dude into his own room a couple of weeks ago and finally began using the baby monitor that I had set up well in advance of his arrival. What a rad little piece of technology – this thing allows us not only to observe our guy but also to communicate back with him. I can sing him lullabies (ie: Chet Baker) from anywhere in the house, and Mommy can comfort him in soothing (albeit slightly metallic) tones. (For those wondering, yes – the signal does reach the dive bar on the corner.)
Not that it’s really necessary in our tiny bungalow, but we turn on the monitor when we put the baby down at night and for naps, telling ourselves that we just want to make sure we’ll be able to hear him if he cries. At first, we tried to justify also using the video function:
“Let’s just make sure he’s really sleeping…” (Or, in moments of paranoia: “Do you think he’s still alive??”)
But we quickly stopped making excuses. Now we just sit there in the evening with a glass of wine in hand, watching him sleep.
Prime time viewing is undisputedly the early morning, however, when he wakes up and plays with his security bunny before I bring him into our bed for family cuddles. Of course we’re up every day with the first sounds that he makes, but he seems to enjoy the alone time with the bunny and it’s to our benefit that he learn to keep himself occupied. So we allow them their space, and quietly observe from the other room. After all, I can relate; I was so attached to my own bunnies that it was only my sisters’ ridicule that forestalled me bringing them to college. They now sit in all of their ratty splendor in shadowboxes on my son’s wall; his bunny is the one that my mom used to give me when mine were in the wash. It’s fun to watch him coo and smile and kick his legs as he snuggles up against my old childhood friend.
I suppose you could call us stalkers (or addicts…). We know we have a problem, and we feel increasingly helpless to do anything about it. We keep telling ourselves that we’ll use the monitor in smaller doses. But it’s tough to break the habit.
Luckily, we’re not alone. The folks over at dropcam are even running a contest right now, asking bloggers like myself to submit a “tale from the crib” (and of course I’ve sent this link in). Their device actually streams the monitor right to a cell phone, thereby allowing for virtual, international stalking. How cool is that??
It’s no wonder that so many parents are hooked on their baby monitors. There really is nothing better than baby TV.