When our first daughter was born we lived in town in a fairly standard 3 bedroom semi. Because my husband is a light sleeper,and she was quite a noisy one, she was put in the box room next to ours when she was just a few weeks old. There was never a need for a monitor, I could hear our neighbours plugging in their kettle so hearing my daughter crying,either in the next room or upstairs, required no more than a pair of ears ( in fact if one was deaf you could probably feel the vibrations of those lusty wails of hers!!) Secretly I scoffed at those ‘helicopter parents’ who used monitors and the equivalent of CCTV on their precious newborns.
This however all changed when we moved to our current home.
While I was pregnant when we designed the house, the reality of life with children hadn’t really dawned on us, and so having our bedroom upstairs and the rest of the bedrooms downstairs seemed like a great idea..it would give us our space, a kind of ‘kid free’ zone ( yes there are tears of laughter tripping down my face as I type…the naivety of us!!)
As it turned out, once the baby had finally left our bed, usually at 7 months they got moved into our wardrobe. Now before anyone calls social services, it is a well ventilated,spacious wardrobe, with some very nice views and was slightly bigger than the aforementioned box room ( so much for our ‘adult space’).
Once the sojourn in the wardrobe was over, usually at about 13 months, when they decided that staring at Mums sleep deprived face was getting a bit boring, they finally moved out of the ‘adult space’ but this,in itself,caused problems.
The reality of a hall
followed by a stairs
followed by another hall
and another hall
to the children’s bedrooms meant only one thing…..A MONITOR
So,for 6 LONG years the monitor has never been switched off.
And although the smallest man has said goodbye to his cot, and is more than capable of getting out of his bed, and is definitely more than able to wake an entire house with his bellowing, somehow I couldn’t turn it off, I couldn’t accept that we no longer needed it, he is my baby and therefore needed a monitor ( helicopter Mom..how are you!!)
Then one day recently the girls were playing and plugged it out, that night on my nightly rounds I saw it but decided I’d leave it. The following morning I was woken by a small hand on my face, belonging to a little boy, saying ‘wake up mama’, he didn’t seem upset that he’d had to come and wake me as opposed to lying in bed shouting ‘I need you mama’ which had been my wake up call since he could talk!
And so the monitor remains unplugged, my ‘baby’ is getting big. My heart is breaking just a tiny bit, and deep down I want to hear ‘I need you mama’ ……….but just not through a monitor.