When Steph and I were making a list of baby items we’d get for our firstborn, I had a real problem with the idea of her “need” for a baby monitor.  I didn’t see the point of it.  I had two perfectly functional ears that could listen for any problems that should arise.  Besides, what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t pay attention to my child with ALL of my senses?  Even if he was only sleeping?  I’d be a lazy parent, that’s what I’d be.  So, I argued against it, until the wife yanked my ear and poked me in the eye until I waved the white flag.  I compromised on a simple baby monitor with day and night vision…and happily used it until two weeks ago, when it broke.

Having never experienced life without a baby monitor, I thought it would be a throwback to a simpler time (you know, like the 80’s).  Why wouldn’t my parenting be just as easy without a monitor?  I live in a quiet neighborhood, our walls are paper-thin, and our house is so small that I can touch the front and back door at the same time!  (Ok, not really…but almost!)

It took only an afternoon before I was counting the days for the replacement monitor to arrive in the mail.  I quickly realized that I would contentedly bombard my children’s head with high frequency sine waves in order to know for certain what they were doing behind closed doors.

Here’s what happens in my mind when I’ve got a baby monitor to watch the kids napping:

Nice, time for an episode of Weeds!  Now, I can go sit outside in the sun and breathe dirty diaper free air!  Maybe I should take a nap too?  Facebook, here I come!  Ah, I can relax knowing that the monitor is watching the kids for me…

Here’s what happens in my mind when I don’t have a baby monitor to watch the kids napping:

Duncan!  Frodo!  Stop barking!  I can’t hear the kids!  Should I go sit…What was that noise?  Was that Smush chewing through a crib rail and getting her head stuck and losing consciousness?  I’ll do some dishes…Shit! Did you hear that?  Was that Worm choking on one of the book pages he was trying to eat earlier?  I knew I should have said “No books in the crib!” What if he bit off more than he could chew and is asphyxiating?!  Maybe I can make myself a warm cup of…Holy shit!  Did that sound like one of the kids falling out of the crib and brain hemorrhaging on the floor?  I should go check the mail…Double shit!  What if someone tries to steal my babies at the exact time I’m out checking the mailbox?  And I’m not close enough to hear and rescue them?  Ahhhhh!!!!

It’s stressful living without the baby monitor.  I gave myself about 300 more gray hairs in these past two weeks.  With their bedroom doors closed, (both kids are light sleepers) anything can happen!  Yeah, the chances of anything happening to them while sleeping are minimal, but it doesn’t keep the disturbed active mind from conjuring up crazy thoughts.

I like to be able to see and hear my kids “through the walls”.  (I just really like spying on people…I’m a natural at it.)  This is one piece of existing technology that is a benefit to parents.  I believe that raising two little ones is stressful enough without having to sit in the bedroom hallway with my ears plastered to the kids’ doors every afternoon.

I’ve been monitoring the children the old-fashioned way…and it sucked!  Thank you engineers for inventing radio!  (And thank you professor for showing us how to make a radio using coconuts you found on that deserted island!)

Honeydaddy, How About We Watch You Take a Nap?

Honeydaddy, How About We Watch You Take a Nap?