Roller Coaster Baby
When my wife and I got married, she was excited to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a mother. She was hoping to have a honeymoon baby. It didn’t work out that way and so we kept trying.
A short time after we got back from our wonderful Caribbean cruise we settled into the life of a married couple. Living together for the first time was awesome, but it had its challenges.
Much like every newlywed couple, we had to sort through; which way to put the toilet paper on the roller, squeezing the toothpaste from the middle or from the bottom, how to properly unload a grocery cart in order for the food to be organized into the bags and which family traditions would we take on as our own.
You know, all the cute stuff.
Not long after we moved into the apartment together, we decided to go to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. Trying out all the rides was a lot of fun. There was a really scary roller coaster called the Mamba. It is one of the tallest, longest, and fastest roller coasters in the world covering 5,600 feet of track, with nine drops. Needless to say, we were pretty nervous, but it turned out to be such a rush.
It might have been that same week, that we found out we were pregnant.
What an emotional roller coaster.
Wait a minute, roller coaster?
A wave of panic rushed over us as we realized that my wife rode the Mamba while she was pregnant. There is even a sign on the ride that says guests with the following conditions are prohibited from riding this ride, with pregnancy as one of the conditions. We hoped everything was going to be okay. Had we known, we wouldn’t have ridden the roller coaster.
When Lydia was born, she was so beautiful, just like her mother. It was so exciting, a brand new baby girl who needed us to take care of her. What a great responsibility. We were so new at parenting and were so worried about protecting and taking care of her, that we slept on the floor in her bedroom the first night. Everything seemed so normal at first.
Then it happened.
The dreaded mode of a newborn. She didn’t want to sleep while the rest of the entire world was nestled in their beds. Nothing seemed to soothe her. The holding her in our arms and bouncing method didn’t work. Taking turns didn’t work. Even if we got her to sleep, she woke up the second we put her in her crib.
Then I remembered that during the day, we put her in one of those electric swings in order to get things done around the apartment. I noticed that Lydia would fall asleep and stay asleep in the swing, as long as it was moving. If I turned it off, she woke up. Wondering if she would sleep all night in the swing, we tried it that night.
It was like a dream come true and a miracle all in one.
It was late in the night when I heard a child screaming. Scrambling out to the living room, I saw Lydia crying in anger that the batteries died and the swing was not moving. She gave me a look like, how dare I be made to sleep without movement, get this thing working right now! In my groggy stupor, I fumbled through our junk drawer looking for six D batteries.
Why, when you need batteries, there is always just one random C or D in the drawer?
She was not going to calm down until she was comfortably swinging back and forth again. So, took her out of the swing and quickly placed her in the infant car seat. Placing one forearm on the wall, I used my other hand to swing the car seat back and forth like a human pendulum.
Eventually she fell back asleep. It only took about two hours. Problem was, when I stopped, she woke up again. For a majority of the night, I just kept switching arms until they about fell off. Then next day, I stocked up on batteries.
I can assure you that whenever we went on vacation that year, I broke that swing down and figured out a way to make it fit in with the luggage. We weren’t going anywhere without that swing.
If you’re wondering why she couldn’t go to sleep without movement?
I blame the Mamba.
What extremes have you gone through to get your kids alseep?