The Daddy: The Baby Monitor, Take Two: When is it time to let go?
The Momma: When they pry it from my cold dead hands? Or when he goes to college? Wait, I probably don’t really want to hear what a teenage boy is doing in his room all the time.
D: No, I could probably say from experience that you indeed do not.
D: I kinda feel like we’re getting there pretty soon, if for nothing else than to ignore his yelling, which sounds kind of inhuman when I type it out like that.
M: Well, but when it’s 9pm and he’s just yelling “Where ARE you MOMMY??” to delay bedtime? Yeah, we want to ignore that nonsense.
D: Yeah, of course that’s what I’m talking about here. Not locking him in his room with no audio. I’m not a TOTAL monster! And, when half the time it’s just him yammering or sighing or singing- we need to get our sleep right?
M: Well, and like we said last year, the damn thing clicks and squeals more than the kid does. So yeah, that whole sleep thing.
M: But there’s also this: the child is loud enough that he will CLEARLY LET US KNOW when he really needs us. Do we need to hear every whisper and sigh? I mean, I still have leftover “oh my god he’s going to smother himself in his sleep and we won’t hear it” anxiety, but really, is that logical? No.
D: Yeah, the old fears that he’d fall, get smothered or in some way or another become unable of LOUDLY announcing whatever displeasure, irritation or just plain boredom are long gone. This kid doesn’t do anything quietly, as we’ve found when he’s in there for a timeout and we DO turn the monitor off for a minute or so and then we can still hear him THROUGH THE FLOOR!!
M: Floors and walls are no match for his vocal cords. Clearly.
D: So in that vein, do we need to hear every breath, rambling or complaint when he’s in there the few times by himself? Much of this might not be so bad if it weren’t still for the interminable CLICKING OF THE MONITOR. Makes me want to scoop out my own eyeballs with old used wooden spatulas.
M: Or the random squealing it does when the cat/dog/air gets too close? At 1 am? Yeah, probably not.
M: But it’s still kind of hard to give it up…
D: Same here. We may have actually become mildly addicted to having it frankly. Think of older generations that didn’t obviously have the tech we have today. And then think of the Knob if he ever has kids of his own. It’ll most likely be a full high-def motion tracking 3D movie, recorded constantly and available live on his smartphone from anywhere in the world.
D: We honestly don’t NEED to have it, but both of us have an emotional need to want every bit of control we could possibly have. The baby monitor is one of the best examples of that.
M: Yeah, yeah, we’re control freaks. I don’t deny it.
M: I do feel a little bit of silly mommy emotion about it though. Like, this is one of the last vestiges of his babyhood and all.
D: Well, I would say that there have been several “last vestiges” so far, and this won’t be the last. There’s honestly no rush if we’re not both convinced it’s the best idea, and honestly I’m not, necessarily. It raises the interesting question of when we should make the decision though. I think it will help us move to that next level of parent-kid relationship, but again, no rush.
M: I do think we’re edging closer and closer to that line. Maybe one day I’ll just end up throwing the stupid thing into the wall when it cackles at 2am and that’ll be the deciding factor.
D: Well, as you said before, “Or we’ll break this one. And I swear, we’re not buying a freaking 4th monitor.” So, that could be our timeline, if you want. Then it also gives it a sort of gladiator armageddon quality to it. When it dies, it dies forever.
M: Now that you’ve said that, the thing is going to last another 10 years.
D: Well, then that will give us a more interesting topic when he’s about 13- The Kid’s Privacy- Should we finally let him have some?
M: Well, you know, it’s either the baby monitor or a hidden camera. His choice.
D: True, “Audio or visual surveillance, boy! You decide!”
D: This kid is so screwed.