May 29, 2008

The Marpac

Lately Annie has been on a sleep rollercoaster. Some nights she sleeps straight through (7-7 for you newer readers), and some nights she wakes up and cries in the neighborhood of 1-3 times. One of these times she will stand up and cry for at least an hour, and as was the case Monday night, two hours. In these scenarios I feed her. Please insert your judgemental, scathing comments here______________________________________________.

I have suspected for a couple of months now that she has been waking up due to two uncontrollable noises: the clunky air conditioning unit, whose pump (?) is in her bathroom ceiling, and the inevitable racing of silly, souped up, 90’s model Honda Civics that fly by in our backyard, er, Clyde Fant Parkway. The air conditioner wakes her, because we leave the bathroom fan on with the door open for white noise. When we close the door, she doesn’t hear the banging, cyclical nature of our overworked a/c, but she hears everything else in the house and on our would be racetrack.

For the above reasons, we have been demoing sound machines for a couple of weeks. The first one we tried was complete crap and only succeeded in scaring all three of us with its faux crashing ocean and rainfall setting that could well have been a recording of a broken car radio. The second sound machine, I’m sorry, sound conditioner, has been highly praised by the massage and incense set as a “life-saver.” One can presume that this life saving applies for both calming hippie nerves and little babies.

We had to order the $49.95 Marpac 980 sound conditioner from Amazon and wait almost two weeks for its arrival. I broke it out last night and found in the box a strange looking little cake shaped thing staring up at me. I turned it on and immediately fell asleep. I awoke, studied it further, and knew that it reminded me of something. For those of you in your thirties, you probably remember a show on Nickelodeon called Mr. Wizard’s World. I was a huge fan and remember him once making a homemade police siren. I’m a bit hazy on the science of it, but essentially it was a turbine in a cake shaped housing with holes in it. Turn it on and adjust the holes and, voila, a siren. So the Marpac seems to be the same principle, only it emits a soothing fan-like sound instead of a jarring siren-like sound.

And you know what, the early returns are fantastic. Annie didn’t even stir last night. At first I thought I just couldn’t hear her cries over the Marpac, but at 7:20 this morning I heard her banging around in her room and went in to discover a well rested little kid, Honda Civics and air conditioners be damned.


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