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Far from a blog about the group that brought us Peter Gunn in the 1980’s (Google it kids) the title of my blog refers to the worst enemy of any parent of any baby anywhere praying that their beloved will get a decent night sleep. Noise!

Never before the arrival of N into our bijou beachside apartment / ever so slightly fusty flat have we been so aware of anything and everything that can make a noise and how these evil forces conspire to ruin a restful night. Let me explain further, we don’t have the luxury of a nursery or even a second bedroom so going to bed once the little guy is sleeping isn’t the easiest of things. There’s no bedside lights only the vague glow of N’s bedside light which I’m sure actually emits black light it’s so dim, this doesn’t sound such an issue until you realise our one bedroom flat is fast filling up with baby detritus (to accompany our own special collections of ‘stuff’). Now before you glaze over at the contents of our humble abode please consider that all these items, in the dark, in the bedroom, with bare feet, f**king hurt! Now consider that, after harpooning yourself with the soon to be assembled cot or colourful (yet stealthy) rocking horse you cannot even acknowledge your pain with so much as a breath.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen the rocking horse could rear up and bite a limb clean off but compared to the damage R would do to me for waking the baby it’s a mere flesh wound, a nasty knick if you will. Seriously I’m not the quietest of people as it is but now it would appear everything I do in the bedroom could result in serious injury to my person. Gone are the days of waltzing into ‘your’ bedroom and flinging yourself onto the bed whilst breaking wind with the force of a 747… If you snore then expect to be woken regularly to be told you’re snoring (a personal favourite), don’t for the love of all things holy watch anything remotely amusing on your phone (even with headphones) as there’s a danger you may smile ‘loudly’, and never EVER try and talk to your beloved in anything louder than semaphore.

Now, if the above fills you with dread then please don’t panic there is one ‘word’ you need to learn, study, recite and become your baby mantra. That word ladies and gents is *clears throat*

‘Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh’

Not as in ‘you’re being too noisy in the library’ or perhaps ‘be quiet we’re trying to enjoy this film’. No, far from the above examples this collection of consonants now means ‘be quiet or I’ll tear your head from your shoulders with my bare hands’. As harsh as that may sound it’s true. A sleeping baby really should never, ever be woken. If that means internal injury due to stifling a cough or getting out of bed and dashing to another time zone to break wind then do it and do it time and time again. Oh and don’t dare fling yourself over when moving in bed, use every ounce of your pathetic core strength to make your movements as subtle as the time you tried to slide your arm round your teen sweetheart in the back row of the Odeon cinema way back when and pray to whichever entity you prefer that your baby didn’t hear a thing.

If the above all sounds very bleak and you’re thinking that moving into the garden shed / neighbour’s garage / Venezuela for a few years might be easier then don’t despair for I have good(ish) news. This news of what I speak also contains noise, but this is white noise…

When I first heard of white noise I first thought of torture techniques along the lines of waterboarding etc but, far from the alleged practice of the Amercian intelligence agencies this stuff is actually pretty good for babies. That’s right folks, a good noise (thank God I hear your cry / whisper) that you can play from your phone to try and fill the background silence with noise that your little chap or chapess can focus on and perhaps, just maybe, it might help them sleep. Now that’s the good news, the bad news is what seems to be one of the most commonly used noises. That noise, is running water which when you’re ‘thirty twelve’ can sometimes affect one’s bladder and it’s desire to be emptied thus causing another nocturnal trip through the detritus minefield…

Sleep well my friends

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