My son doesn’t have a Jack-in-the-box. Excuse me while I pause and breathe a sigh of relief.
But what does alarm me are the toys that play music, light up, or have some other battery operated function… especially at 3 am.
If you’re a mom it’s not hard to imagine that 3 am wake-up call from your child. You hear a small sound coming from the baby monitor and hope it doesn’t become a bigger more upset sound. But the moans and groans become a cry and you accept your fate (if you use the cry-it-out method, the rest needn’t apply to you). Without realizing you have already climbed out of bed and zombie-walked to your child’s room, you’re standing there.
You have enough brain power to make a small robotic-like assessment; scanning for pacifier, child is not wet, negative on the teething. Bad dream or else your child couldn’t get comfortable (and at this point, their head lying on your shoulder confirms it). A few minutes of snuggles and zombie-mom should be back in bed.
Sure enough, success!
Child is again sleeping. Next, you must carefully maneuver child back into their bed without disturbing them and alerting them. This is the time when the house makes an unexpected noise like the furnace kicking on or the floor inexplicably creaks.
Fortunately this time, child is unfazed.
You get them into bed and hold your breath as you back out of the room when ‘it’ happens.
You know that toy that lights up and plays those songs that you find yourself humming in the car or the grocery store? It was sitting behind you and now you’ve just knocked into it. But lights and music aren’t the only thing filling the room. You’re shouting a few words you don’t normally intend for your child to hear. But if that out of place toy didn’t wake them, your grumpy words have and now you can add crying to the many other noises you hear.
This story rarely ends well. If you’re like me, nothing wakes me up faster than anger, most especially when I have myself to blame. That stupid toy your child shows minimal interest in during the day now becomes the focus of all hatred you have ever felt. Besides, that toy plays songs that infect adult brains. It’s no good!
Is it acceptable to call off work the following day because a stupid toy startled you and you woke your child and your child wouldn’t go back to sleep and you were too angry to relax and your spouse was getting frustrated because the whole house became involved in senseless 3 am drama? <wipesbrow>
Even though that stupid toy doesn’t have eyes that follow you around the room, or a creepy voice, it does make sounds. Nothing is more evil than the Toy-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named playing music at 3 am.
Nothing… except maybe furnaces kicking on, creaky floors, or mommy cursing.