Attention Target Shoppers

Had you been at my neighborhood Target this evening, you would have seen lots of over-tired children melting down in the check out lane, and you may well have wondered, "What kind of parent drags their offspring out to a big box store so late?"

I do. I am that kind of parent. And I will tell you why.

She's Not Sleeping. Three weeks ago, Baby C started waking up at least four times a night. She also dropped her afternoon nap. As you can imagine, this doesn't do wonders for either of our dispositions (or my ability to post a coherent blog).

My standards did start higher, which perhaps makes the current situation even more painful. Before Baby C arrived, I airily assumed that we were not the kind of people who would have their baby out past a decent bedtime. I didn't want a house full of big plastic toys, I scoffed at the wipe warmer, and I thought a white noise machine for the nursery was overkill. The baby would sleep to the background noise of crickets (or of the TV downstairs) like her forefathers.

I have, shall we say, revisited several of my opinions. Tonight, after three weeks and two hours of infant insomnia, I concede that a 10 PM search for a sound machine at Target with a yawning baby beats listening to her shriek in her crib.

Unfortunately, Target carries neither sound machines nor infant barbiturates (kidding about the latter. . . sort of). I asked a gap-toothed employee about the sound machine. His English was more broken than his smile. “Sound machine? What is this? A machine that makes a sound only?”

I was aware at how ridiculous I sounded. “Yes. It makes sort of a quiet background noise. It helps babies sleep longer.”

He chuckled. “I have never heard of this. In my country, we just [he made a rocking motion with his arms].”

“Yes, I do that, too. I rock her. But, lately, she’s been waking up several times a night. She can’t sleep in my arms the whole time. I’m so tired. . . . Anyway, thank you.” I skulked away, never feeling more like the spoiled American consumer that I undeniably am.

I should have explained to the nice man that my stance on wipe warmers remains firm. On second thought, who knows what next week will bring?

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