Sunday, January 18, 2015

getting your baby to sleep

Getting a baby to sleep through the night is simple and straightforward: just ask any first time parents with an easy baby and they'll tell you "the trick", where "the trick" isn't correctly attributed to random chance and/or narcolepsy.

There is no greater motivator to believe in a higher power that can force other humans to sleep than hearing a peep uttered out of the other room at three in the morning. Sure, I've prayed in my life, but I've really only prayed on airplanes, and when bouncing a little howling sweatball in the dark of night. There's a reason religious leaders tell you to have kids, and it's not because they're considering future donations they'll receive.

All is not lost, however, because everyone on the internet can tell you what you're doing wrong and exactly how to fix it in exactly four steps that you've already tried six times.

Feed your baby

But don't feed him too often, or he won't sleep, or too infrequently or he won't sleep, and don't feed him right before he goes to sleep because then he will always require a nipple in his mouth to sleep up until the age of nine and a half, and be sure to feed him the right mixture of foremilk and hindmilk because there was once an article that never made it through peer review that said maybe we need to add another dimension to breastfeeding to freak new mothers out about.

Put your baby down to sleep

But don't put him down too soon when he's awake, and don't put him down too late when he's too drowsy, be sure to put him down at exactly the right time, which is approximately the square root of the hypotenuse of the triangle made between your bed and the crib and Kalamazoo, multiplied by the number of currently-visible stars o'clock.

If your baby is crying, visit him occasionally

We made this statement a conditional because in some magical unicorn land this doesn't happen all the time to you, and you do naught but frolic upon fluffy mattresses with happy flowers and duckies whilst being fanned with palm fronds held by golden centaurs.

But don't visit your baby too often or he won't sleep, and don't visit him too infrequently or he will become a terrorist, but visit him just right, and don't let your visits be "too stimulating" because a baby kicking and screaming at the top of his lungs isn't stimulated and you saying something might just be the thing that really wakes him up.

Help your baby attach to a security object

Like a prayer book, or maybe pseudo-science articles written by people with titles, or maybe a bottle of gin, or maybe a Twitter feed and why is nobody publishing articles right now it's already six AM on the East Cost, or maybe a motivational cat poster oh wait you mean a security object for the INFANT.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

and here we have idaho

For any in-laws who might be reading this, or say, my wife, Idaho is a delightful state full of kind, loving people. That is the end of this post, so you may close the tab.

Idaho, and I realize this expression is overused so I use it very purposefully here, is a frozen wasteland. The best thing about Idaho is the height of summer when the thermometer hits 40 and you can start seeing tundra through the glacial cover. Idahoans love to give you a hard time for being weak if you're from a state which encounters the other three seasons instead of just permafrost and breweries to keep the local populace in check.

I used to think I was a capable winter driver until I arrived in Idaho and discovered that they keep all snow plows out on loan to neighboring states, and they pave their roads with ice. I am not exaggerating this: I have seen the pavement outside my in-laws house on one occasion, and I believe that was on account of the homemade firecracker they were lighting off. As the anti-lock brakes engaged and we slid into yet another intersection, in a non-calm voice I inquired of my wife how she maintained her peaceful demeanor, and she told me to relax, that, "I've slid into every intersection in town", and everyone in Idaho just sort of expected that, sort of like how everyone in Utah thinks they are on a secret mission to drive erratically and protect the left lane AT ALL COSTS.

In states where -20 Fahrenheit means the end of civilization as we know it, you could be excused for believing that putting something in a "garage" implies some protection against freezing. Not so in Idaho. Shampoo froze in our car in the garage. SHAMPOO. WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU IDAHO? When you live in a state in which hanging out in the garage gives you a good chance of death, I think it's time to start following those birds south.

Your first clue that Idaho isn't a sunny paradise should be from the thousands of pioneers who walked through it and just kept on walking. It wasn't until the Mormons, a group famous for getting kicked out of nice places into inhospitable wastelands, went there for the scenery and good quality of life just kidding nobody settled in Idaho for quality of life before the invention of fusion reactors and manmade global warming.

But if dying from exposure doesn't worry you, like I said before, it's a delightful state full of kind, loving people. I'd recommend an August visit.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

family road trips

Family road trips are a good way to involve your children in your own pointless stupidity.

Instead of, say, deciding to participate in the miracle of flight and effortlessly descend upon your destination likeunto what an ancient greek god could only dream of doing while being served delicious orange juice and poison peanutless airplane biscuitfood, you could do some bean counting and decide that you would rather save a fraction of a paycheck by putting your child in a plastic cage and restricting his movements for a mere twelve hours, and expect him to not scream bloody murder for the duration of the trip because you are an idiot.

Flying with a baby is, of course, a bad idea, because maybe your baby will make a tiny peep and someone will give you a dirty look, so trade that probabilistic scenario with the absolute certainty that your child will scream directly in your ear for the last six hours of your drive.

Road trips across thousands of miles of frozen barren tundras are the best kind of road trip, because screaming carries much better in colder temperatures at higher altitudes.

Things you could do to alleviate the pain for your child might include:

  • Flying
  • Staying a night in Reno at the cheapest four-star resort in town, which is also, coincidentally, the smelliest four-star resort in town, with the loudest screaming women in the hall at 2:30 AM in town.
  • Flying
  • Staying home
  • Not staying that night in Reno, because it just means you spend twenty-four hours in transit instead of twelve, and avoiding Reno also dramatically reduces the number of interactions you have in lines and elevators with prostitutes and drunken gamblers.
  • Flying

Or maybe you could consider flying.