|My favorite channel, on 24/7!|
Okay, so I know I’m a little bit of an extremist in life: I’m all in or all out, obsess over things a bit too much, get an idea in my mind and CAN’T GET PAST IT…These are all things that I’ve learned to accept about myself over time. In fact, I’ve gone one step further and learned their benefit–whether it’s the joy of carefully crafting party details and then seeing people light up when they arrive or the satisfaction when a client loves my first concept (which is usually the best, thus why I can rarely accept when my first suggestion is rejected). OCD can be a good thing, people!
I’m currently reading “Bossypants” by Tina Fey, whom I LOVE. No, really, I adore her. I’ve often secretly wished that in my adult life someone would ask me the ol’ typical college-activity-interview question, “If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?” because my answer would be Tina Fey. Not Jesus, not George Washington, not Madam Curie. Tina Fey. Just because. (I mean, I’ll meet Jesus when I die, George Washington’s wooden teeth would freak me out, and I’m not into science, so…there you go.) She cracks me up on “30 Rock” (one of my favorite shows), and her book has kept me laughing nonstop. I mention this because in her memoir, she recounts her honeymoon cruise, which was cut short by a small fire on board. As the cruisers are huddled together on the deck having been told that the fire’s out and that now they’re just doing precautionary safety checks, Tina stares at the shore, keeping vigilance while everyone else relaxes. She knows that if she stops worrying about their safety, the ship will sink and everyone will die. (Logically.) Once the all-clear is announced, she has a smug sense that she, of course, kept everyone safe with her worrying. (Logically.) You’re welcome, cruisers.
I, unfortunately, have a bit of this characteristic in me: I always think through the worst case scenario in an effort to ward it off, or at least to lessen the blow if the unthinkable happens. I know that God doesn’t work like that, but it just seems to be my natural inclination. Since having Emma Vance, it’s gotten worse. (Logically.)
One of my biggest fears these days is SIDS. Seriously, it haunts me. It’s scary because with most causes of death, there seems to be a way to avoid it: Car crash? Car seat. Suffocation? Remove items from the crib. Electrocution? Outlet plugs. But with SIDS, it’s just this mystery.
We’ve (okay, I’ve) done a ton of reading on SIDS, and mentally I often go down the list: We don’t have a lot of the general risk factors (our age, her being premature, having had a previous health “event” with E.V.). (Check.) We always keep our house cool–to a point of obsession. (Check.) Emma Vance doesn’t sleep with us. (Check.) She sleeps on her back. (Check.) And so on, and so on, and so on. Do other moms out there think about these things, too? Or am I just being ridiculous? Really, I don’t know.
Going down this anti-SIDS checklist, however, isn’t enough to let me sleep peacefully at night. (I, like Tina, need to vigilantly watch the shore to save the cruisers.) So we bought this amazing video monitor, and it’s been one of our best purchases. (Because I’m so crazy, I’m not sure that an audio monitor would’ve done me much good; I would’ve ended up making excuses to walk past her a million times just to check that she’s alive!) I love being able to see her, and more specifically, I love being able to see her breathing. Yes, I stare at this little monitor often, remotely angling the camera at her chest or belly, desperately waiting to see it rise and fall rhythmically. I carry the monitor with me throughout my day like a little rabbit’s foot or lucky horse shoe, “watching the shores vigilantly,” warding off SIDS or any other dangers. In my sane moments I know this isn’t really necessary, but SIDS has taught me that nap time is not a safe time for her, and that’s enough to drive any mother to crazy lengths.
Ryan and I started calling it “E.V. TV” (for obvious reasons). It’s only one channel, one program, one tiny, little actress, and it’s on 24/7 in our household. It gives me reassurance; even in the middle of the night I can grab it, see her breathing, and rest easily. When I’m downstairs, I can see that her quietness is just slumber. I can sit at my computer while she’s in her bassinet and NOT be tempted to jump up and check her every few seconds. It’s the screen I stare at most (maybe second to my computer–maybe), and I can’t get enough of it!
As much as E.V. TV is about safety and calming my fears, it’s also about being able to see into Emma Vance’s private little baby world. I love seeing her hanging out on her own, exploring her surroundings without me. Actually seeing her process of falling asleep is true entertainment–fighting it, wanting to stay awake and see the world for every moment possible; then giving up in an instant, pacifier popping out carelessly as she passes out, exhausted. When she giggles in her sleep, E.V. TV allows me to see the accompanying grin, even if she’s in another room.
I also adore when she stares into the camera. (Although sometimes it catches me off guard, and in those moments her piercing little eyes make me feel like she can see what I’m up to.) We were a bit confused when it first started happening; she’d be looking RIGHT AT US through that little lens, as if to say, “Hey Mom and Dad. I’m just hanging out here in my crib. Chillin’ with myself. Takin’ naps and such.” Ryan and I would wonder aloud to each other how she knew to look DIRECTLY at that one particular object. Then, one night when it was dark in our room, Ryan figured it out: The camera has a little green light on it to show that it’s working. She’s been looking at that little light the whole time! Ha! (So, more accurately, she’s probably saying, “Why the heck is that stupid green glowy-thing always staring at me?”)
I know it’s a bit obsessive to always be checking on your baby (“I’m fine, mom!”), but E.V. TV is one of the best things we’ve discovered over here at the Shove household: There’s never any reruns and we love the main character. What more could we ask for? :)