Friday, 20 March 2009

Remote parenting

When Betty was a few weeks old we decided that, although she was pretty good at making herself heard, we needed a baby monitor.

I remember reading the instructions. The description for the ‘Talk’ facility said something like: ‘Press and hold this button on the parent unit and speak into it to be heard by your baby’. And then it went on to say: ‘WARNING - THIS BUTTON SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER PARENTING’.

In the early days I only ever dared use this button once. Betty was grumbling in her cot one night and so I pressed the ‘Talk’ button and began singing to her sweetly in the hope of making her drift off to sleep. However, it had the opposite effect. She went berserk and screamed blue murder until I appeared in person to pacify her. Since then the button has been strictly off-limits.

Last week Tom had a nasty cold and so I made him sleep downstairs for a few days. One night Betty woke up at about 3am and in a whiney little voice began saying ‘No Postman Pat. No Postman Pat’ over and over and over again. Normally I would have asked Tom to go and sort out her disagreement with Pat, but since he wasn’t there I needed to deal with the situation myself. I was feeling huge and uncomfortable and unable to move easily and hoist myself out of bed, so in desperation I turned to the ‘Talk’ facility for the first time in over two years and gently said: ‘Betty my darling it’s time to go back to sleep now, we can talk about Postman Pat in the morning if you like, but right now it’s time to go to sleep’. Lo and behold, I didn’t hear another peep out of her until morning.

I have used this method successfully in the middle of the night a couple of times since. If the monitor company thinks I’m not a proper parent, I’m willing to live with that.

11 comments:

Single Parent Dad said...

That is cool. If I had one I might try a Darth Vader impression on my boy, he might listen to him.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Sounds like you scared Betty to bits last night, but as long as it works...
I ordered one of these yesterday. Cannot wait to try them on my own offspring.

Louise said...

So funny. I only ever dared to use the 'talk' facility once and it made Anna scream twice as loud too!!! The next day, I got my husband to talk through it while I lay in Anna's bedroom. It nearly made me cry too... it sounded like aliens had invaded!

(When is Button number 2 due for arrival???? Every time I click on your blog, I always find myself holding my breath as it appears on screen, anticipating a birth announcement!!!)

Iota said...

How old do they have to be before you can just text them "go bk 2 slp"?

Sparx said...

I confess I never knew of such a thing before... I may have abused it a little if I had...

More than Just a Mother said...

Iota, LOL

I think that suddenly hearing a disembodied voice in the darkness would scare the crap out of me, let alone my children, but I admire your ingenuity ;)

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Ha, I had one of these for my eldest daughter. I only used the talkback once when I was heavily pregnant with baby number 2 and trying to have a lie down in the day time. I thought it would make a nice game if I pretended I was a secret fairy. She talked back to this secret fairy and on it went, until I'd had enough. SHe then got distraught when the secret fairy said good bye. Full on sobs. I never played that game again - funnily enough...

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Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

Darn it. Knew there was a reason we should have got a more expensive monitor. Ours is just one-way. May have to invest in a two-way one before No. 2 arrives.

"Moaning Mum" said...

That is genius....wish I'd thought of that. I'm off to get a monitor tomorrow...the uses are endless (eg. middle of the night subliminal messages of, "...EAT your veggies...")
Hmmm...possibilities are endless

AliBlahBlah said...

Hmm, does it make me a bad parent if I've considered having my Mum watch my children via Skype from 8,000 miles away?!