My husband always jokes about how weird it was when we were leaving the hospital two days after the birth of our first son Jackson and the nurse who walked us out to the car said, "have fun with your baby!" I don't think he had even considered the fact that we were about to be completely on our own with this new (screaming) creature until she left us standing alone in the parking lot with that sentence and a smile. On our own and completely unprepared!
Oh sure, we were prepared with things like a crib, diapers, cute little onsies and special baby soaps. All the things you actually think about and plan in advance. What we weren't prepared for was what exactly to do with this 6 pound 12 ounce bundle of barf and belly-aching. Some call it colic, some call it gas, I call it HELL. For the nearly 12 hours per day that Jackson was awake, I'll estimate he cried at least 11 hours and 14 minutes of it! I was literally losing my mind.
Scared to take him anywhere I felt chained to my house, watching hour after hour of Beverly Hills 90210 and The OC reruns at full blast to hear over his racket. We tried everything to stop the crying: long drives in the car, long walks in the stroller, music, swings, and my personal favorite: the vacuum cleaner. I read that the noise could help, and believe it or not, it did! Not to mention, my floor was never so spotless. Eventually we'd just turn the damn thing on and leave it in a corner for hours at a time, just to get the kid to stop wailing. He'd sit in his swing, screaming his head off, and as soon as the vacuum started, he'd silence.
I eventually downloaded a full CD of just vacuum noise, but it just didn't have the same effect as the real thing. At this point, a $500 electricity bill didn't sound so bad compared to the sound of the devil wailing in my ear every waking minute. And so it continued, full nights of a vacuum running to keep the kid asleep, full days of my running outside to talk on the phone because the noise in the house was too deafening to hear the party on the other line, but the baby was asleep!
At around four months the "colic" had passed and the crying went from 50% of the day to around 5. My sanity had been tested in a way it had never been tested before and I came out on top, well maybe a litter grayer on top, but on top nonetheless. A year later as I was dropping Jackson at daycare one of the teachers was vacuuming the room. He ran to the door screaming "bots, bots, bots (his baby word for vacuum)." His teacher laughed turning off the machine and told me, "Jackson just loves it when we vacuum, he is so fascinated by it." Why am I not the least bit surprised?