hot damn, my boy’s a brian eno geek!
“be careful, man… because Raven slept thru the night until at like 5 months, she did a total flip-flop & was up at all fucked up hours of the night”– Brian Fortin
Oh yea, we were pretty cavalier about the whole sleeping thru the night thing. We werent cocky, mind you. We were just basking in the good fortune of having avoided the New Parent Buzzsaw of sleepless nights & screaming wee ones. We knew we were lucky. But we didnt know we were nearing the end of the line for this here Sleep Train.
Upon Jude’s 4-month peditricians appointment, we were asked some rather pointed, albeit familiar questions: “How are his sleeping habits” “Whats your process for putting him down for naps & down for the night?” “Tell me about your schedule so far”
Schedule? Process? What… he goes in The Swing at 8.30, he’s snoring by 9, and we’re opening the kind Pinot & watching another DVD by 9.15. The look on the doctors face was priceless. His body languarge was razorfish: “You silly amateurs!”
We had come to rely on the use of tools. The Swing! Long on the top of the list Desert Island devices that have come along with a new baby, this device is now to be cast aside as if it were the Rake of the Devil. Simply BECAUSE it worked so efficiently on putting the Lil Dood asleep is why it needs to be discontinued. Little did we know, the whole time we thought we didnt need a schedule, that damn Swing, night after blissful night, was establishing the worst kind of schedule we as new parents could have initiated: Dependence Upon Tools.
See, with 4+ months of Swing use under the bridge, the three of us have grown to such a state where the thought of putting him to sleep without the use of The Swing is folly. You’re a fool, man! It’ll never work. Putting him down in the crib, even when he’s tired from the day & drunk with milk, even under the best of circumstances would surely result in the blood-curdling screams of an Unhappy Cranky. But we knew that one day (soon), he’d physically out-grow The Swing and we would be doomed. DOOMED!
So, with the stern admonishment of the Infamous Doctor Dow, we began a torturous regimine of putting him to sleep without the swing. For this, anna began to seek the advice of some Tracy Hogg & the advice outlined in her “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.” This woman, Hogg, teaches that the use of tools is bad bad bad, the pacifier is a-ok, touch & patting but not rocking, and basically to walk that humanistic line between “rescuing” baby from night-time sobs or, letting them cry themselves to sleep. Thus, there we are at the side of the crib & patted & rubbed a Fussy Monkey for close to an hour at a time until he’d fall into a fatigued sleep. Only to repeat this process 90 minutes later, regardless of how ridiculous an hour it was for an adult. Welcome to NORMAL SLEEPING HABITS!
No longer were we able to flop around with Jude at night only to plop him into The Swing at a reasonable hour to start our dinner. No longer could we rely on the fact that he would sleep straight thru till 7am like last night & the night before. No longer would things be the same. And all of this could be traced back to the Regime of The Swing. Or lack thereof. Regime Change does begin at home, apparently.
We were about solid week into this new Swingless Regime when we were about to lose our sanity & our firm belief that Jude was a very atypical baby. We had been trying various things in conjunction with The Baby Whisperer’s recommendations. Most significantly however, was my use of Jason Falkners BEDTIME WITH THE BEATLES. This amazing compilation sees him covering classic Beatles tunes in gentle lullaby tones & chords. Not gentle enough as it turns out. That was when I happened upon a notion, a recollection.
Back in 1993, I became smitten with a genre of electronic dubbed AMBIENT. Compilations such as Astralwerks EXCURSIONS IN AMBIENCE were, to my palette, a wholly more provocative sound then anything else i could get my Tucson hands on. Research on the genre naturally pointed me at the Godfather of Ambient, Brian Eno & his seminal 1978 release MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS. Here we have tones. Just tones. Beautiful soothing tones. But they cover so much more then that. Simplistic yet moving harmonic studies. Kevin’ll remember that i coined this mans music as “sonic wallpaper,” with the sparse tones acting as ignorable patterns that hint at aesthetics we see, but cannot really express. He may also remember how instrumental this CD was in bringing us down to earth at sunrise from some recreational evenings. Which reminds me of how a wise man once said that John Bonham was such a genius percussionist by what fills he DIDNT fill; your musically-predictive mind never missed the beats he paused over. But i digress…
Anyway, back to Eno. I thought this CD, one of the oldest in the collection, would be perfect for the process of soothing the cranky and inducing the parental patience. The first track, titled simply “1/1” is about 16 minutes long. The first time i played it, i used 2 hands on Jude. My left had held his right arm fast so as to prevent him from rubbing the eyes and ripping the Nancy out of his mouth. My right hand stroked his hair forward from crown to brow. Now, only once before had i tried so brazen a technique, and he nearly took the roof off the place with what i interpretted to be complete & utter displeasure. but i sought to try again. this time, with Mr Eno & his “counterpoint to the frantic arcs of travel” By the end of that 1st track, he was in such a deep sleep that i feared he was having me on, just waiting for me to cease the head-rubbing. But he instead strung his old Sleeping Habits flag back up the pole & slept straight on thru until morning. We couldnt beleive it. SUrely this was a fluke, a mirage, a trick of the light or a result of fatigue. But I tried it again, this time on a muggy & cranky saturday night much later then usual. Once again, before track 01 has played out, he was sound asleep with me rubbin his head. Again, this time employing some testing strategies: swapping out the rubbing of the head for the rubbing & patting of the chest. Again, asleep by the end of the first song.
I want to write Sir Eno a letter. Once again, this CD changes my life. Now I need to figure out what to do with that damn Swing
i believe that DISINTEGRATION was their best album
i believe that no one can ever really prove to you where pregressive house end and trance begins
i believe (now) that oswald acted alone
i believe danny boyle donated the most significant asset to the zombe genre: the passage of time
Posted by: unknown at March 28, 2004 12:09 AM
(Originally Posted: 2003_1021)