Over the holiday, Emory spent a lot of time napping in his crib. Usually, we’ll let him nap around us, but the holidays around the house were busy and therefore loud. So, we hooked up the Graco monitoring system and put him to bed in his crib.
Whenever Emory naps in his crib, I’ll usually take the microphone and place it in the far, bottom right hand corner of his crib. That way, I know that chances are I will hear his sounds only. You see, living in a city like Brooklyn, where people are right on top of one another, it’s not uncommon to hear another baby’s cries. To avoid such a thing, we put it close to him but not so close that he’s right on top of it.
The projector is put in our living room, which is off of our bedroom, which is off of his bedroom. It amplifies throughout our entire, railroad apartment. It’s kind of funny, really because not only can you hear the trucks barrel down the Brooklyn/Queens Expressway (BQE) live but you get an amplification of such as well. I often hear my mother’s voice, “When you guys were babies, you were up stairs, on the other side of the house. I used to listen for you from time to time from the foot of the stairs, but that’s about it.”
(These devices we buy now, I think they add to an overall feeling of anxiety, perpetuate worry. We may say they make us feel better, we may even believe it, but I think some of us spend more time questioning if it’s working or not, checking it every five seconds to see if the red lights are flashing. I guess I just don’t fully trust it. But without this particular piece of baby equipment, this story couldn’t be told.)
One day, TJ and I were doing some cooking and baking. We were in the kitchen, which is at the very back of the apartment. I mentioned before that we live in a railroad. I’m not sure if this term is used outside of Brooklyn. I imagine that it is, but I hadn’t ever heard of it before moving here. Maybe that’s because so many Brooklyn apartments are considered railroad apartments. But if you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically an apartment where all the rooms train one right after another, hence the name. It’s great for fooling a tenant into thinking the place is bigger than it really is. It sucks if you want to hide a litter box. It also means the middle rooms are very dark, dreary even.
I had just put the cookies in the oven when I heard a noise. It was a strange noise, new to me entirely. It sounded like a motor, like someone was distantly hammering into pavement, only it wasn’t a sound I’d describe as annoying, not at all. I stood in the living room and tried to figure out what it could be. That’s when I realized that the sound wasn’t coming from outside at all. It was only coming in through the monitor. It must be some sort of interference, I concluded. But I decided to check on the baby anyway.
I walked through the rest of the apartment and the sound all but diminished. I peaked into his room. Emory was sound asleep as was Murray. Murray was not only in the crib with Emory, but he was on top of the microphone. The sound I heard was his amplified and insanely loud, and amazingly soothing purr. I now know what an Emory must have experienced every time Murray slept on my belly and he was still in the womb. (Picture below does not show the scenario described. It’s just a picture of Murray snuggling with Emory on the couch.)
I think we might move closer to world peace if we could figure out a way to project a purr so that everyone could hear it. It’s one of the most soothing sounds on planet Earth.