Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Secret Life Of Sidney

My mischievous little guy
The single best baby item I bought when Sidney was born was a baby monitor with a video screen.  During the first few months it was a lifesaver for this slightly paranoid first time mother who worried with each noise I did (or didn't) hear coming from  his room.  As Sidney got older it was nice to be able to check and see if he was still napping rather than go into his room and risk disturbing him.  (Remember the old adage of never waking a sleeping baby?  Trust me, it is so true).  When we moved out of our one story house in Norfolk and into a three story townhouse in Washington D.C., this baby monitor saved us a lot of unnecessary stair climbing.  As Sidney got older and we began to travel more, the monitor was small enough that we could pack it up and take it with us, making it possible to keep an eye on him in unfamiliar surroundings without actually standing over him.

Theoretically at 3 1/2 he's probably outgrown the monitor but since this $59.99 special continues to go strong, we're still using it.  The base is currently perched atop his wardrobe giving us a bird's eye view of all that goes on in Sidney's room.  The nanny loves it since she is of the mindset that he must be watched at all times.  On more than one occasion I've returned home to find her sitting in the living room watching Sidney as he sleeps on the monitor. As strange as this may sound, this is a big improvement over her earlier tactic of sitting in the dark room and watching him sleep.  And of course the monitor allows me to continue to see if he is still sleeping before entering his room.  But the monitor has taken on a new purpose as of late.  As a fiercely independent pre-schooler, Sidney is increasingly relishing having time to himself.  While he loves to play with us, more and more often he is asking to go to his room to hang out there by himself. He will go in and shut the door leaving me wondering what type of mischief he might be causing inside.  But the monitor puts an end to my worries.  More often than not when I peek at the screen I see him sitting on his bed reading a book, talking to himself or his favorite stuffed animals, playing with his Leap Pad, or just lying there and relaxing.  I think I anticipate that he will be doing something he shouldn't be so when I witness such innocent actions my voyeurism makes me feel a bit guilty.  It is also making me realize that my little boy is growing up and doesn't require his Mamma's attention on a 24/7 basis.  And this independence makes me feel a tad sad and realize that he has a life of his own.  Oh my!

But Sidney's independent life apparently runs much deeper.  He knows the names of all the neighborhood children--something neither Glenn nor I do-- and he readily recognizes them.  We've been out in public, outside of our neighborhood, only for Sidney to be greeted by people we think of as strangers but ones he readily recognizes.  The boy has friends we don't know about.  The latest twist on Sidney's secret life came to light this morning.  His nanny has been sick this week so we've had a back up nanny watching Sidney during the morning hours.  When our nanny finally returned to our house this morning she revealed that she has been having phone conversations with Sidney each day, talking about what he has been doing, and making sure he was eating his lunch and taking his medicine.  We never knew this and Sidney had made no mention of talking to his Nene each day.  Of course I never specifically asked but his daily narrative of what he did all day had never once included any mention of talking on the phone.  It makes me wonder what else is he up to that I am unaware of?  While I love his independence, I'm so not ready for my little boy to grow up!


  1. Totally agree! Both with the attachment to the video monitor and with not being ready for my baby to be a big boy. I have no idea how parents got by without monitors or with a sound only monitor.

  2. We only had a voice monitor but I used to love listening to it after the boys were in bed. You could hear them babbling and then finally talking to themselves. It's fun to eavesdrop - at least now - while they let us!