sleep sheep.

Having a baby is a racket. For some reason, all kinds of people were really excited about us reproducing, and they gave us stuff. Sometimes people would include a gift receipt, which is possibly the best invention in the history of retail. It's like a blessing to return a gift. Otherwise, I feel a little bad about preferring the $15 in Target money over one more blanket that is too small to swaddle my chunk muffin baby. A gift receipt is the indication that the giver understands that I might have already received enough blankets or maybe this just isn't my style of blanket and I'd rather have those nice muslin ones with the robots. But even without the implied permission of a gift receipt, I've returned a lot of things. You can usually just google the product and find where it's sold. I do feel a little guilty this way, often because it seems the gift giver got ripped off. Baby stuff is big business, y'all.

We were given this thing called a Sleep Sheep, and I was pretty skeptical about it. It's a stuffed sheep that has a noise box that plays nature sounds to soothe the baby to sleep. I guess it's a sheep because of the whole counting sheep association, and because if you try to sell a noise box that just looks like a box, then you can't charge $25 for it.

Like I said, I was not impressed with the Sleep Sheep, and I would've happily returned it, except the packaging was kinda damaged, and I doubted they'd take it back. We meant to get a CD player for the baby to play brain-building Mozart or something, but it turns out that it is hard to find a CD player these days. I looked at Wal-Mart, just to see how expensive it would be, and whether it was expensive enough that I'd rather wait and find one used. But they didn't even have any. They had plenty of speakers that you could hook up wirelessly to a variety of multimedia devices, but if you just wanted to stick a disc in a machine and push play, you were out of luck. Go back to the 90s, you Luddite.

So one day, when the baby was not happy about being put down for a nap, I dug out the Sleep Sheep. Since I wasn't going to return it, I might as well see how it went. It had four sounds: a trickling stream, the ocean, light rain, and whale calls. One of these things is not like the other, and of course, that is the button I pressed. Susanna immediately went quiet. I hung the sleep sheep on the rail of the crib with the convenient velcro handle and walked away quickly. For the next twenty minutes, I heard the plaintive lowing of humpback whales, but I did not hear a fussing baby. As a bonus, the dog was super confused.

I'm sorry I doubted you, Sleep Sheep.

I'm sure this is going to cause all kinds of problems later in life. Perhaps Susanna will be embarrassed one day at school when the teacher asks what sound a sheep makes, and she goes, "OOOOOHOHOOOOOOOO." Or maybe on a visit to Sea World, at the sound of the whales, she'll just pass out in the middle of the aquarium due to conditioning. Even without these disastrous consequences, it's pretty much guaranteed her favorite Star Trek movie will be the one with the whales.

Except she'll call it "the one with the sheep."

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