Why Parenting Is Like an Escape Room You Can Never Escape
You jolt awake in a groggy haze. It is dark and a baby is crying.
It is 3:43 a.m. and your baby is crying and crying and CRYING. You’re up and you’re confused — didn’t you just do this? Doesn’t matter ’cause it started again. Your wife looks at you bleary-eyed so you say, “I got it.”
Tiptoe over to the bassinet and pick up The Bundle aka The Child aka Your Angel Joy Light Moon Stars who is, at this point, screaming like his life depends on it because, well, it sort of does.
Stumble out of the room and trip over a The Happiest Baby on the Block book. That wasn’t there an hour ago, was it? Walking into the living room you panic — should you have grabbed the book? There might be a clue in there. Can’t turn back though, time is running out. Time is always running out.
Escape Room (noun) — an experience in which people are locked in an enclosed space requiring them to solve a series of puzzles using secret clues before time runs out.
Parenting (noun) — an experience in which people are locked in an enclosed space requiring them to solve a series of puzzles using secret clues before time runs out.
You’re currently in the Put Baby To Sleep room where ‘getting out’ means getting the baby back to sleep and ‘before time runs out’ means either the baby dies or you do, whichever comes first. Having solved this room on three separate occasions already tonight, you know the space well, but remember — no two solutions are ever the same. Good luck!
First you try burping him — it worked last time, why wouldn’t it work now? A few solid pats on back, a big ol’ burp, and he should be back to sleep, no problem. Right?
Wrong. Not this time. This time the burping just makes him more agitated and there’s more crying, more everything.
Your wife opens the bedroom door — she is awake. There’s tension between the two of you after yesterday’s Breastfeeding Escape Room. The baby refused to drink both breast milk and formula so she tried to give him water until you Googled “how much water to give a newborn” and learned that water could poison a…