Introduction: Da-da 101: SLEEP and the Baby Pendula
(This is a little easier to see and follow here , but if you must read it now...)
Since Da-da's supposed to be a jaded combat Da-da veteran source of fatherly wisdom here, he decided to showcase one of his Top Ten Most Helpful Baby-containment Secrets. Da-da probably had a couple thousand of these ideas/skills at one time, but being Mr. Mom has taken its toll. Frankly, at this point, Da-da can't remember a damn thing and continues to refer to himself as, "Da-da." Do the math.
Da-da was reminded of this sad fact when he recently went to Ace Hardware to get a new log carrier (for, you know, logs). He took the thing out of the box and suddenly recalled all the awe and mystery of being the parent of an infant who desperately needed to GO TO SLEEP, like right now. And O God, the screaming, the crying, the green projectile vomit, the shouting priests... Da-da feels dead-tired just thinking about it.
After this washed over Da-da, he thought, "Hey! Da-da's memory is coming back!" (Like Antarctica SLOOOWLY melting.) And then: "No. Da-da can't tell them THAT [the thing he remembered]. Someone might be stupid with it."
So, Da-da WILL tell you the secret, but don't be stupid with it. And if you're going to do this, READ EVERYTHING FIRST. THEN READ IT AGAIN. Da-da won't be responsible for you being stupid.
Ok, THE most important thing about being a parent of an infant is getting that kid to SLEEP. Kids grow when they sleep, and growth obviates lots of obstacles... and invokes others. Indeed, things like feeding and safety and avoiding zombies are also important, but we want you SANE, and to be a SANE parent, you need sleep. And you're not gonna get sleep if your child won't sleep.
Out of desperation, Da-da invented this thing, what he calls, "The Baby Pendula." Works better than anything else he tried, including those $400 auto-swing things. Why? Because the baby is STARING at you the whole time, wondering what the hell you're up to. Then... by the time the baby's figured it out... BAM. Snooze City.
Before we begin, Da-da will tell you again: don't be stupid with The Baby Pendula. But, if you're going to construct this thing (it's incredibly easy), READ EVERYTHING HERE FIRST. THEN READ IT AGAIN. Da-da will not be responsible for you being stupid. Ok, here we go.
[see fig. 1]
Get a $10 log carrier, a strong one, from the hardware store. Get one that's nylon and sturdy. Make sure it doesn't have any defects. You'll also need an UBER-soft baby blankie -- but not too plush, as you don't want to asphyxiate your child.
[see fig. 2]
Place the folded blankie over the edges. NOTE: don't pull up the folded ends of the log carrier and tuck the blankie in. I know it seems like you want the baby tucked in there like a log, but doing this might tempt you to swing a little harder, which is something you don't want to do. Here's one I prepared earlier.
[see fig. 3]
Lay the Baby Pendula on the floor or a bed or somesuch safe soft low surface, and lay the swaddled baby on it -- LONGWAYS, MAURICE -- and MAKE SURE THE BABY HAS BEEN BURRITOED, swaddled, made nicely immobile; you want the baby unable to escape. (Don't laugh maniacally at your parental power and control, because it won't last.) You can indeed use the Baby Pendula with an older unswaddled baby, but be careful that they don't escape. If they're too big, then this won't work (as you'll see), so don't try.
You want the baby centered on the blankie. You might need to scootch the baby a little this way or that to achieve baby equilibrium. While you do this, the baby's gonna be watching you, thinking, "WHAT is this crazy bastard doing with this contraption?" Remember: baby's are SMART. Like ma-ma, they're much smarter than you think. Much smarter than YOU, Da-da (which isn't hard to do). And note: NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON A BABY. That's just what they want you to do.
Anyway, gently tuck the centered, swaddled, drowsy, well-fed and burped baby between the two sides of the log carrier, and pick up the handles to form a soft baby taco, thus:
[see fig. 4]
Stand with your feet fairly far apart and swing the baby veeery gently, back and forth with both hands in the handles, handles together. You can swing on one side or between your legs, whatever's most comfortable.
NOTE: don't do this over a hardwood floor like Da-da is doing. Do it over carpet or some blankets/towels, etc. Assume that the baby is going to suddenly escape (it could happen).
Swing like this (see below video), while making that womb-whooshing, "SH-WSH-WSH-WSH-WSH-WSH..." sound as loud as you can. This GENTLE rocking motion and noise will simulate the baby rocking GENTLY inside the womb as ma-ma was walking around thinking how wonderful her life was going to be, pre-child. Again, be sure to rock the baby over something soft in the off-chance that your child is like a baby Jackie Chan. And again, BE CAREFUL. Da-da would have made and marketed this thing himself, but you just know some drunken, speed-freak bonehead is gonna swing his kid into a vending machine at a bus station and sue, SUE LIKE THE WIND.
NOTE2: if the baby's agitated and thrashing around, don't use this thing. You want a subservient/drowsy/well-fed/swaddled baby as your subject, not a pissed-off radioactive one with laser vision. Also, if the baby isn't asleep after say 30 minutes, you might want to wait a little while before trying again. Jeez, holding the baby swaddled and rocking back and forth, badly singing old Beatles tunes isn't a bad route. Just remember to be BORING. Babies stay awake for DAYS if you're interesting.
[see fig. 5]
NOTE3: the BabyPendula does NOT work with older children, like young 900 lb. Bronko here. It's only for babies. Once they become as big as a B-movie frozen turkey, you're just asking for some long-term back injury. And the National Guard.
NOTE4: some babies don't like this thing. Da-da has no idea why. You'll KNOW if your baby doesn't like it. Babies are good at this.
Anyway, now that you know about the Baby Pendula... and since Common Sense isn't common, anymore... Da-da will now state again that you've been heretofore warned: DON'T MAKE THIS THING AND BE STUPID WITH IT. You take all responsibility if you decide to make one of these. Swing your child as if /she were made of the thinnest crystal, containing the most delicate plutonium sculpture that at the tiniest BUMP will explode and rip the space-time continnuum so badly that giant spiders and HUGE SCREAMING EYES will stream out of the rift and consume every living thing on the earth until it's a barren, fog-enshrouded parking lot. Yeah. So there. Be careful, you apes. Watch the video and let's be careful out there. BE GENTLE, Dracula.
Go to this link for the video.