While some philosophers have blamed the Industrial Revolution for the isolation of modern man that led to his current dehumanization and existential dilemma, I would like to take this opportunity to sing the praises of that little revolution.
Every morning, Baby and I engage in a little dance with the crib. I change Baby. I nurse Baby. Baby falls asleep. I put Baby down in the crib. Baby wakes up fussing before Baby has enjoyed a full nap. Cha Cha Cha. Repeat until around 11 am, at which point Baby is bonkers in his overtired state. He finally passes out, and out of fear that he will not sleep for more than thirty minutes again, I put him in our swing. Baby loves sleeping in the swing and will stay there blissfully for about three hours.
Today, the swing, in all of its modern, technological glory did something that feels about as impressive as when Ford created the assembly line. Today, I put Baby in the swing before he passed out while I ate my oatmeal. I put a pacifier in Baby's mouth on a whim (yes, a whim - I am incapable of rational thought between 6 am and 1 pm). I pushed the swing to get Baby gently swinging. Ten minutes later, Baby was fast asleep.
I am aware that the swing and a pacifier trick, just as the assembly line before it, may have some negative consequences. Maybe I will become a less skilled Momma. Maybe I will lose my sense of purpose and humanity and proclaim that God is dead.
But I have a theory about Existentialism: It does not apply to Mommas In Training. We are quite aware that before us is one of the greatest, most difficult tasks on Earth. Further, that purpose just happens to involve ensuring that we survive as a species, which instills a pretty noticeable sense of humanity.
So, three cheers for the swing, the pacifier, and the extra hour of sleep that I am about to get this morning . . . all made possible by the Industrial Revolution and the assembly line.