Guess what’s in the swing…

At 6:02 am I was blissfully snuggled under a comforter, enjoying the rarity of both my children  slumbering past 5:30.  All of a sudden I felt it; that inate warning system that sounds in your sleeping body that says, “Someone is in the room! Grab something heavy so that you have a defense as you scream in a pitch only Mariah Carey can reach on purpose!” Of course, I had no time to react. Thankfully, the intruder was my precious husband who attempted to steal my covers under the guise of “sweet cuddling”. Usually he will whisper that he is leaving so that I will know I will be outnumbered 2 to 1 before dawn. Instead of saying, “I need to leave but the boys are up” or “Thing 1 is stirring” he said words I NEVER expected to hear.

“Guess what I found when I went downstairs? A gallon of milk in the bunny swing.”

Time for a flashback explanation.

Now when Firstborn was small, we relied on the Fisher Price 3 in 1 swing as if our lives depended on it… because it did. Only the soothing of this swing could calm the child long enough for a few moments of silence. He had the 8 hours of crying a day brand of colic, and no remedy worked other than the swing and Veggietales sing-a-longs. It wasn’t a pretty introduction to motherhood. Thus, we have an undying devotion to ‘the bunny swing’- so named for the bunny ears at the top of the fluffy headrest.  The only pictures we have of our son smiling before 6 months old are of him in the swing. Really.

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Now that Secondborn is a few months old, we once again enjoy watching the angelic sight of a baby asleep in the bunny chair (until Firstborn comes running into the room yelling with his arms outstretched a la Superman and scares the poor infant to death, necessitating an immediate diaper change.)

Until 3 nights ago. I noticed that the motor sounded…sick. Choking. Gasping. Groaning. The light was on but the bunny wasn’t moving. Secondborn wasn’t sleeping.

(Suspenseful, scary movie sound effect)

Life suddenly fell into chaos. A line of wailing women shrouded in black lined up at the front door, prepared to mourn. It just couldn’t be true. I pushed the swing to help the motor gained momentum. It gently slowed to a pitiful halt. The baby started to fuss. We were doomed. Internet searches led me to e-mailing the customer service line on Friday night and we received an e-mail with trouble-shooting options. It read:

I’m so glad you contacted us!  I am so sorry to hear your swing isn’t working properly. In order to provide the best possible resolution, I would like to try some troubleshooting.

1. Please check the cord connections at the top and bottom of the leg. Unplug and re-plug the cords, slightly rotating the plugs after they are connected.

2. Put at least 10 pounds of weight (such as a full gallon of milk/water) in the seat and make sure the swing is on a level surface. Please make sure the legs are spread completely apart.

3. Turn the swing on and set it to the third speed setting and push the seat to get it started.  Observe the swing for approximately three minutes.  If the swing stops, please set the speed setting to the highest setting, and again push the seat to get it started.  Observe the swinging for an additional 3 minutes.

4. Lastly, please be sure that your infant has not reached the developmental limit of being too active for the seat.  In other words, the infant should not have reached the point in his/her development of being able to sit up unassisted.  Also, the infant should weigh no more than 25 lbs.

I hope this helps, but please let us know if it does not!  If you find it is still not working, please respond to this e-mail with your complete mailing address.

Although I know the sound of a dying motor when I hear one, I decided to follow the directions to the letter. After the kids were in bed, Hubby and I went through each step. This, as you may have guessed, is when my Beloved put the gallon of milk in the bunny swing. As I answered the e-mail with our address, he joined me on the couch and neither of us saw the milk before heading to bed. This was a FULL, unopened gallon that he had purchased a mere two hours earlier, as we are down to the last bit of milk. Got milk? No, no we do not. (Thus, it was a breakfast taco morning for me.)

Now, you must understand that I am a woman who has spent the last 3 years of my life as a victim of “baby brain”- either in ‘pregnancy’ or ‘child under 1 year old’ form. This means that as our precious darlings drain the life, energy, and intelligence out of us, we go onto autopilot. One of the classic moves is putting the milk in the pantry. Although I came close a time or two, I was always mindful to deliver the milk to the proper location and not leave it out. (Keys are another story.)

Hence, it gives me a bit of validation and an involuntary look of indignation when I say, “A gallon of milk was in the bunny swing” and people automatically assume it was me- the brainless mom-o-bot. Sadly, my track record doesn’t speak well for me.

Finally, the army of well-meaning older ladies are proven right- “Blink and you’ll miss it.” True story. You’d think a milk container in a swing would catch attention…but in a way it’s somewhat ordinary around here. I’ll just add “There’s a gallon of milk in the bunny swing” to the list, along with sayings “There’s a horse in the shower”, “How did you get that into your nose?” and “How did you get poop into the elbow of your jammies?”

As I lament the lack of milk this morning as I look at the bunny swing in need of Dr. Frankenstein to bring it back to life, I will be glad that I haven’t totally lost it… and I will have the container of sugar at the ready for when the swing returns to us.

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