It took 15 years, but I finally tossed out the baby monitor.


Yes, that’s right. Fifteen years ago, we bought a baby monitor and plugged it into the wall. Since then, we haven’t looked back. Okay, that’s not quite the truth. At one point, we needed to buy a new monitor, but that was done during the day so that we didn’t need to have a night without it.

You might be asking why, if my youngest is nine years old, we still relied on the baby monitor?

It’s because said youngest wouldn’t come out of her room, no matter what. And I mean, no matter what. It didn’t matter if she was vomiting or just needed a drink of water. Each time, she’d either whisper or yodel quietly, both of which were hard to hear in our room (placed at the far end of the hall).

Of course, I didn’t mind this behavior when she was younger because once she was in bed, she was in bed. Until the next morning, when she’d rise, bright and alert, at the crack of dawn. Don’t be too jealous, though. This is the same kid who really didn’t sleep through the night until she was three years old.

But I have to be honest, I got a little tired of having to sleep with the equivalent of a defective white noise generator next to my bed. Especially because she really didn’t need one anymore.

So I finally made the decision to chuck the monitor and I told her why.

Me: You don’t need this monitor anymore, Melina.

Melina: But I like the monitor.

Me: I know, but you don’t need it. Just come out of your room if you need something or when you wake up in the morning.

A skeptical look crept across Melina’s face, but she didn’t argue. And that first night, when I put her to bed, I reminded her what she needed to do in the morning. She nodded her head, snuggled into her stuffed seagull, and blew me a smooch.

I’m glad we finally reached this momentous milestone. My nights are more peaceful and I’m confident Melina will call or come find me when she needs me, even if its the middle of the night. Plus, I love hearing the sound of her little footsteps on the stairs when she comes down to greet me. It’s a perfect way to start the day.


Written by

Christina Consolino is a mother, dreamer, author, editor and teacher from Dayton, Ohio. She's a member of the Plot Sisters and teaches Anatomy & Physiology at Sinclair Community College. She writes literary women's fiction, personal essays and more.