By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com April 02 2014 6:00 AM ET
Like any new parent, I struggled with some things when my child was a newborn. He was a really good baby, meaning he slept a lot, didn’t cry too much, and was adorable to boot. I could go anywhere with him without worry because I knew his demeanor was chill as ice. That all changed once he started cutting teeth.
Within days, that sweet precious one turned into an uncomfortable, angry baby, and all I wanted to do was soothe him and help him stop crying. This eventually took over my nerves, and I was that panicked parent on the phone with my mother asking her how to shut him the hell up. It became nonstop. I started crying when he did.
After trying all of the conventional techniques, I went out and bought something called a “soother,” which was basically a fancy rocker that you would put the baby in, and it would glide them back and forth. It had a little radio with it that would play lullabies. It also had an iPod/iPhone connector so you could play your own tunes. Once I put him in the machine, it was clear he liked it. I felt a momentary glow of success.
Then, more crying. That feeling changed to defeat. By that point I had done everything from A to Z and this was the last resort. I was destined to spend my days as a reclusive parent wallowing in misery with my child who just wouldn’t stop bawling. Then, by chance, I noticed something that caused a change.
We were out on an errand and he was having a fussy moment, per usual. I put on the radio quietly in hope that the music would relax him a little bit. This was in 2009, and smack in the middle of the era of the autotune. Suddenly a particular song came on and I noticed he stopped crying! It was almost like magic, I was in sheer disbelief. The song was “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas. My son apparently has terrible taste in music.
As soon as we were back home, the crying commenced, and I reluctantly downloaded the entire Black Eyed Peas album The E.N.D. and hooked my iPod up to his soother. I placed him in it and the rest is history. He was so content and would actually sleep in the thing. And if you want proof, check out the video below. Sometimes will.i.am works in mysterious ways.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.