My nearest and dearest know what a fan I am of the television show, Friends. It may have ended 10 years ago, but I still find it quite relevant and relatable. Rarely does a day go by that Arthur and I don’t quote or reference it in our regular conversation.
Even with a baby, I find it useful. More than one strategy (whether used to pacify a partner or an infant) from Friends has come in handy with Rowan. In fact, at least one of the following “tricks” is implemented in our household on a daily basis.
1. Monica’s ooo-baby-baby swing: In season 9, Rachel does the taboo and wakes up her sleeping baby. This results in Emma crying endlessly until Aunt Monica holds her close and starts swaying with her rapidly, singing, “Bouncy baby, bouncy baby, ooo baby baby, ooo baby baby.” Within the first month of Rowan’s arrival, he had an inconsolable crying spell that was solved immediately when I remembered this tactic. It still works like a charm.
2. Babies like novelty rap: In the same season, Ross gets Emma to laugh by singing her Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” (For those unfamiliar with this song, it’s about a guy who likes to get it on with women who have generous posteriors.) Obviously, Arthur and I had to try it on ours. It works, but not as well as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop.” Which makes sense, considering how often we listened and danced to it over the summer while Rowan was incubating. Do we lose fewer parenting points since our version is less offensive than the inspiration?
3. Hug-and-roll transfer: This third gem isn’t related to babies in any way, but it helps with ours. Ross teaches the “hug and roll” technique in the third season when Chandler confesses he doesn’t like cuddling, but his girlfriend does. The solution to getting his space is to hug her close after she’s asleep and then roll her to her side of the bed. I recently watched this episode and realized I’d been using this same technique to transfer Rowan to his crib at night. Once he’s drowsy or passed out, I hold him close to my body before slowly rolling him to his own bed. This one frequently works, depending on how asleep he is.
As I write this, I realize how ridiculous it sounds that I get parenting techniques from a 90’s television show. But at least now I can tell my mother that all the hours I spent watching it weren’t a complete waste of time. Just mostly.
Thanks, Friends, for being there for me, 10 years and one baby later.