From: New Parent 3.04am
The above item from your ‘Bundle of Joy’ range was received into our care recently, and I have some fairly serious concerns I hope you’ll be able to address.
First of all, the parcel took six days longer than anticipated to arrive. I realise this can hardly be corrected now, but we’d appreciate a prompter delivery time for any future orders we may place.
When our ‘bundle’ finally arrived and we eventually were able to extricate it from its packaging, it quickly became apparent that it was broken in some way. Exactly what way is not entirely clear, because nowhere amongst the various (and rather messy, it must be said) accoutrements it came with could we locate a user manual, or even a quick reference sheet to tell us which end was up. Regardless, as soon as we laid eyes on our ‘Bouncing Baby Boy’ we could see that we’d received something different from what we’d been anticipating. Instead of the plump, smiling fellow we’ve seen gurgling, sleeping and drooling into his fat rolls on all the brochures and boxes, the creature we welcomed six days late was red, scrawny, grumpy and wrinkled. Yes, all the fingers and toes were in place, but we did think our BOJ would have at least some hair on its head. And we were not expecting to deal with acne or surly frowning at this early stage.
We were pleasantly surprised when the unit activated its sleep cycle for an extended period soon after arrival; however this proved to be a cheap sales trick to lull us into a false sense of security until we’d actually brought the BBB home. Once we’d done this, the blasted thing began malfunctioning. It sleeps only in short bursts, rarely at the hour of our choosing. During its waking hours, it provides us with very little entertainment – I mean, it doesn’t even make eye contact, let alone call me ‘Ma-ma’! – and discharges vile fluids almost constantly from both ends. The alert tone sounds at random intervals both day and night, with little to no indication of what the problem is. We generally have to resort to guesswork to stop the squawking from escalating to full siren mode (I really think you should attend to this in future models. Surely some kind of light-up panel could be fitted, or at least the alarm could vary in tone according to which of the BOJ’s many needs is most urgent). To make matters worse, I’m sure it has some kind of fuel efficiency problem as it needs to be topped up with milk many times a day, and almost constantly at night. In my far-from-expert opinion, this has to be related to the constant fluid leakage mentioned above.
Please don’t think we have come into ownership of the BBB unprepared. You should see the array of guidebooks and accessories we had stockpiled in advance. Why, it’s enough to fill an entire room of our house! However, our new family member doesn’t look like the sleeping cherubs on the covers of the books, even during the brief intervals that it does sleep. Its shrieks are not translatable into Dunstan’s Baby Language ‘neh’s and ‘eh’s. Hardly any of the cute outfits we’ve prepared fit its shriveled little body, and the ones that do are spattered with unmentionable goop before they’ve been worn for a morning. It’s not interested in the playmat, the swing, the toys, the picture books, the mobiles, the muslins, the custom wall stickers, the soothing musical seahorse or even the cot. It seems that this defective unit’s primary objective is to prevent its parents from showering, sleeping or eating a hot meal ever again. In which case, I suppose it’s not defective, and is performing precisely to specifications.
In desperation, we turned to the internet in search of clues. After hours of research, we learned conclusively that we should follow a strict schedule, and follow our instincts. We must refuel the BOJ every time it cries, and strictly four-hourly. We should wake it for a scheduled feed, but never wake a sleeping baby. The BOJ should always sleep in a cot in its own room, and always nestled between us in bed, and always in a separate bed in our room (and sometimes in a hammock or carrier or carseat, as long as we vigilantly maintain eye contact for the duration of the sleep). If the BOJ cries, we should pick it up always, sometimes and never. Cuddling the BOJ all day will satisfy its basic need for closeness, and irreversibly damage it.
As helpful as this expert advice has been, we remain intensely tired and confused.
Despite all of this, you may be surprised to hear that I’m not requesting a refund or exchange. Lord knows I’m a little surprised myself, but we’ve grown inexplicably attached to this particular BBB, and couldn’t bear to part with it despite its countless problems. I suppose this is another of your sneaky sales tricks, but so be it. No, in lieu of exchange or return, I’d just be grateful if you could forward us a copy of the most recent instruction book for this particular model. Or at least tell us where to find the ‘mute’ button.
Thanks in advance,
Tired and Slightly Jaded New Mother
(It’s been a while since our first kid was born, and these shell-shocked days are now behind us. My little sister recently had her first baby, and I’ve watched her navigate the transition into mothering, painfully aware that no amount of advice could prepare her for the slightly delerious experience that is living with a newborn for the first time. She’s doing great, but it’s an adjustment! Don’t worry, new parents. Your baby is probably not broken. It gets easier. Or at least it becomes difficult in a less intense, less constant way, and you eventually get to sleep, eat and shower most days).