Cleveland rocks

Dear Ford,

Brilliant idea. And you’re 16 years late. You could have save me about 200 trips to Cleveland.



I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking a cat just walked over my keyboard and randomly typed a paragraph. Well, I don’t have a cat, so there.

Actually, when given context, it makes perfect sense (I think).

See, Ford has developed a prototype for a crib called the Max Motor Dreams that simulates a car ride. It looks like a regular bassinet. However, this bad boy plays car engine sounds and rocks in a manner akin to a moving car. Lights flash on and off to simulate streetlights being passed.

I think I speak for every parent who ever had to use a car as a sleep agent when I say, Ford, you must mass produce this and you must begin yesterday. Or, preferably 16 years ago.

When my daughter was a baby (guessing you can piece together that she’s now 16), her preferred method of going to sleep was never to go sleep.

For the first couple of years, my wife and I took turns trying to get her to sleep. This usually involved us walking the house at all hours of the night singing to her. If we so much as considered placing her in her crib, she would immediately become stiff as board and begin wailing a sound I am fairly certain is normally reserved for hyenas.

So we would walk. And dance. And sing. And walk. And sing. All. Night. Long.

But during the day, when it came time for naps, we had little success with the Mommy and Daddy Dance Party Remix. So we went to the old standby, a few laps around the neighborhood in the car. After a few blocks, she would fall fast asleep. Plenty of times, I remember pulling back in the driveway and thinking, “Hmm. She could wake up if I move her to her bed. Looks like it’s time to catch up on some NPR while I sit in my driveway for the next hour.”

This worked OK for the first few years. But then our daughter did what babies do and developed the ability to communicate with us. And, in particular, she developed the ability to ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.

Plenty of the questions were the standard ones: Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? Why can’t we put grass in the sky and make it green?

But one of her main line of questioning involved where we were going. Unfortunately, it’s not an acceptable answer to a curious three-year-old to reply, “Why do you care? You know like five places on the whole planet.”

So often times we would give her the answers. “Grandma’s” or “the store” or “the casino, of course.” But we knew quite well that our anti-sleep daughter was not going to be down with the answer of “We’re driving around so you’ll fall asleep and Mommy and Daddy can have one hour of peace and quiet and you won’t act like an angry cobra later this evening.”

So we went to Cleveland. Every time. “Daddy, where are we going?” “We’re going to Cleveland,” I’d say.

For some reason, she found Cleveland a perfectly fine destination, and eagerly got buckled in for yet another trip to the amazing place that is Cleveland.

Now, you may be wondering, why Cleveland? The answer is I threw a mental dart at the mental map in my head and that’s where it landed. We just had to go somewhere.

My days of tricking a kid into going to sleep are long behind me, but I still really wish I had such a thing as the Max Motor Dreams back in the day. It would have saved me countless of miles of roads traveled, and who knows how many hours of time. I could have put her in the crib and let the magic happen. Of course, the one downside is that she never would have gotten to go to Cleveland so many times.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.


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