The effect was instant. Isla's eyes widened and she was spellbound, as if listening to the world's most beautiful symphony. Her crying stopped immediately, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I even patted myself on the back. What a clever mommy I was! Whenever my daughter got fussy I could console her with a flick of a switch! I was Wonder Mom, and my styling tool was my cape.
The dependable hair dryer took up permanent residence in our living room. It never failed to work its magic. My husband and I eventually developed a routine to comfort Isla: Pop in a pacifier, start the hair dryer on high, and after a few minutes, when her sobs began to subside, lower the setting. I even bought an app for my phone featuring a recording of a hair dryer that I could use when we were on the go. It was, hands down, the best $2.99 I ever spent. When friends came over, I turned on the hair dryer like it was a party trick, reveling in their admiration at my ingenuity. I might be having a difficult time breastfeeding, I thought smugly, but keeping Isla happy is a cinch.
I was hardly the first mom to learn that I could comfort my baby with white noise, but to me, it was the equivalent of discovering fire. In finding a fail-safe remedy for Isla's tears, I felt a seed of confidence in my parenting ability, a realization that I might actually be able to do this mothering thing after all.