I have been looking for a white noise machine and there are a lot of options out there. I find myself in need of such a contraption because despite all of my best efforts to get the baby used to sleeping through noise and disruptions, he has gotten used to napping while the children are all gone during the week and then has a lot of trouble getting adequate rest on the weekend. I would love to be the kind of mother who would let things like this slide off her back, but the problem is that while I am trying to get the baby to sleep I make plans. I fantasize about all of the things that I am going to accomplish once the baby is down -- I will sweep the floors, I will fold laundry that will stay folded for more than a moment, I will clear the sink of dirty dishes, I will comb my hair, I may even brush my teeth! Oh, the possibilities! I quiver with excitement, yet sit patiently and enjoy the quiet nursing time. Okay, finally dozing off, get up carefully, lay baby down gently, cover with blanket, make it nice and cozy, tiptoe soundlessly across the room, close the door with a soft click. Whew! Made it out, scurry down the stairs, start on my list and -- oh, no! One of the children was acting like a child -- the horror! He is awake. He is standing in the crib wailing. All of my well-laid plans are dashed. And I am not happy. And I cannot have an entire Christmas break like this. I have similar problems in other areas of my life -- a fantasy life, as it were. I tried to learn how to knit a couple of years ago so that I could have busy hands during waiting times. My good friend graciously taught me a basic stitch and I was off. Three rows into it and I am Walter Mitty, envisioning all of the gorgeous blankets and scarves that I create for all of my friends and family. "Oh Mary," they gush, "these are so beautiful, warm, and soft! You shouldn't have!" Well, I didn't. The long, warped, mess that I created could hardly be considered a gift for anyone. Then I thought I would try my hand at writing songs. As I drove around town I would think of little melodies and words, but of course before anything worthwhile came out of my brain, I had already decided what I would wear for my album cover! I took a drawing class and I could just see my studio with canvases lined up along the wall, me covered with paint and filled with enthusiasm as I bring my latest masterpiece to life and I am happy! Finding a new outfit -- ta, pukkuta, pukkuta -- won't that look lovely and won't I be happy? Shopping for dinner -- I could make a gourmet feast and won't I be happy. Every time I go jogging -- ta, pukkuta, pukkuta -- thirty pounds lighter and won't I be happy! Sending a birth announcement, writing a Christmas letter, starting a blog... I could go on and on -- oops, too late, already did. So should I get the noise machine that is also a clock? This is not merely for my benefit. He is only eight months old and needs sleep for pity's sake!