Amanda and Daniel couldn’t figure out why their baby boy wouldn’t sleep in his crib. When Daniel decided to check the crib, he found something completely unexpected in it: a pebble with the boy’s initials on it.
When Amanda got pregnant at 18, everyone told her to get rid of the baby because she was too young. Her mother, Rebecca, said that having the baby would ruin her life. But Amanda’s boyfriend, Daniel, promised to support her decision.
He was just 20 years old, but as soon as he found out Amanda was pregnant, he proposed to her with genuine happiness and excitement, and the two soon tied the knot. It certainly helped that the couple had the additional support of Daniel’s mother, Mrs. Hamilton.
“Don’t you worry, Amanda dear,” Mrs. Hamilton had said. “You, Daniel, and your little one can live with me for as long as you need. This house will be yours as much as it is mine.”Mrs. Hamilton’s was one of the proudest faces at the simple wedding ceremony of the couple, and she was the one holding her hand throughout the fears, worries, and pains of pregnancy.
And later, when they brought their baby boy home, it was Mrs. Hamilton’s idea to name him Billy. And the dutiful mother turned into a doting, pampering grandmother in no time.
Whether it was changing Billy’s diapers at 2 a.m. when the parents were too tired, or giving Amanda soothing head massages, Mrs. Hamilton always seemed to know exactly what her son and daughter-in-law needed. And she was more than willing to offer it.
“Amanda, why did you put this thing on Billy’s mattress?” Daniel asked his wife.
Amanda would’ve suffered without the presence of her mother-in-law. “This is so exhausting! Everybody talks great advice in those pregnancy books, but I have half the mind to sue every author and self-proclaimed expert right now.
“Everybody, including you, told me that the babies sleep through most of the day in their initial months,” Amanda sounded frustrated as she tried to rock Billy to stop his relentless crying and put him to sleep.”
“I don’t understand, dear. Babies really are supposed to sleep a lot during these months. It helps them grow. Daniel would. As a baby, Daniel was not like this, and I was a single mother,” Mrs. Hamilton explained.
“Let’s not rush to the doctor right away. Modern medicine isn’t necessarily the best always. Let’s try a couple of traditional home remedies to help Billy sleep.”
From then, it was a series of experiments with oils, balms, and essences. While Daniel and Amanda did not like it one bit, they felt obliged to let Mrs. Hamilton try things to her satisfaction.
But when nothing worked, Amanda stopped Mrs. Hamilton from running any new trials, and put her foot down. “That’s it. We should take him to the doctor now.”
The pediatrician couldn’t find any reason why Billy wasn’t sleeping. She told them that it might be a phase, and it happens with some babies. Mrs. Hamilton tried to get Billy, but he had gotten so used to sleeping in Amanda’s arms that it was difficult for him to find peace with anyone else.
Daniel was a supportive husband, but he worked two jobs and went to school full-time to become a better man for his family. Amanda was unemployed and had put off college until Billy was older. It was a tricky situation for everyone.
“Ok, I’m just going to let him cry himself to sleep. I’ve read online that some parents do that, and the baby gets used to it,” Amanda revealed to Daniel one evening.
Mrs. Hamilton tried to convince her it was a terrible idea. While Amanda tried to hold her composure again, Daniel stood by his wife’s opinion.
“It sounds like a good idea, mom. I mean, the doctor said he’s healthy. Maybe, he’s just picky, and we need to be stricter with him,” Daniel replied. They left the baby, but it was hard to sleep hearing him scream in the other room.
“Honey, I’m just going to sit with him. I feel so bad for you and your mother,” Amanda whispered as she got out of bed.
“Are you sure, Amanda? We had a plan,” Daniel replied softly.
“Yes. We’ll figure out another way later. You need to sleep, and your mother doesn’t deserve this noise at her age,” Amanda reasoned and went to the nursery. She found Mrs. Hamilton trying to soothe Billy, but he was still crying.
“I’m sorry, dear. Nothing I’m doing is working with him. He wants his momma,” Mrs. Hamilton consoled and gave her the baby. Amanda took Billy and sat down in the rocking chair, where she stayed the entire night.
The following day, Amanda was tired and sleep-deprived, but she wouldn’t let go of Billy because he had finally slept more than three hours in her arms. Daniel felt helpless and decided to check out the crib. They bought it from the store, but maybe the mattress was uncomfortable for their baby.
He combed the mattress with his fingers to look for any roughness. He pressed on it to see if it was too firm. But when he shook the tiny bed to inspect it, something fell out.
Daniel leaned down and noticed a pebble-like stone.
Having discovered the root cause, it was now time to catch the culprit.
“Amanda, why did you put this thing on Billy’s mattress?” Daniel asked his wife.
“What?” Amanda was surprised. “I’ve never seen that in my life. It was in his crib?” Amanda retorted from her position on the living room couch. Then Mrs. Hamilton approached them and saw the stone in Daniel’s hands.
“Oh, why did you take the stone away? I bought that just for Billy,” Mrs. Hamilton wondered.
“What? You put this in his crib?” Daniel questioned.
“Yeah. Why? Is there something wrong? I thought it would catch his dreams and let him sleep,” the older woman explained.
“When did you buy it? Did you just put it in his crib?” Daniel continued.
“No, I bought it the same day you bought that crib. It was there even before he was born. You never saw it?” Mrs. Hamilton inquired.
Amanda, who was usually more than grateful for having her mother-in-law around, was trying not to unleash her anger on the woman.
She tried to suppress it, but ultimately, Amanda blurted, “How could you just put something under the baby’s crib and forget about it? So many sleepless nights, over what? A stone?”
“Not just any stone, darling. You kids of today’s generation wouldn’t understand. This is a stone that–”
“I don’t care what the stone does. It may have had meaning for you. But for us, all it did was poke our baby and ruin our sleep. We usually don’t stop you from doing things that are clearly impractical and old-fashioned, but this — this was a whole other level. What a–”
“Shhh!” Daniel interrupted the argument between the women and pointed their attention toward Billy.
Billy was curled up like a little shrimp in the crib, his pinky toe sticking out of the blanket, while his tiny fingers were wrapped around the stone. Amanda almost cried at the sight of her baby sleeping peacefully. She also had a minute to re-think her argument with Mrs. Hamilton.
“Amanda, darling, I’m so sorry. Had I known that this was going to bring Billy discomfort, I would never have brought it home in a million years!” the older woman was in tears.
“That’s alright, Mrs. Hamilton. I’m sorry I lost my cool. You are usually so kind, and your heart was in the right place this time, too. Now, let’s sit back a few minutes and watch our little prince sleep peacefully!”
Amanda smiled because she was finally able to take a nap and a shower that day. Afterward, Billy could be held by anyone without too much fussing.
That was the end of the endless crying and sleepless nights; at least for a few months.
And even though Mrs. Hamilton and Amanda would rarely get into arguments, the older woman had decided that it was time to give her children their space.
The old house needed a redo anyway, so Mrs. Hamilton got it torn down and reconstructed into two smaller houses.
That way, Amanda and Daniel could live independently with Billy, and Mrs. Hamilton still got to watch the baby all the time.
In the new baby nursery, Amanda decided to keep Billy’s inscribed pebble by the window near the crib, because it was still a lovely gesture from his grandmother.
“Don’t worry, little guy. You’ll still be able to sleep, and this stone will chase away any bad dreams,” Amanda cooed happily.
What can we learn from this story?
- A loving family will always find a way to work through their differences. This is true especially when the well-being of a child is in question. Even though Amanda, Daniel, and Daniel’s mother had their differences of opinion, they always did what was best for Billy.
- Don’t put things on a baby’s crib without telling the parents. Mrs. Hamilton had good intentions, but Amanda was exhausted for months because the pebble didn’t let Billy sleep.