Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Just Too Quiet

Every parent looks forward to when their children go to bed and there's "peace and quiet" restored to the house. This morning, I was abruptly woken at 5 a.m. by the sound of.....silence. Complete and deafening silence. No sound machines playing, no electrical whirs, no video monitors showing sleeping kids. Just complete darkness and silence. As it turns out, our entire neighborhood lost power, but in those first few seconds of total silence, there was panic. Panic that something was wrong or one of the kids had done something (this would not be a first time that one of my kids has pulled something in the middle of the night).

As parents, we love the sound of non-screaming kids, but when it gets too quiet you know there's more than likely the need to worry. I would rather hear a crash followed by screaming than a crash followed by silence. The later, happened last week. I heard a minor crash, more of a large thump and then total silence. I gave it a couple of minutes before I went to the door (mostly so I could take a few deep breaths before I entered the room). When I got to the door, the only thing I heard was Harrison whisper "how long do you think you can hold the shelf Max?" At that point I barreled through the door only to see my oldest standing on his dresser, holding his shelf that was high on the wall while Harrison (the very typical middle child) stood below him catching the items that were sliding off of the shelf. Max turned his head toward me and said "mom I falled my shelf." After I took the shelf from him and set it safely out of the way, I was described a story of an impressive ricochet effect from their basketball hoop to their shelf and Max happened to be standing in just the right place to catch the shelf. These are the kind of things that happen when there's silence.

The silence with kids is usually accompanied by something being broken, a huge, bigger than life mess, playing with one (or more) of your most valuable items, coloring or painting NOT on paper, hiding things you're sure to need the minute you can't find it. Every parent has their story, or stories, like this.

Several weeks ago, my three wonderful minis kept me up all night. My husband was kind enough to let me sleep (once I finally got to bed at 8 am), while he took care of breakfast and watching them. Two hours later I woke up to a silent house. Instant panic. I ran out of the room exclaiming "what happened???" Then I saw the note posted to the front door explaining that the four of them had gone to brunch and run an errand so I could sleep in the quiet house. Funny thing: the house was too quiet for me to even sleep! I'd start to drift back to sleep and then my eyes would shoot open.

There are many days I wish for ear plugs to drown out the constant screaming and continual noises that come with having kids, but apparently I have gotten use to the chaos. The chaos suddenly brings about it's own sense of peace and knowing where the kids are and what they're doing. So momma's, before you go crazy with your cooped up, crazy children, just keep in mind that noise is better than silence.

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