Over the last 3 years, I have come to hate the sound of silence. No, not the song, I am talking about the silence when I am with my kids. Normally, I long for peace and quiet in the house. However, raising a 3 year-old has taught me that if I hear silence one of two things is currently happening:
- My son is sleeping, or
- My son is up to no good
Just the other day, I was upstairs feeding my daughter a bottle after I picked the kids up from daycare. My wife wasn’t home from work yet and my son said he wanted to go downstairs. Normally, this isn’t an issue. He will usually play with some of his toys while I am taking care of his sister. From upstairs, I can hear him building with his magnetic tiles or playing with his firetruck and pressing all the different buttons.
On this particular day, my daughter was more chewing on her bottle rather than drinking from the bottle due to teething. As a result, what is usually a 10 minute feeding turned into a half hour feeding. Towards the end of feeding my daughter, I realized that I could not hear my son playing, which always makes me a little nervous.
Some previous periods of silence have resulted in:
- Cut-up computer cord
- Cut-up bib for his sister
- 10 peeled bananas – in one sitting – thrown away in the trash because “they were broken”
- Crayon drawings on the wall
- Playing in the front yard, unsupervised, during winter, with no coat. Or shoes.
- Screws removed from a stairway banister, step stool, and light socket
- Styling his own hair
I know what you are thinking; why are we leaving scissors and screwdrivers around for a 3 year-old to play with? Trust me, we aren’t. He just has a knack for finding a way to get things we thought were hidden in a very short amount of time.
My spidey sense was right
Once I was done feeding my daughter and laying her down for a nap, I went downstairs and saw this.
He dug into some left over cake we had from our daughter’s birthday. My wife had placed this cake in the refrigerator as dessert for us that night. She made certain that there was enough cake to cut 3 pieces, one for my son, one for my wife, and one for me.
I asked my son why he did this and he replied, “because I was hungry.”
In order for my son to get this cake, he had to get the folding step stool out, place it under the upper cabinet where we keep the ceramic (breakable) plates, climb up the stool, open the door, and grab a plate and somehow climb back down unharmed. Then, he needed to go to the drawer and get a fork. And, let’s not forget, he needed to grab the the rest of the cake out of the refrigerator. Surprisingly, nothing was broken; however, he had chocolate all over his face and hands, and was complaining that his stomach hurt.
Angry and smiling at the same time
My son has this amazing ability to make me both angry and smile and at the same time.
I was upset because I was looking forward to having some of that cake that night. I was also upset that he grabbed food without asking and could’ve potentially hurt himself getting the plate and silverware or choked on the cake when I wasn’t around.
On the flipside, I had to smile and take a picture to show my wife when she got home. He is a 3 year-old little man who is becoming more independent everyday and wasn’t trying to defy me but rather just get a snack because he was hungry.
So, what has happened during the sound of silence at your house? What have the kids in your life done when they thought no one was looking?