the price of peace

04 March 2015

There are so many things, both good and bad, that have surprised me about parenthood (the astounding amount of food a three year old boy can consume in one sitting, the astounding number of times a two year old boy will sit through consecutive and dramatic readings of Prince of the Potty and still ask for MORE consecutive and dramatic readings of Prince of the Potty , and how entertaining and conniving and hilarious and exasperating and sweet kids can be over the course of four little minutes and MORE), but one that has sort of slowly crescendoed and snuck up on me has been the near constant level of noise in the house. Happy noise! Unhappy noise! All sorts of noise but ... noise. So the other evening when Simon was working overnight and I had just come upstairs from quickly switching the laundry, all the kids were awake, and I heard .... NO noise ... I paused. Yes, I stopped to enjoy the sweet sound of nothing for two glorious seconds because ...

... while it's a wonderful break from the usual chaos - experience tells me that there is a 100% chance that someone is up to absolutely no good. 

I went in search of my charges and found that someone had opened the door to the upstairs for lady P ...

... so that she might make her maiden voyage and inevitable maiden tumble down said stairs. Luckily, she was stuck on the second stair struck with a newfound fear of heights so I scooped Humpty up and kept searching. 

Next we found Theo who was happily digging for nose gold with one hand and rummaging through my shoes with the other. Boring and harmless. 

And then we came upon Sebastian ... in the bathroom. 

And before you start judging me for leaving the bathroom open please know that it's always locked from the outside VERY high above his reach ...


... but Sebastian Patton does not care.

Anyway, when I asked him what he was doing and he gave his requisite, "any-sing! not any-sing!" I was pleasantly surprised to only find some of his more amateur work ...


... accompanied by a skating rink of Vaseline on the floor but ... he must've been in a lazy mood because it could've been so much worse.

We moved on and I was relieved to find Julia upstairs combing through and organizing her hoards of trinkets she's collected from around the house.  Fast forward several hours and one coronary to realize that one of said trinkets was my wedding ring she'd thrown in mix for kicks but ... another story for not another time. A happy ending was all that matters here. 

So! The moral of the post is that I'd better think twice next time I want to do a two minute chore on another floor.

I'm sure you can one or two or even three-up me. Remember the flour YouTube? You can do better.

Hit me with your silent stories.

35 comments:

  1. When the silence fell upon my house, the 6yo was quietly playing with his LEGOs (fine). The 2yo and 1yo demolished the safety devices on both my bedroom door and the bathroom door and had somehow opened a fresh box of Q-Tips and dumped about half of them in the toilet along with the toilet paper. And the 2yo had slathered herself and the 1yo with desitin, and Vicks vapor rub and they were both sitting on the floor eating their own tubes of toothpaste. That's what I get for going to the bathroom in the other bathroom for 2 glorious minutes alone.

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    1. NOO.

      Vicks is the WORST. If it didn't work so well on socked feet for coughs - I would permanently ban it from our house :)

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  2. My little 2 were being quiet earlier, I had that indecisive moment where I wanted to enjoy the peace and I also didn't want to deal with whatever they were up too. Found my son jumping off the dresser onto the bed. With my 1 1/2 year old clapping for him.

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  3. Lately, when Forrest is doing something naughty, he shouts, "Don't come in here!!! Nothing's happening!!" It's actually pretty handy, I hope he doesn't realize it's a dead giveaway that he's being awful.

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  4. Scissors and my notebook with all my etsy details. The four year old. Glue stick and pennies and fingers stuck together. The two year old. Ate a crayon and half my unplugged phone charger. The baby. I just went three steps away to the toilet. Because I was bold enough to want to go in peace.

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  5. My nephew dumped out an entire bag of pancake mix (like, from Costco) and took a jar of peanut butter to it and made a huuuuuge mess over my sister's carpet. Oh it was so bad. Silence is not golden at all with toddlers around. Terrified of my future, for sure.

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  6. My girl is only six months and not crawling so I thought I could go to the bathroom alone. Left her a good five feet away from the coffee table, only to return a minute later to her silently laying with nail clippers in her mouth, pen marks on her face (where was the pen?! No clue...) and her daddy's bible opened to the gospel of John and drool all over it. Of course.

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  7. We have an old house. Plaster walls. A previously thrown toy in a moment of extreme displeasure had left a dent. The silence gave us the dent turned giant hole in the wall as someone aged 2 sat and picked away at it. And we still haven't patched it but there is a heavy chest in front of it lest he get any more archaeological ideas.

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  8. Eh, my 4 year old has actually been pretty good. Mainly because, she is very clingy and doesn't stray from my side very often. But the worse she has been when she took scissors to her barbie's hair. At least it wasn't her own hair though. I can already tell the 9 month old is gonna be a whole new ballgame. She's amready into everything all the time!

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  9. I asked for silence for Mother's Day once, so I totally remember the noise. My kids are 15,13 and 11 now, and while they're still noisy at times, I promise it's not as bad. Well, not as loud...

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  10. haha, my brother's girlfriend nannies those flour-dumping kids.

    Sometimes I realize it's too quiet, then try to decide if I don't check on them, maybe I won't know that they were in trouble? It usually doesn't work, but it's a nice minute or ten of quiet. Luckily, Grace and her big mouth come in handy when it comes to tattling on naughty Sophie... but of course that doesn't work when she's at school or complicit.

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  11. We've had flour, salt, peppercorns, bacon, soap, sunscreen, toothpaste, nail polish (nooooooo), mascara... All art mediums as far as my kids are concerned. I dread The Silence.

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  12. My two year old is lovingly called a honey badger around our house. She gets into everything and isn't deterred by child safety locks, cribs, baby gates, anything. She is making my hair go grey for sure. I am pregnant with #3 and I am hoping he/she is more like my son. He was such a good toddler.

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  13. Within the same week last summer, my then 1 1/2 year old destroyed almost a whole tub of (fairly expensive) diaper cream by rubbing it all over himself, his sister's changing table and pack-n-play; along with his brother got covered head to toe in a ton of mud while playing in the garden, effectively destroying the cucumbers and several of the tomato and green pepper plants; had a bit of an experience with a certain bodily fluid that ended up all over his room.

    But those blissful moments of silence are golden!

    On a side note, I love Sebastian's 'any-sing!'. Drew is in the 'nuf-fing' stage while holding his hands behind his back, even if he is innocent.

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  14. Mine is 13 months and fairly well contained in the living room (the rest of the house is in makeover stage, so we gated him into the carpeted safe space), so I don't have many good "silence" stories. Once, I found him balancing on one foot on an empty diaper wipes box to get a toy on hte other side of the coffee table (he could have gone around...?); he tries to climb bookshelves and gates and everything he can, and probably the best "silence" was when my husband was watching him. He left our son alone for about two minutes to ask me a question, and came back to this: https://instagram.com/p/xAeLItK9kp/?modal=true
    I can imagine as he gets older, the silence will get more and more terrifying.
    Also, Sebastian's "Not anysing!" is freaking adorable.
    xo
    Kristina
    www.eccentricowl.com

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    1. (For reference, he's eating butternut squash that I'd left alone for a minute)

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  15. Oooooooooh yes. The silence. The "happy verses terrified" moment. Mainly I spend it wondering to myself, "But what do I THINK they are doing? Now, is the misery of cleaning it up greater than the joy of staying locked in my room another 10 minutes?"

    I mean, what. I did not say that. I'm a good mom...

    Ha.

    Worst one over here so far has been chocolate syrup in my husband's work shoes (GAHHHHHH). Close second was the time I had to call poison control because of a toddler chewing on my mascara wand. But, no (major) harm, no (major) foul on that one.

    Crappy Pictures has a bunch of blog posts on this: http://crappypictures.com/category/while-mama-was-in-the-bathroom/ (you have to click through to see them all, only two show up per page for some reason). Chocolate flavored coffee, sharpies...she's got the gamut!

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  16. Vaseline. Eggs. Mascara. Bronzer. Broken snowglobes. Body in water on washing machine trips. I always enjoy the silence too long! Hard to make the pro-life argument at times fo sho!

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  17. Listening to the one-year-old happily fling books from our bookshelf one minute...and then the thumping stops. I don't realize for maybe 60 more seconds, by which time she's climbed up the bookshelf (not anchored yet because I'm a stellar parent) and is trying to vault into a nearby chair. She's going to be a great gymnast, and I'll be the entirely grey-haired mom in the stands.

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  18. I was visiting my mom's house and making the kids grilled cheese while my then 3 yr. old daughter sat at the counter watching while innocently playing with a bowl of oranges. She was being good and quiet, which led me to discover her hiding my mom's medicine pill box behind the oranges, where she had dumped all the said contents onto the counter!! And then she admitted to eating one!! Good Lord, hubby and I quickly called mom and started sorting the pills back into the Monday thru Friday boxes to discover what, exactly, she took. Thank God it wasn't the heart medicine...all were accounted for except for one thyroid med which poison control said would only make her hyper for a couple hours. Crisis averted (and mom doesn't keep the pill box on the counter anymore).

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  19. My son was two years old and we were staying at Nanas house and it was nap time, so in that sense silence was both expected, and happily ignored. Alas, when we opened the door after nap time, he was on a bed COVERED IN NEEDLES AND STICK PINS FROM HER SEWING CABINET. Next to the air mattress? A rotary cloth cutter, and two pairs of wickedly sharp scissors. My MIL or Nana, helpfully pointed out, "Wow he could have severed a finger without any effort, that rotary cutter is SHARP. I didn't think he would go through my sewing stuff. (Which was in a desk, at his level, filled with colorful items and UNLOCKED. I can't even. Both my son and the air mattress survived but I think I picked off about 100 needles. This was after our middle son fell in their damn pond earlier that day (It's 6 inches deep but still...) We started calling it Nana's House of Horrors after that, which I know she doesn't like but oh well!!

    Next one! My middle guy comes running up to me after "rest time" and says his neck is a little sore. I look and there is an AWFUL line on there, What happened?! I gasp! He responds "I was swinging with the window rope around my neck but it hurt so we had to stop." SO YEAH WE DONT NAP ANYMORE! Like who even cares about sleep, I'll take my kids alive! (it was the only room I hadn't removed the damn window blind cords. I still get horrible chills when I think about it.

    Thank you Lord in heaven for watching over my children, because if they are meant to be sleeping they are attempting to kill themselves.

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  20. Ha! The silence is the worst, unless you know they are all sound asleep. I did something just stupid this morning by asking the kids to please grab their coats from the closet while I run upstairs to get their clothes (running late for preschool) When I cam back down they had emptied the entire entryway closet of every last item. Happily standing in empty baskets with beanies on their heads. I was thinking, why did I even ask them to do that? Haha!

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  21. Oil (one time OVOO and another time vegetable) on kitchen floor. LOTS of it. And all over baby. How do you clean floor and baby while dog is lapping up oil and 3 year old is whining? It was fun. Twice.

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  22. Well, there was the time the 5 and 3 y-o were playing so quietly in the basement and then the 3 y-o came up naked and dripping and I asked what was going on and he said his clothes got wet downstairs. So down I go and the 5 y-o proudly announces, "We're doing science! We're making a swimming pool!" Said swimming pool was being made by dumping water all over the floor in an attempt to fill it up to swim in.
    Or the nap time when my then 2 y-o daughter covered herself in glue stick, which she explained was sunscreen so we could go to the park after nap time and then she got all freaked out when her fingers and limbs were sticking together. Or the other nap time where she got into actual sunscreen and covered herself and her little brother in it. She really glooped it on and I felt awfully bad for my son since she slathered his face and it got in his eyes and really stung.

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  23. Sharpie. All over the hardwood floors in Grandma and Grandpas dining room. My dad was supposedly watching our daughter, who was 1 1/2 at the time. He said "she was being so good and quiet". My response: "the words "good" and "quiet" never go in the same sentence!"

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  24. My oldest son never did anything that I can remember. My middle one pulled a large tub of Vaseline off my dresser while I was vacuuming the stairs and I found him with it in the middle of our bed. Grease ALLLL over. Thankfully, because I am slovenly, the bed was not yet made, so it just got all over him and the sheets, both washable and the grease stains don't matter on the sheets (as long as I actually make the bed so you can't see them).

    The youngest son is only two months old, so I know there will be more of these moments coming. . .

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  25. Recently my 4yo and 2yo got into the *ahem* lubrication that was in my nightstand by the bed. Then they proceeded to lubricate each other and a few toys for goods measure. As Grace might say, "88% of the time" my 4yo plays very well independently. She is usually quiet during those better times. So I never truly know if the silence is innocent.

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  26. these are all so funny!! now that I have a couple kids who are entering teenage years, there are more eyes, so fewer stories, but...
    I remember 2 children with faces 100% colored with green marker. Also, a 5 year old who decided to change her 2-year-old brother's extremely poopy diaper on a brand new, light blue bed spread, and, just last week, a 2-year-old who decided to repeatedly dunk his stuffed animal in the toilet then fling/spray the water all over the walls/floor/self just as we were trying to get out the door...

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  27. I only have one little, so at this stage I'm pretty much a helicopter parent. She doesn't generally get time to do anything too toddler-y. HOWEVER, if I do happen leave her in the living room watching a cartoon, and dare to go to the kitchen for 3.6 seconds, you'd better believe all the remote's buttons have been pushed and she's somehow reprogrammed the TV... every time. You'd think I'd learn. But no.

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  28. When my now 16-year old was about 3 or 4, he had his best friend over the play - a little girl who live across the street. They are 3 weeks apart in age and were inseparable when they were little. They were in our play room and it had been too quiet for a good bit - rookie Mom mistake in letting it go on too long. I suddenly heard water running in the bathroom, and as I yelled upstairs "what are you doing?", I got the dreaded, panicked response of "NOTHING!". I raced upstairs to find them both covered in multi-colored finger paint. It was EVERYWHERE! All over the playroom (which they had lovingly painted). All over the carpet in said playroom (also lovingly painted). And a trail from the playroom, through a bedroom, and into the bathroom. All over the sink and floor and all over them and their clothes. I stripped them both and popped them in the tub, while calling my friend (mother of the girl) and screaming "get over here now"! They still remember this - and as all mothers of boys know (although the girl was a willing participant), it was totally my son's idea! The carpet remained stained a lovely shade of orange splotch until this past summer when we replaced the upstairs carpet.

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  29. Simon needs to find you a beautiful and matching necklace to put your wedding ring on and hang around your neck for when you're pregnant. ;-) *hint, hint* Simon.

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    1. haha. luckily I've never swelled enough to ditch my rings (although I bet this will be the pregnancy!!) - I just took it off one night and left it out at Julia's height. Dumb!!!

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  30. Yesterday I turned to inspect "the silence" to discover my 2.8yo coloring blue and red chalk (yes, chalk) on our used-to-be-white carpet. No amount of scrubbing could fully remove the evidence. Also, being nine months pregnant, I kinda don't care haha.

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  31. About a month ago, my 1 1/2 year old son and I were visiting our friend Ruthie who has three children, two boys 3 and 2 respectively. My son was in their playroom for a while completely quiet, and when I went to check on him, because silence is bad 80% of the time in our life, found that he had locked the playroom door from the inside, and was there alone. There was no known key to the room, could not pick the lock, card the lock, or remove the hinges. The ground floor windows were locked, and we couldn't breakdown the door because he was standing behind it and wouldn't move. Finally, her husband realized the smaller windows that required a ladder to reach from the outside were unlocked, but he was too big to fit through. He ended up taking their 3 year old son up the ladder, putting him through the window and coaching him on how to unlock the door. Lesson learned about door locks and toddlers.

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