Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why parents are afraid of the quiet

You've all heard parents telling a story about their little one say, "and then I realized it was too quiet." After you've heard a few of these stories, you know that this is always the indicator that their precious little darling has gotten into some sort of mischief. Well here is mine. This afternoon I have a card table set up in the dining room to write a paper, allowing me to write and simultaneously keep an eye on J as he plays and wanders around the house. He loves that he can walk a big circle from living room, to dining room, through the kitchen, and back into our living room, occasionally taking a detour to open and close the study door repeatedly or to stop by and watch a few minutes of the never-ending stream of PBS kids on our tv.
This is what he was doing this afternoon, and I settled in with my laptop and books to write. In the background, I his hollers and jabbering let me know where he was, and I began to follow a train of thought in my paper. As I finished typing that paragraph, I noticed... quiet.
I glanced up.
He wasn't in front of the tv.
I called his name.
No response.
My mind began to race.
I got up and tried to find him. an open gate on the staircase up to the bedrooms stops my heart. I called his name.
Then...from somewhere upstairs, a giggle.
I raced up the stairs to find him very happily playing on the floor of my room. My heart rate is finally slowing down and I'm grateful that he's ok, but I realize now, all parents of toddlers are a little bit afraid of the quiet.


  1. Oh heck yes. Last time it got that quiet, I found Kathryn had almost fully buried her legs with wood chips from the guinea pig cage!

    -Rachel Jacobs

  2. My mom tells of the "too quiet" when she found me (almost 5) trying to flush my brother (about 18 months) down the toilet.