Silence is Golden… and Usually Means Trouble..
For anyone who has survived parenting up to and beyond toddler hood, you know exactly what I mean by this. We don’t have to have eyes in the back of our heads(well, that brings memories of me telling my oldest that I did have eyes in the back of my head and for about 6 months afterward, he was trying constantly to lift my hair up to see if I did) to know that when a child is “too quiet” it usually means they are doing something they shouldn’t be. I’m quite aware I have many stories that fall just under this very line (though certainly, I cannot relate all of them to you since that might make my fabulous parenting look.. well.. not so fabulous…) I figure this is a sort of public service announcement out there to all the parents whose children are not capable yet of shutting themselves in their rooms and “playing” quietly for a time period of ten minutes. To those parents whose greatest focus right now is getting their baby to crawl and not fishing an entire toilet paper roll out of the toilet. This is hoping you will learn just a little…
My youngest, Jadyn (the two year old) has always had an obsession with baby powder (or be-ba as he calls it.) When I say obsession, I truly mean it. Not a single diaper change can occur without him wanting it in his diaper (so much so that one time we forgot it when we went to Disneyland and had to buy a way too expensive bottle just to avoid the future catastrophic meltdowns which occurred when we *gasp * changed him without be-ba on hand!) And once he gets his fix of baby powder, his content is expressed with an “ahhhh” exclamation and a smile. I’m hoping by the time he’s old enough to have a girlfriend, this obsession will have subsided.
The other day, his fixation with be-ba went outside of the realms of using it for a diaper change. I had placed him in his room because, well, he was being two and anything I said to him was met with a falling-down-on-the-floor, mom-you-are-a-horrible-person-for-telling-me-no tantrum. I asked him to take a little break in his room and play with the train track he had insisted I build for him. He whined for a few moments but then I heard him start to play with the trains and figured the world was copacetic once again.
Now I should say that there was a point, while I was busy with the other children in my care, that I did stop and think “Jadyn is playing really quietly back there.. I should probably check on him.” But then the thought vanished as a bottle needed fixing, a diaper needed changing and my sanity needed checking.
It wasn’t until he came out of his room and my mom, who was visiting, asked him if he wanted to go in the car with her. He instantly shook his head, said “no thank you” and ran back to his room. Now, this sent up immediate red flags because this child never says no to an outing. My mom followed him to his room and instantly declared “No, Jadyn! Oh, Jadyn! That’s not for you to play with!”
Wondering what he could’ve possibly gotten into in his own room, I poked my head around the corner to find that he had found a new use for his baby powder; as “dirt” for dumping out of his dump truck. While I might give him points for creativity and full use of the baby powder he had gotten in his christmas stocking (I told you he was obsessed), I might have to deduct points for the amount of cleanup which is required. I mean, once the room can be seen as the powder settles.
So the moral of this story.. if you think a child is too quiet you should probably make a bee line for the child because the quicker you get to them, the least amount of damage (most likely) will be done to your wall.. carpet.. toilet.. other sibling (whatever) that the toddler has gotten their hands on.