Tuesday, September 2, 2008

note to self

Note to self: when four-year-old child is oddly quiet, take this as a sign that there is Trouble. Case(s) in point: Recently I stuck Leo in his crib and made sure Aidan was busily occupied with toys so I could grab a quick shower. Usually this results in exactly 1 minute 27 seconds of peace and quiet before the crying and yelling MAMA! (Leo) and door banging and yelling MOM!(Aidan) begins. On this day, no such yelling, no crying, no noise. When I got out, still no noise, and I thought to myself smugly, "Huh. They finally figured out how to entertain themselves peacefully while I shower." After throwing on some clothes, it was still oddly quiet, and therefore time to investigate. Leo was still in his crib, for sure - but just barely. He was precariously perched on the top of an enormous mound of toys, books, a chair, blankets, pillows, loveys, you name it - if it was formerly in A or L's room, it was now in the crib. Reaching through the bars of the crib with his "grabber" toy, Aidan shoved the toys down into the crib while Leo cackled joyfully. "We're playing trash compactor!!!!" Aidan announced with glee, both of them grinning with pride and delight in themselves.

Today, I had a so-called brilliant idea: Aidan could wash, rinse, and dry all of the play food in his kitchen set. What could go wrong? I thought. I'd keep him happy and occupied, and the toys would get clean, to boot. I set up a nice station of bubbles, rinsing water, a new sponge to use, and drying towels. After watching him for several minutes and seeing how very capable he was, I headed upstairs with Leo to put him down for his nap. Again - the odd silence when I emerged from Leo's room. Aidan had filled the kitchen sink beyond what it could hold, and while he thoughtfully removed his own shirt lest it get wet, he managed to soak every other thing around - himself; the counters; the floor; the rug; all of the towels in the kitchen; the cat.... (okay, not really the cat. But her fur would probably have been pretty absorbant!)

So heed the warning: silence is not really golden. More like toy-filled and soggy.