I assume many people (especially those without children) think that a quiet and content child is a good thing. Quiet means the child is sleeping, reading a book or perhaps playing with a quiet, likely educational toy.
As parents of a very active almost 16 month old we learned oh-so-quickly that a quiet child is not a good thing. A very quiet child is a very bad thing. If you find yourself saying, “It’s really quiet. Where’s Eitan?” then you’ve already lost.
A quiet child only means one thing: trouble.
It never seems to amaze me just how much “trouble” Eitan seems to get in when he’s “quiet.” During these “quiet times” Eitan has managed to un-baby proof many of the places in our apartment that we tried so hard to prevent him from getting into. He pulled the television cables wires off the wall1 and opened closet doors to pull out everything he could reach, including shoes, toilet paper rolls, paper towels, clothes, bags and a broom and mop.
I sit here and wonder what you all are thinking, “Where is his mother when all of this is happening?” We try to give Eitan as much free reign of our apartment as we can since it’s not that large, but truth be told, our son is a force of nature. Emptying an entire side of a closet surprisingly only takes him a few minutes.
A few weeks ago he climbed into the shower and dumped out all of his bath toys. Yesterday he unraveled an entire roll of toilet paper and (of course) ripped it into tiny pieces all over the apartment. He also enjoys the toilet, which has been locked for a few months, after someone decided to try and give himself a bath inside.2 Oh, and there’s nothing like the sound of a toilet flushing to show you that when your son left the room, he did not go to get another toy or book to read, like you thought.
So basically we never had to buy Eitan any of his million toys, just put him in the bathroom, closet or any area of the apartment that we thought we babyproofed and he’s set for a few hours.
Needless to say, Aaron and I quickly learned that the bathroom door needs to stay closed during the day.3 We re-babyproofed in hopes of preventing any injuries or additional destruction to our apartment.
Not all of his “quiet times” are destructive or likely to cause injury. He learned to climb into his toy chest (which is so cute), opens and closes his crib drawer (not before pulling out all of the blankets and sheets – and sometimes getting into the drawer). He’s climbed onto his music table and attempted to climb on top of his kitchen. Many of these activities have been with me watching, making sure that he is safe and at the same time still having fun.
But yes, the moral of the story: if you don’t hear your child, be afraid. Very afraid. And then go quickly to see what he/she has gotten into.
1. Yes, the brackets holding them to the wall were nailed in.↩
2. Do you see a pattern? Eitan really likes the bathroom.↩
3. As you can tell, we forget to do this sometimes. Not to worry, Eitan always catches our mistakes.↩