Having a Toddler and the Art of SilenceCody
Silence has been one of the main focuses at my house for the past 1 year, 11 months, and 2 weeks. We’ve all become professionals at being quiet at certain times of the day–all of us except Addie.
Having a baby and then a toddler in the house means soft footsteps and quiet doors. Without soft footsteps and quiet doors our baby/toddler doesn’t nap and doesn’t go to bed at a decent time. When that baby/toddler doesn’t take a nap and doesn’t go to bed at a decent time, she becomes a rolling, crawling, walking pile of grump.
Vivi’s room is located at the top of our stairs and Addie’s room is located right next to it. The master bedroom is located in the other direction past our loft and past our laundry room. That means I’ve had to memorize a different pattern of steps in each direction depending on which way I want to go in the house.
I know to put my feet on the outer edges of the stairs as I go up, and then I step 1 foot and 6 inches straight forward with my right foot followed by a 2 foot 7 inch step at a 45 degree angle with my left foot. Hitting those spots and only those spots means there will be no creaks in the floor and there will be no Vivi screaming, “daddy, daddy, daddy.”
I’ve memorized spots on the floor when coming from all directions while I’m upstairs. I also know that I can’t flush the toilet after a certain time of the night (I know, it’s gross and I hate that it has had to get to that point) and I know that I can only turn the water on to a certain level when brushing my teeth. You see, the pipes, they’re just a bit too loud for Vivi. That kid has the ears of a wild wolf listening for its prey.
The knob on the door in our bathroom has to be twisted before the door is shut and then the knob must be released little by little so no noise is made. Otherwise? I’ll soon hear, “daddy, daddy, daddy.” I’m not joking, that kid calls me like I’m the damn cat.
Regardless of how careful I am in the evening, in the night, and then in the morning, Addie’s going to go about her business as if, well, as if she doesn’t have to take care of a kid that doesn’t get a full night’s rest.
Every morning I wake Addie up for school and I tell her to get dressed as quietly as possible, and every morning I hear her slam her bathroom door, turn on the noisy bathroom fan for no reason at all, and then clomp around in her room until she finally gets herself dressed for school. Sometimes I can hear her clomping around in her room while I’m outside taking the garbage out for the week.
And every time I hear Addie clomping around in her room and slamming doors as if there isn’t a pile of grumpy toddler in the room next to hers, I remember there will be a time when I’m the grandparent and Addie is the mom and I’ll get to have a chance at some clomping payback.
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