October 15, 2008

Silent Night

Swee’Pea and TheMonk come from a long line of talkers.

Looking at my side of the family I can’t think of one person who would be the shy, quiet kid.  Needless to say, family reunions are pretty loud.

So it should be no surprise that our kids can be… a bit on the chatty side.  Quiet moments in our household last exactly 1.2 seconds.  The exact amount of time it takes to swallow food.  Then, with nothing preventing them from spewing forth on every topic imaginable, they unleash words at a dizzying pace.  From the moment TheMonk wakes up and calls across to Swee’Pea in her crib, “Swee’Pea! Wake up! Listen to me!” the talking runs right up until they fall asleep at night.  And this has become our problem as of late.

You see, lately they have been blabbering away deep into the night.  Sometimes they go as long as two hours of constant chattering back and forth.  Giggles often follow the chattering followed by 1.2 seconds of silence only to have it start all over again.

In an effort to control the blabber mouths we started outlining repercussions.  We started by pledging to take away stories at the next night’s story time (which is usually quite effective).  Unfortunately, we are old and senile and cannot remember 22 hours later what was threatened the night before and, inevitably, we’d forget about taking away stories.

A few nights ago I decided a new punishment.  If they didn’t go straight to sleep, they wouldn’t be able to watch Lazy Town the next morning.  (This show has been their favorite lately and they will stare blankly at the screen with drool running down their mouths for 30 minutes each morning.  Score!) The first night, they laughed at my authority.  TheMonk continued to blabber deep into the night, mocking my punishment as the empty threat he knew it was.

But he changed his tune when I stuck to my guns.  They were totally bummed the next morning when they were not allowed to turn on the TV after breakfast.  Swee’Pea even tried to disassociate herself from her troublemaking brother, exclaiming in an innocent voice, “I didn’t talk last night, Daddy. I was trying to sleep while TheMonk was talking.”  (To her credit, TheMonk DID do most of the talking but she wasn’t exactly an innocent bystander either.)

The second night, as we’re putting them to bed, I reminded them of the rules.  If they talk, they can’t watch Lazy Town and we didn’t want to go another day without watching Lazy town, right?!  They agreed to go to sleep.  TheMonk, especially, vows to go right to sleep without any talking.  He promises that he will comply with my request by doing absolutely no talking.  None whatsoever.

As I closed the door behind them, I listened for the inevitable talking.  I walked down the hall and turned up the baby monitor to listen.  And I heard nothing but silence.  I smiled and thought about how once again I had conquered this parenting thing.  This is frickin’ EASY!  I laugh at all of you parents out there who talk about how hard it is to control your children! I AM DA MAN!

But then, as I walked away, I heard a noise from the monitor.  What was that noise? It wasn’t talking but I couldn’t quite make it out.  I stood by and continued to listen.

“Haaaaawwwwww……….. Shooooooooooo….. Haaaaaawwww……… Shoooooooooo”

And then I got it.  TheMonk was pretending to snore.

I laughed out loud and realized that TheMonk was being true to his word.  He was definitely NOT talking.

Maybe this parenting thing is harder than I thought.


  1. matthew, that is hysterical! that are little smarties aren’t they.

    Comment by archana mama of twins — October 15, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

  2. Aww! So cute! Your kids are older than mine and it is great to get a sneak peek at what is yet to come.

    Comment by Sandi — October 16, 2008 @ 12:11 am

  3. That’s pretty funny. Hey, as long as they stay in their room you’ve got half the battle won.

    Comment by Ed (zoesdad) — October 16, 2008 @ 4:22 am

  4. Seriously? It only gets WORSE!

    Run, run now, run fast and don’t look behind you!

    Comment by Anissa@Hope4peyton — October 16, 2008 @ 7:10 am

  5. CLASSIC!!! You’ve got to give them credit where credit is due, those two are super smart! Aren’t you totally dreading the teenage years?! I know I am!

    Hugs & Blessings!

    Comment by MamaChanga — October 16, 2008 @ 8:30 am

  6. Once again Monk proves how clever he is. Great story!

    Comment by Dawn — October 16, 2008 @ 9:58 am

  7. Didn’t you teach them sign language? You are one BIG MEANIE!

    Comment by Grandmother — October 16, 2008 @ 9:59 am

  8. We finally separated our boys. Now, they tap on the walls to each other at bedtime and make themselves laugh.

    Just when you think you are a step ahead….

    Comment by Laurie — October 16, 2008 @ 11:26 am

  9. I tremble for you when you do move them to the toddler beds this weekend (it is this weekend, isn’t it? We should send you coffee to keep up with them).

    Comment by Deanna — October 16, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  10. That is hystarical. I love that he was fake snoring. I hope he got a pass for that, because it’s technically following the rules.

    Mine sleep in the same room and most nights the same bed. I can hear them whispering, you go to sleep, no you go to sleep first every night. But they are generally done in a few minutes and they both fall asleep.

    Comment by Issa — October 16, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  11. My wife and I are currently fighting this fight. My step-son is four and has not started talking yet so it is difficult to figure out exactly what is keeping him up. Last night he laid in bed and giggled like a stoner for almost 2 hours. Belly laughing all alone and in the dark. Finally sleeping a few hours, and then coming into our room and just kind of paced around. Last night was the first time I tried the no TV in the morning repercussion for this night time independence (or is it defiance?). I have my fingers crossed that this will have purchased my wife and I a little more sound sleep. love your blog! All the luck with the chatter.

    Comment by Ryan Marshall — October 17, 2008 @ 9:25 am

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