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.
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