Thursday, October 23

Listen! ... Do You Smell Something?

I said in a previous post that a constant low level of noise from Elijah is standard operating procedure. Now, since he is learning to talk, the same is true of Luke as well. Even when they are not "talking" their play involves grunts, screams, woo-woo siren noises (they both love fire trucks) or other verbalizations. Even when they are not making noise with their mouths they make noise by banging toy hammers, rolling cars on the floor, or knocking miscellaneous body parts against the furniture, walls, doorways, etc. I characterize a strange phenomenon, which arises from this constant noise, with the famous quote from King Kong. ...

It's quiet. ... Too quiet.

If I haven't heard any noise from the boys in the last 15 to 20 seconds, then chances are pretty good one, or both, are up to no good. They have a very powerful "whisper mode" which they engage whenever they conspire to break the rules.

It's not always both of them that are actively perpetrating the crime either. Sometimes, Luke will do something he is not supposed to do and Elijah will stand across the room watching Luke, not actively participating, but stock still. Elijah is never, at any other time, still; even in his sleep he thrashes around. Most of the time, however, when it's silent they are both: taking brushes and makeup out of the bathroom drawer, or playing with the toilet paper, or pulling all Luke's diapers out of the changing cabinet, or throwing toys out the window into the planters, or taking everything out of Dad's wallet, or unpacking a toy that is supposed to be a gift for one of their friends, or filching granola bars from the pantry, or smearing Desitin on each others faces, or ...

It is strange, the noise from them is so constant that no matter what I am doing any extended silent period instantly, almost subliminally, triggers the thought, "What are the boys doing?" and nine times out of ten they are doing something they know they are not supposed to do. The other night I was washing the dishes, and thinking about some issue from work. Suddenly, I realized the subliminal silence-timer had timed out. The boys had been too quiet for too long. After rinsing my hands, I went to the living room and found Luke "changing" the DVD in the player.

I wonder if/when they will figure out that, when Daddy is watching them, if they could just continue the steady stream of noise, most of their crimes would go unnoticed for much longer?

So often, when watching the boys, I just wish for some peace and quiet, but the instant the noise stops I get suspicious. It's quiet. ... Too quiet.