I am one of those people who would prefer silence over a TV on in the background.  Silence is beautiful and allows my brain to completely relax.  I realized a long time ago I am much more sensitive to bright lights and sounds than most – I am easily distracted, lose my focus and become irritated.  I sleep with earplugs and an eye mask to attain a restful night’s sleep.  Bryan will attest that one of the most common phrases out of my mouth at home is “Babe, can you turn that down?”  (It doesn’t help he is borderline deaf from blasting music as a full-time career.)

I am learning, with Lyla, that silence is not always a good thing.

As she continues to explore, she is also learning the difference between right and wrong.  14 months is an age rich with pushing limits, expressing free will and dumping entire boxes of tampons in the toilet for fun.

When she isn’t up my butt wanting hugs or complaining about not getting enough attention, she roams freely around our house sifting through her toys and books, running down the hall and back or emptying the entire tupperware cabinet on the floor.

Yes, she’s reading a book.  I can finally prep dinner in peace.  Halleluiah.  Suddenly, as I’m cutting tomatoes, I notice my mind drifting into that relaxed state…

Silence.

Hmm…

I used to enjoy these rare snippets of peace, but experience has taught us both that silence means you need to locate Lyla and FAST… because your entire jewelry box contents or antiperspirant may be in the process of getting flushed down the toilet.

Her brilliant little brain knows exactly when she is doing something we probably wouldn’t appreciate.  She will pluck my wallet from my purse, carry it into her room and quietly empty the contents around her room.  (She is just learning how to unzip the coin section… lovely.)   She takes her bottle/sippy of milk, sits juuuuuust out of Mommy-view and silently holds it upside down inside a toy container or stacking box until half of it is empty.  The worst yet is her fascination with trash – toilet paper rolls, tissues, floss, dirty q-tips and even cardboard tampon dispensers.  “Ucky, ucky, ucky!”, as I say scrubbing her hands with soap and water.  She plays with the water and smiles happily.

Now you can understand why we sprint any time a 10-20 second time period goes by and we haven’t heard her sweetly babbling or chucking Tupperware.  …And why I empty the trash on a more-than-regular basis.

I used to think that parents who put their children on leashes or gated them in a room at home were horrible people.  Now, I view them in an empathetic light… and almost admire them for having the balls and ingenuity to do so.

As we venture into this new “phase” of parenthood, I have recently become a huge fan of Jason Good, father of 2, and his comical writings:  jasongood.net.  This particular entry had me peeing my pants:  Self-help Advice from a 2 year old… OH, and this one:  Parenting as Suicide Watch.

The adventure continues and life gets richer each day for Bryan and I, as we laugh and enjoy this sweet little explorer we’ve created.  I wouldn’t trade those moments for all the money in the world.