Don’t Flush on my Parade

When your kids are little, you develop certain bizarre habits to make sure you don’t wake them when they are napping.  At first you unplug all the phones.  Then you start hanging signs outside your front door that say “don’t ring the bell under penalty of death.” Finally, you get to the point where if anyone raises their voice above a whisper, you would have no problem hitting them over the head with a two by four.

Yes, that is how serious the whole “don’t wake the baby thing” is.

At night, the potential for baby sleepus interuptus is much lower and the only thing you have to really worry about, save for a tree falling on the house, is the dreaded “middle of the night flush.”

Early on in our baby-raising years, we learned that middle of the night flushing is only for absolute emergencies and family members with a death wish.  Of course this can be a difficult thing to explain to an overnight guest who has to share a bathroom with the rest of the family.  When this happens, you are faced with the decision of warning them in advance or letting them figure it out when they have to go.  With advance warning, they are less likely to commit a flushing crime, but they still have to deal with the ick factor of that-which-has-not-been-flushed.  Conversely, if you give them the gift of a surprise discovery, they will still get grossed out AND feel compelled to flush your stuff and their stuff when they are done, AND, by doing so, will wake the baby.  The positive side to option #2 is that your guest is less likely to return again anytime soon for another overnight stay.

Not surprisingly, a lot of parents think it’s a bad idea to maintain absolute silence in the house when the baby is sleeping because, they argue, kids need to learn how to sleep through a little bit of noise.  I don’t disagree in theory. But when you are exhausted and desperate for your kid to sleep for a couple of hours, you realize you would willingly build an outhouse in your backyard and send the President of the United States outside to pee if he happened to stop by for a visit during naptime just to make sure he doesn’t wake your kid with a flush.

We never actually got to the point where we had to build an outhouse in our backyard. But then again, we didn’t really expect the President to visit us during naptime, either. The Secretary of State, maybe. But not the President.

Anyway, at some point, the kids do become better sleepers and the mere sound of a toilet flushing will cease to wake them during the night.

Which, coincidentally is about the same point when it will start waking you.

©2012, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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