I realized this morning that, off and on depending on the ages of our children, I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life saying, “Shhhhh….you might wake her/him”.
That’s a pretty long time to be worried about how waking one of the “little people” up is going to change our “quiet time” in the morning or evening.
We fear our children. We recognize their power.
This morning, our almost 4-year-old got up before the roosters were awake.
I get up at 5. Nate got up at 5:05.
Jenny got up with Nate… so we’re all up.
The two adults in the triumvirate of early morning fun didn’t even stand a chance this morning.
We didn’t even have a shot at saying, “Shhhhhh….you might wake…”.
We didn’t even have a shot.
The thing about parenting is that it really is a unifying thing. There are events and circumstances that all parents have in common. Somewhere, in some foreign land, at some time during the early morning or early evening hours, in whatever language has been chosen to serve that country’s needs, a parent is going to be saying, “shhhhh…quiet….you might wake the baby…”.
What bigger issue do we have than recognizing how waking a child up is going to screw up our quiet time?
( A short disclaimer: I love my kids. I have a blast with them. I enjoy the heck out of their company. And…I protect my wife’s and my quiet time by creeping around and being as quiet as I can so that I don’t wake them up prematurely. That’s just how I roll. Now two of our children are teenagers and I don’t have to worry about them waking up prematurely. They sleep and sleep in the morning….no creeping around them…it’s just the little one who we sneak around.)
Back to the “citizen of the world” thought. If we had to share babysitting duties with some of these countries that have decided they want to kill us (or vice versa)…and they had an opportunity to come home after a raucous hummus fest to find us with the kids asleep and they could ask us (through an interpreter) , “How’d it go? Were the kids good?”….well….I don’t see how we could continue to feel like killing each other.
We forget that most of the major things that parents do are exactly the same the world over.
Russians sneak. Chinese people sneak. Norwegians sneak. Iraqi people sneak. African people sneak. South American people sneak.
Parents are sneakers.
That’s something that should unite us. We should be banding together to figure out how to successfully “sneak” around these little guys. That should be our “common foe”…the premature waking up of a young family member.
I don’t know who to contact about this revelation. Maybe the UN? State Department?
Really, though, who am I kidding? Parents the world over are probably too tired and distracted to work very hard at getting along. They have too much on their plates dealing with their own families to worry about how to get along with mine.
But the “shared babysitting duties diplomacy” is a pretty practical way of getting us all on the page we’re really already on.
“Shhhhhh….you might wake someone….somewhere.”