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Silence is never golden

If you have small kiddos, you know that silence is never a good thing.
Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager.
Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. [ Courtesy of Lynn Cristina ]
Published Oct. 31, 2019

As parents, we spend most of our days and nights desperately praying for peace and quiet. When it finally arrives, we are cautiously optimistic, because we know deep down in our gut the children are secretly trashing the house.

They are naughty little ninjas who are programmed to seek and destroy. If you have small kiddos, you know that silence is never a good thing. I briefly treasure the stillness — only to discover a huge disaster moments later.

Looking back, I should have learned this lesson a long time ago as a teenage babysitter. One night, my mom and her best friend Joetta went out to a fancy holiday gala. I was on duty to watch Joetta’s 2-year-old son. It was the ’90s, so I had a private phone line in my room. And of course, I got a call. I swear, I was only gone for a few minutes when I stepped away to answer it. I wasn’t too worried about the baby, because he was so quiet I thought he had fallen asleep.

Wrong! He tore open every single Christmas gift under our tree at lightning speed. I could hardly find him buried beneath the mounds of wrapping paper. My mom was so mad. But on the up side, this is their favorite story to tell everyone, year after year at Christmas dinner.

Fast forward to the present day. My most recent moment of silence involved duct tape. I will admit I was probably checked out for a few minutes longer than I should have been this time, but I was having a rough day. I needed to put myself in time out. In our house, mommy time out is also known as the pantry. The girls were acting up all day. I had errands to run and things to accomplish but they were on a serious naughty bender. I had so much to do, but I just didn’t have the emotional strength to drag them to several stores only to end up in Meltdown City.

I banished them to the playroom and took a brief intermission. Now I know why my mother was always yelling, “I cannot hear myself think!”

By the time I shoved two chocolate chips cookies in my mouth, sent a few S.O.S messages and deliberated if I had the stamina to take them out in public, the yelling started. I stepped out of my hiding place to find the younger one with her hands duct taped behind her back. What in the world — we have duct tape?

As I cut and peeled the tape off Adriana’s wrists, I started the interrogation. What were you doing? Where did you find the duct tape and how do you know what handcuffs look like? Then I thought, how freaking long was I in the pantry? I look back through the text messages and the answer is 5 minutes. My girls raided the garage and tied each other up in five minutes. That is a crafty stunt. They told me they were playing Cops and Robbers. Please lord, I hope you are the cops in this story.

Soon you begin to realize any small solo task is now a vacation. A Target run? Vacation. Walking the dogs? Vacation. Taking out the trash? Vacation. Shaving my legs? Vacation. Watching TV alone? Vacation.

I know one day I will be sitting in a clean and quiet house missing the chaos of the Cristina kids. In the meantime, I will seek refuge in the pantry or hide in my closet like “normal” moms.

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