Not a creature was stirring

All is quiet at Chez Monkey. I should be using this time to write a blurb about the new diaper covers I just tried for the Examiner.

(Have you subscribed to my Examiner articles? You should, and you can do so by following the link in the upper corner of the blog. It’s mere pennies per page view, but each penny goes into my Diet Coke fund, and as you know Diet Coke is the mead without which life cannot continue. My life, that is.)

Instead, I’m sitting in the dark listening to the refrigerator hum. It’s rather refreshing, the silence. No television, no music, no sound blasts from Tom’s computer as he opens up and forgets (as he does daily) that their videos auto-play. And no baby, as she’s been asleep for a little while. It’s quiet enough to hear my jaw muscles try to unclench.

Today I broke my two-errand rule. The two errand rule was established after I discovered that during the heat of the Hawaiian afternoon, Maggie was good for two stores before she became ornery. This is really unfortunate at lunchtime, because all the healthy places around here are sit-down joints and if I forget a snack, it’s go hungry or forgo an errand. (I would commit highly illegal acts for a drive-through smoothie joint. Get on that, Oahu.) But today, convinced that I should try to expand our daily routine, I went to four stops: babywearing meeting, gas, Walmart, and the post office, which in December is like three stops all on its own.

By the time we hit the PO, Maggie didn’t want to be in her car seat, nor in a stroller nor either of the two baby carriers I have in my car, and so I carried her over my hip. Wrestling with a grabby eight month old and five boxes and deciding “To hell with the stamps, it can wait” I had an epiphany: I’m going to start a seasonal employment thing with another stay-at-home mother. We’ll swap free childcare and one of us will stand outside grocery stores, malls, or the post office during the holidays. For $10 we will wait at your car and supervise your kiddos while you run in and run out. For $20 we will wait in line for you ($10 surcharge for the post office).

For the price of $10-$30, moms can do their errands in blessed, hands-free silence. A deal at any price, to be sure.

But as I sit here, I’m thinking about the silence. How quiet our house used to be, before we went and had the World’s Chattiest Extroverted Baby, who is more cheerful and smiley than either of her parents. If I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I had a little of the quiet back. And then I think about the small face that occupies my days, that wonderfully solid round little girl that consumes my thoughts at night.

What emptiness five minutes of silence seems to be when compared to the blessing of her noise.