Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Virtues of Earplug Use In Parenting Your Toddler

When people found out I was pregnant with Aias, they'd sometimes say "better get yourself some earplugs!" to which I would always smile and nod, and then make a mental note that said person was horrible in obviously advocating that I put earplugs in as my child screams.  Smile and nod... smile and nod...

In all honesty, I didn't really need earplugs in parenting Aias because we never really let him cry and he's never been very loud to begin with. That is, until this past week.

Aias was quite sick for the first time ever and part of this sickness was a cold.  Unfortunately, the snot was (of course) trapped in his nose because a young 2-year old won't often allow you to suck snot out of their nose and is also a tad too young to effectively teach them nose blowing. During the day, Aias's nose sounds fine, but at night...

OH.MY.GOD.SO.LOUD.  It sounded like the snoring of 10 full grown men. In case you don't believe me, turn up the volume on your computer, put your head against the speaker, and play the video below.  Oh, and don't worry, the sound isn't coming from his chest, just his nose. 

Two nights ago we all went to bed at 10pm, Aias between us as usual. Morgan fell asleep immediately.  Aias fell asleep immediately. And then it began... the loudest snoring I have EVER heard.  You could hear it from the furthest points in our home, even with the door closed.  But of course, the snoring was RIGHT next to my ear.  Granted, I was thrilled my kid was still breathing, especially after being so sick. Unfortunately, I basically need silence to sleep.  I stewed for a couple hours listening to the loud snoring, and then I tried to pull a ninja move in an effort to go sleep on the couch.  It was no use: the second I moved Aias was crying because I had left the bed.  I did the worst thing I could have done and picked up him and carried him into the living room with me. Instantly he was awake.  He asked to play with the play-doh, I allowed it (I'm weak when exhausted I guess).

So there we were, at 1am, Aias playing on the living room floor with the Play-Doh and me frantic and tired out of my mind.  I desperately Googled alternatives to earplugs. The only results that came up were cotton balls, and a bunch of people saying they had used silly putty followed by pages and pages of comments on how this is the stupidest thing in the world you could possibly do. I seriously considered the Play-Doh... but managed to resist.  I found myself desperately trying to think of something... ANYTHING... that I could stuff in my ears. 

It was 1:30am and the store wasn't a possibility (no car, nearest open pharmacy a good km away).  While earplugs were only 50 cents away, I couldn't get to them.  After about 30 minutes I decided I would wrestle Aias and get the saline spray up his nose. I was victorious, but only half, because the entire thing pissed him off to no end.  At least before that he was in a good mood!  To add insult to injury, the saline didn't make it better... it was equally as loud, just now more disgusting sounding.

We took to the toddler bed, where Aias was willing to lay down and nurse, all the while snoring as loudly as ever.

And there we spent the next 6 hours, myself mostly awake, far worse off than I was in the bed because now I couldn't even stretch my legs.

The next day I went to London Drugs and bought earplugs. Last night I wore the earplugs and IT WAS GLORIOUS!  Not only did I not hear the snoring, but I didn't have to hear other things such as drunk people outside or our dog licking his butt.

Now, I wouldn't suggest earplugs for every parent... earplugs are small and if they fell out of your ears at night your kid could conceivably choke on them. You could also not hear a fire alarm or your kid getting hurt or calling out to you, etc.  However, there's a time and place for everything and let me tell you, this was the time and place for earplugs.

So yeah, you are having a baby? Better get some earplugs.

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