Scary stories from a lovely place
A few times late last year Silas and Oisín both fell asleep while my back was turned. Oisín did it once or maybe twice in the bumbo, a baby seat that forces the kid to submit to his centre of gravity.
Silas did it on the floor, and on my bed. Both times I was doing something else and heard that most frightening of sounds from a toddler boy – silence. When there’s silence I am usually concerned that something subtly destructive is happening, or there’s been an escape. The first time was on the floor in front of Colin Buchanan. The second time I went into my bedroom and there he was, asleep on my pillow.
For Oisín it felt more natural – when he was a very young one he fell asleep quite easily unassisted, in his bed, in someone’s embrace, on the couch. For Silas it did smack more of neglect. He was tired, the context was right and I wasn’t paying him attention. Poor kid.
I always have a few resolutions each new year, and they are of varying quality and realism. This year my main one is to pay my sons more attention. Usually if they’re happy I don’t rock the boat, I leave them be to do their own thing – like now. Oisín is crawling awkwardly around finding toys to put in his mouth while Silas is glued to the TV, but it’s not wholesome Colin this time, but the BBC comedy ‘Gavin and Stacey’. He’s got good taste.
But lately the peace hasn’t lasted so long when that’s been my default parenting position. Silas gets bored and then rough, and then the tears flow from the little guy. I’m going to try and go out walking more, take them to the park and the beach, visit with people and head into the bush. Hopefully then the ensuing daytime naps will come about because of tiredness rather than boredom.