This week’s parenting tip: Keep large wooden puzzles safely secured, especially at night.
You might be thinking, “That’s a strangely specific parenting tip. I wonder what made her think of that?”
Well. Let me tell you.
If your large (noisy) wooden puzzles are not secured, say in a cabinet, or in a crate, or with the pieces in plastic bags, it means they can be knocked over.
Perhaps by a five-year-old on a trip to your bedroom to inform you that he is cold.
And it is possible that, on the way back from this trip, intending to get under the blankets as you have wisely (if grumpily) recommended, this five-year-old will bump the puzzles, which are not safely secured. No, sadly, they are precariously balanced near his door.
And when the puzzles are bumped, well, they can’t help it, but they fall. And it sounds like a whole shelf in the pantry has come down, or the raccoons and opossums have finally defeated the cats and taken the screen porch for their own…and are tearing it apart to celebrate.
So the next sound you hear, after the almighty crash, will be some blood-curdling screaming. “SOMETHING IS TRYING TO EAT ME!” screaming.
So of course, you pop out of bed (fortunately you were still awake from employing your sagacity against the cold) and head towards the noises.
You’ll only get a few steps before you catch a five-year-old, coming at you full speed, and haul him back down the hall with his legs still churning, AWAY from the sleeping baby.
Somehow, you establish that the noise came from inside (so it’s not the raccoons…yet) and that what actually happened was that the cold, insomniac five-year-old bumped the puzzle stack.
By some miracle, the baby has not been awakened.
Everyone will be tucked back into bed. An hour or so later, your heart will have slowed down enough for you to go back to sleep.
At which point, the baby is sure to wake up.
Thus, my friends, heed my advice: Lock up the puzzles.