One of the first things I learned as a parent was to be constantly on my guard if the kids - especially when they were under five years of age - got really quiet!
Now, quiet children sounds like it would be a nice thing, doesn't it? But in reality, it usually means they are up to no good, certainly nothing that will help you through the day in terms of making LESS work for you!
My son was a choice example of just that.
One day in particular that stands out in my memory with him almost ended up with me tarring and feathering him. I really, and I do mean REALLY, wanted to do just that with him.
He was probably about 2 or 3 years old - somewhere in that range - and I was busy running the vacuum throughout the house while he busied - or so I thought - playing with his accumulation of cars and trucks. Over the noise of the vacuum, I could still hear him making his car sounds, having himself a good time while I was being the "good little homemaker" trying to clean up a bit around the place.
At some point in time, I realized there was no noise coming from the living room-kitchen area where he had been playing so I figured I best go check on him.
When I did, I found him totally engrossed in the kitchen and in the middle of one of the biggest messes I have ever had to clean up.
He had gotten into the cupboard where I stored the cold cereals and had proceeded to remove every box, dump each one's contents into a huge pile on the floor, right smack dab in front of the cupboard and that pile included a full box of oatmeal too. To top all this off, he had found the bottle of syrup and proceeded to pour the syrup all over this mass of cereal.
He was wearing a pair of pajamas my mother had made for him - a two piece set (unfooted, thankfully) - of flanelette fabric and standing in the middle of this cereal and syrup concoction, the oatmeal was sticking to the pj bottoms making him look like he had just been tarred and feathered! And yes, that is, as I mentioned above, exactly what I wanted to do to him at that point in time!
Scrubbing the kitchen floor hadn't been on my priority list that morning but it became a matter of necessity, obviously.
Another stunt one of my kids pulled - not sure if it was my son or his little sister who was the culprit in this one - was to dig the "mess" out of the dirty pamper and manage to stick some of it in the electric heat register in the bedroom the two little ones were sharing at the time. This happened during the summer months when we weren't having to heat the room and somehow, whoever did this, managed to do it in a manner that it wasn't noticeable at the time.
It wasn't till that fall when we had to turn the heat on that this strange aroma started wafting through the house. After going on a "search and destroy" mission, the smell was finally tracked down to their bedroom and eventually, to the register.
Now there's a mess you don't want to have facing you either!
So, unless your little one is right before you, in full view, and gets quiet and you know they aren't getting into something that will make for a mega mess, when there is no sound coming forth, be prepared for the worst.
That's my advice for the day and I'm sticking with it.