Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maternal Instinct Trumps All

This is the first time on my blog that I'm touting the wondrous invention that is earplugs, but it will not be the last. I love Mack's but any brand will do in a pinch.

I love earplugs because when I'm off Mommy-duty, they're the only way I can actually get any work (or relaxing) done. Otherwise I'd be running downstairs every time I hear the cats and dogs - I mean kids - fighting, every time someone says "No, not THAT sippy cup, the OTHER one," every time I hear a loud crash... you get the picture.

My husband loves earplugs because they mean I won't be running downstairs second-guessing his every move. (Come on, Moms, you know you do it. Give him a little space to make his own mistakes and learn from experience. He'll thank you for it. Eventually you'll thank yourself for it. And the kids will be OK - really!)

But I've discovered something recently. There is one thing that somehow manages to filter right through even the sturdiest, best fitting of earplugs: maternal instinct.

The kids can scream a million times in the morning (and believe me, they do), and I don't hear a thing. But if someone falls down the stairs or slams his finger in the door, suddenly it's like the earplugs have popped right out of my ears and I'm out of bed like a shot.

I was at my in-laws' for the weekend, sleeping in after a rough night up with a feverish Eliana. I'd brought my trusty earplugs with me, of course. My husband came in, bent right over the bed and said "I'm going now. Get up and help my mom when you can." Of course, I only found out about this hours later, since I didn't hear a word he said.

Five minutes later, though, I heard Ami (2 1/4), clear as a bell saying "Yaya, wanna make! Yaya, wanna make!" Ami is still in the throes of potty training, and my mother-in-law ("Yaya") is hard of hearing. I jumped out of bed at lightning speed, scooped Ami up and ran him to the potty just in time. (Sure enough, my mother-in-law hadn't heard a thing.)

Thank G-d for Mack's earplugs. But thank G-d a hundred times over for maternal instinct!


  1. I am a big earplug advocate. in fact, i've gotten sort of addicted to them--can't sleep without them. But it's because of a snoring husband, not a screaming kid (the earplugs don't block out the screaming kid). I use the little hard foam ones with the orange stripe--i noticed when I started using them (about a year ago), that not only did I sleep better, but it was a happier sleep (less kicking and yelling at my husband) and they prevented me from waking up and needing to pee! An added bonus.

  2. Earplugs have never fit in my ears... but I know what you mean about the maternal instinct thing. When Asher is supposed to be down for a nap and isn't he will often let out a whimper or cry and I can always tell when it's "real" or not. The "real" cries were when he would get his leg stuck in his crib -- thank God he is loving his new bed! Honestly, I rarely ever even notice the fake cries anymore (though maybe he's just not doing it anymore...).
    Love the new blog! I'm going to add it to my reader right now :-)

  3. Ear plugs have never fit into my ears, but I hear you with the selective mommy hearing. Whenever Asher is supposed to be napping (though he usually just plays in there... but a break for me is still a break, so I take what I can get), he'll let out a whimper or a cry. I now know what a real cry (ie when he was still in a crib and his leg would get caught) and a fake cry (pretty much every other cry he gives out during nap time) sounds like. In fact, I don't even notice the fake cries anymore... or maybe he just stopped doing it because he realized it was a waste of time.

  4. Sarah - I hate the foam ones. They never stay in my ears.
    Jess - You should try Mack's. They mold to the shape of your ears. But it sounds like you might not need them. :) Then, again, with a new baby coming...
    I find it hard to put in earplugs when I have a newborn, though. Never know when they actually need you.