Since infancy, Ash has slept with a white noise machine going in his room. Specifically, we’ve used the setting that sounds like natural surf: waves crashing and sloshing on the beach, and the occasional faint, distant cry of a gull that you don’t notice unless you’re listening for it. This swooshing noise has been the backdrop of our post-bedtime lives for the last 5.5+ years, because we also never stopped using the baby monitor (when he was still medically fragile, we used the motion detector that came with the monitor, to balance out needing to use white noise). We talk, we eat, we work, we read, we watch movies, we sleep, and we do everything else…to the sound of the waves. Excepting special, paranoia-prompting circumstances like illness or those really scary Autism days when he can’t seem to stop from flailing around and bashing into things, I had my brain rather well trained to tune out this white noise, as well as any noises Ash made that weren’t distressed enough to be heard distinctly over the sound of the waves. I could turn mostly “off”, with that as a sort of mental beeper setting. I could pay attention to other things. On rare and precious occasions, I could do something wild like sleep.
Then, several times over this last week, Ash decided he didn’t want to sleep with his waves on. On the one hand, there’s the “deafening silence” issue…my mind keeps fumbling around for what’s missing. On the other hand, while it’s fumbling, it’s being attacked from all sides by EVERY TINY LITTLE NOISE that Ash is capable of making….which, awake or asleep, is still plenty. I no longer have the “relevant noise” buffer zone I’ve become so accustomed to.
So if I seem a little jumpy when you’re talking with me on Twitter in the evening, it’s not that anything is wrong. It’s just that my Little Prince BREATHED.