Sound and Fury

Imagine that you are a 14-year-old boy.

Imagine that you are a 14-year-old boy that is not only first-born, but an only child until you turn 10.

Then imagine that you are a 14-year-old boy who suddenly goes from a one-parent/one-child house to a two-parent/three-child house.

Think about sleep patterns of first-born kids and only children.

Both are light-sleepers. Put the two of them together in one child and you get light-sleeper squared.

When we moved into this lovely, four-bedroom house, Child A was the smallest child.

He is not now. He is taller than me, and certainly taller than his sister, Child C.

But because Child A was the smallest child he got the smallest room.

This was because we failed to consider the light-sleeperness in relation to the room we put him in.

Smarts and us are sometimes not so familiarly acquainted.

Here is a map.

We’ve lived in this house four years this February.

Child C has slept approximately seventeen minutes.

There is no improved arrangement of his room. Due to an awkwardly placed closet, a narrow room, a one-sided captains bed, there is no floorplan that makes Child A’s proximity to noise any better. The only improved furniture arrangement is the one where his bed gets moved into Child B’s room, and Child B joins the Peace Corps.

So in a desperate attempt to distance Child A’s head from the noise-fest in the kitchen, we made a new headboard and flip-flopped where his head is at.

He’s slept that way one night so far.

The preliminary verdict: Better from a noise standpoint, but he nearly fell out of bed twice.

So our new score is:

Noise: 0 Gravity: 1


  1. As a light sleeper with two kids that are both light sleepers, I feel for Child A. I can’t stand it if there’s any nose whatsoever. And my kids both have sound machines in their room.

    Ohhh, speaking of sound machines, have you tried that? I bought ours at Babies R’ Us for about $20. It’s small, and has about 8 different sound settings (we use wind) and it both plugs into the wall and runs on batteries. It’s been a lifesaver.

    In fact, here’s the link to it on Amazon:

    1. We actually searched for the sound machine they had at Target (Child C uses one) and apparently they don’t exist anymore.

      But yes, we’re going to get him one of those too.

      I may just buy the one you linked to.

      1. Look how helpful I am!

        I mean, not me in particular, but in this public service post!

        (I’m going to take credit somehow, so we should just go with that.)

    1. Me too!

      If we can just keep him from falling out of bed an sustaining a concussion.

      Because that doesn’t actually seem like such a great trade-off.

  2. LoL I hope he gets some sleep.

    I’ve had various issues with this throughout my life. I have to have just the right amount of light and very little sound.

    My light sleepingness? Way worse since becoming a mother. Hub could sleep through a trainwreck in the living room.

    My dad? Is king of particular tho. He used to work nights so he had to rig the bedroom so he could sleep. Blackout shades, noise machine, and a box fan. He also added foam to all the doorways so the doors wouldn’t shut too loudly. There were many days when he’d wake up & disassemble the box fan because it had a hair in the blades somewhere & the ticking would keep him awake.

    Yeah. King of particular.

    1. Ugh!! Your poor dad!

      I can’t sleep over rhythmic noise. This is why my fan in the summer is not allowed to oscillate. There’s the tiniest little “ciick!” when it changes direction, and I CAN NOT SLEEP over it.

      So I totally get your dad.

  3. Lol, I particularly like the eyes in the darkness picture. :) I hope the new arrangement works! Holmes on Homes did an episode on soundproofing that I saw a brief clip of; I think there’s some sort of sound proofing sheet rock that you can put up.

    We have a similar problem. Baby 3 is a light sleeper, who happens to have his crib right along the same wall as our bed. Which is fine, until we… uh… move on the bed.

  4. You are brilliant with your illustrations. I mean BRILLIANT!

    The picture of Child A, as far as I can tell, is a very very good rendering. Looks just like ‘im!!!

    Poor thing. Get him some ear plugs, Lori! Duh!

    1. I’m getting good at it, aren’t I?

      And we’ve tried earplugs. He finds them uncomfortable to sleep in.

      Sadly, I have the same problem.

      We even did the squishy putty kind.

      They either fall out or “feel funny.”

      Yep. I know those problems.

  5. I used to be a heavy sleeper. Like a tornado could rip through the house leaving only me on the bed naked, and I’d never notice. Now that we have bambinos, I wake up at the tiniest sound. I’ve not slept through the night without waking in 3.5 years.
    The noise machine helps S, and I’ve just been using a humidifier for Baby R, but plan to get her a noise machine, too.
    LOVE the drawings as usual. And yes, you do look super slutty in that skirt. Sheesh!!!

  6. Child A is fourteen? That’s four years to figure it out. And by it I mean sleep wherever and whenever (not with whomever).

    Because in four years he’ll be in the wonderful world of college, aka a light sleepers personal prison!

    Of course there’s always class, he could sleep in class…

    1. I believe he’s tried the pillow-over-the head method, the playing the radio method, the yelling-at-family-members method…

      So far, no go.

      And I NEVER slept in class.

      Unless there was a movie. Or I was in the back. Or I could hide behind a textbook.

    1. Also, I think he looks a lot like me, don’t you think?

      And bathroom tap-dancers may be an endangered species.

      I think tap-dancers in general are an endangered species.

      So, I’m glad that your household is helping with the repopulation efforts.

  7. This reminds me of my college room mate, junior year. She snoooored SOOOOO LOOOUUUDDLLLYY that I would make a bed on the little perch just outside our door (in the hallway, not on the ledge outside. Just wanted to clarify that.), our heavy wooden door….

    And I could still hear her.

    I pulled many an all nighter that year. Got all A’s in my literature classes though! ; )

  8. Poor giant teenage boy with achy joints! On the other hand, when you ask teenage boys questions, all they do is grunt at you. I have decided that I only feel sorry for him if he is not a grunter.

    1. There is always a brief period of gruntness, then he works his way out of it and talks non-stop about things I do not understand.

      But I’m ok with that. I’d rather have talking without my comprehension than desperate attempts at polysyllabic responses to questions.

    1. Yeah, I feel for him.

      Then I feel guilty because dad’s house has no other kids, his room is on a whole other floor than the kitchen.

      I hate being the noisy parent.

  9. Husband and I are first borns, the girl is an only child. Somehow, the two of them manage to sleep until 11 or 12 on the weekends while I am awakened by each yowl of the damn cats at 2:30 – 3:30 – 4:45 – 5:45 – until I finally get out of bed at 6:30 intend on cat murder.

  10. As always? I love your drawings.

    And I was going to suggest a sound machine, but someone else has already said that. Hmmph.

    You could pad his walls.

    But that brings up other bad connotations.

    Padded small rooms . . . padded cells.


    1. And let’s be honest…the small padded room would be FAR more appropriate for me than for him.

      Not that I haven’t occasionally wanted to lock him up somewhere…

      But, only occasionally.

      Like when he can’t find the sweater sitting on his toy box.

      But…again…those could be more my issues.

      It’s so hard to tell with teenagers.

  11. I sooooo need to learn to draw pics like that! And I love your skimpy skirt…just for the record.

    And why do you have jackhammers in the kitchen? Just curious.

  12. Oh, this is so confusing and complicated. But I do like your short, somewhat trampy skirt.
    And I did notice that the yowly cats are everywhere….but not catapulting. I hope this turns out OK for all involved, especially you.

    1. despite the fact that i know we only own TWO cats, they do seem to be everywhere – yowling – at all times.

      And despite the post, we almost never actually catapult them.

      Cause it only heightens the yowling.

  13. Is it just me, or are there yowly cats everywhere in your house? Clearly, they are trying to tell you that the sun, in fact, rises and sets with them.

    And well done with the pictures. That last one just kills me.

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