Danecdotes: It’s quiet around here … Too quiet

While the wife and kid are away, the house is distractingly quiet.

Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

For much of the past year, I got used to having to work with the door closed.

In the early months of the pandemic, my wife and son were home, and then summer break rolled around and they were still home.

Once my wife went back to in-person work and my son went to day care, they would still get home before I was done working so the door would have to close once again.

Of course, standard household doors cannot and never will block out the sounds of a toddler - the stomps, shouts, cartoons, you name it - nor do they block the sounds of a mother trying to convince said toddler to stop doing toddler things.

This week, however, the wife and kid are camping with the grandparents while I’m home working. I believe it marks the first time in roughly 15 months that I have had the house to myself for longer than eight or so hours, and this time it is likely for the whole week.


Before the pandemic, I typically enjoyed these days when they were away spending time with family or whatever. On those days, I’m usually very productive when it comes to getting household stuff done, and in the downtime I’m able to watch something on TV that isn’t a cartoon.

I got so used to strictly cartoons before sunset (unless the Vikings were on) that I kind of forgot what that was like.

But as I said, I’m used to all of that now. So now that I have the house to myself for this extended period of time, it really just feels weird.

As it turns out, I have grown accustomed to all of these little distractions, like hearing the theme song to “PAW Patrol” a few times a day or the whirring of his Power Wheels ATV just outside the window. Now that those distractions are gone, I somehow feel more distracted.

That does not make sense to me, but I think it is the most apt description of the situation.

I imagine it’s like getting used to falling asleep with a fan on, and then having to go to sleep without a fan for a night or two. I’m not one of those fan-sleepers, but I assume that could possibly drive a person crazy.

I’m sure I’ll complain about the Power Wheels and “PAW Patrol” once they are back, but for this week, I weirdly miss them.

I suppose the simple answer for this is that I miss my family, and of course I do, but this whole idea of being distracted by the lack of distractions is a new phenomenon for me.


It’s just for a few more days, but for now, the house is too dang quiet.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at


Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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