One morning Brad climbed higher than he ever had before and grabbed a jar of petroleum jelly from a bedroom shelf. He then used it to fingerpaint his entire body, his toddler bed and the walls. Where was his mother while all of this was happening? In the kitchen, reading parenting blogs on her iPad and congratulating herself since it was clearly thanks to her superior mothering skills that Brad was finally learning to play independently in his bedroom. Being a first-time mother, she didn’t realize that silence on the part of a young child should set off sirens in your head. A disaster looms. If you’re fortunate, it will only be an annoying, time-consuming nightmare that makes you feel like a Bad Parent and means you have to give the kid a very soapy bath and get your husband to paint over the greasy palm prints that now decorate the walls. If a non-sleeping child aged three or under is alone and quiet for more than nine seconds, run like hell. You may get there in time.