The New York Times ran an article in the Dining section today about a couple learning to cook silently so as not to wake up their baby. The Gay Uncle supports the idea of kids being allowed to sleep. Without it, they become cranky and irritable. And after being deprived for a few days, they start to hallucinate, which makes them super-whiny, and is really hard on their tender brains. But G.U. also fears that the behaviors described in the article reflect a problematic issue in contemporary child-rearing. He feels that children should learn to adjust to normal adult noises and sleep through them, and they can’t accomplish this if the adults around them are always tiptoeing through the eggshells. He’s not asking that babies be expected to slumber through a Bad Brains show in your crowded basement, or the the three disc set of the original Battlestar Gallactica series played at volume 9 on your new surround sound home entertainment system. Just typical human behavior–chatting, drunkenly knocking into the furniture…cooking. The parents G.U. knows who lived their life normally when their child was a newborn now have kids who sleep through arguments, parties, and even the noisy clatter of pasta making. While baby’s nightly sleep and normal adult time are both important, they are not mutually exclusive. Take a long-term perspective. After all, your kid is going to be around for a while and the patterns you set up early on will carve out the neural pathways they’ll use for their entire life.