Monday, March 15, 2010

If it's a penny for your thoughts, how much for 5 minutes of silence?

I love my son. I do, you guys. He is funny and charming and asks great questions and makes these amazing observations that let you see things in new ways and make you wonder about things you've never wondered about before and ohmygodtheboywillnotshutup!

Yet another reason I'm glad the kids look like us. Because otherwise I'd be staring down the barrel of some tough questions about whether he and my daughter really have the same parents.

When I drive Sweetpea somewhere, she sits in the very back of the van and thinks about things, or reads, or talks to her imaginary friends, or sings along with the radio. Honestly, I'm not sure exactly what she's doing most of the time. But what she does not do is require any interaction whatsoever with me. In fact, any attempt on my part to initiate conversation will likely be ignored.

I used to find that kind of annoying. I remember thinking, "Gee, I wish I had a child who would tell me what she was thinking." Oh, the universe and its little jokes.

Because a car ride with Sprout? Let me put it this way: You know how in most churches you can pretty much zone out during the service if you want to? But then you go to a Catholic church and they keep testing to make sure you're really paying attention? It's kind of like that.

Only it's just you and the priest in a car, and you're working out the ending to the poem you just wrote, or you're trying to have a complete thought from beginning to end, or maybe even just listening to a song you love, and meanwhile the tiny priest in the backseat is saying maythelordbewithyou maythelordbewithyou MAYTHELORDBEWITHYOU MAYTHELORDBEWITHYOU until you realize he's waiting for a response of some kind from you and just when you start to answer "And also with --" he asks you how McDonald's cooks hamburgers so fast.

And while you're thinking about how to answer that, he's saying, "Guess what, Mommy!"

"hmmmmmmm ...?"

"I know how to spell 'space.'"

"Oh, yeah?" (Still thinking about the hamburger question.)

"S - P - S"

"OK, well that's really close, but it's actually ..."

"You know what, Mommy?"

"... S - P - A ..."


"Huh? Oh. What?"

"I saw those things yesterday? Those things that you control with your body?"

"The ... you control with your ...?"

"Those things that you control with your body, Mommy! That we saw on TV? The boys at gymnastics had them? Can I get those, Mommy?"

(Starting to wonder what he controls other things with:) "Well, maybe on your ..."

And then he asks you whether a lizard is a turtle's cousin or just his stepbrother. Or wants you to look at how his fingers are two different colors (Just look in your mirror, Mommy!). Or kindly offers to count to 199 for you. Again.

Then you come home, and your husband asks you a simple question like how your day was or why you're drooling like that or where all the Tequila went and you'd like to answer him, you would, but the last available cell in your brain is working on the family tree of lizards, so instead you just rock back and forth, muttering something about turning the downstairs bathroom into a sensory deprivation chamber.

Yeah. It's like that.

Carpool, anyone?


  1. What _does_ one do about/with such a child? Would drive me bonkers.

  2. My mother-in-law is like that.

  3. welcome to my LIFE.
    Only, I haven't had the tough questions yet.
    But thanks for the warning. My 3 year old is well on his way. Plus? I swear it's a boy thing. The Girl was just like Sweetpea in the car. Quiet as a mouse, or singing along to the radio.

    Also, please add your analogy to the list of reasons I don't ever want to go to church. Much less catholic church.

    Oh! And?
    If you could provide me with the answers to all his questions so I can be prepared, I would be most appreciative. lol

  4. OH. YES. You hit a nerve with this one, sis! Grocery shopping is the worst. After 10 minutes of two girls doing non-stop questioning/chattering/pleading I give up any hope I had for decision-making and just start throwing things in my cart and running for the checkout. - J