You may be sitting calmly at the breakfast table, explaining to the baby why she needs to only put 3 Cheerios in her mouth at once when Big D, who has be suspiciously quiet all morning, walks calmly toward you and throws up all over the floor.
SWITCH GEARS! Suddenly you are thrown into multitask mode. You must simultaneously do these things:
-Before your hands are covered with puke, get all but 3 Cheerios off the baby's tray so she doesn't choke in the next few moments when she will be completely neglected.
-Wipe the terrified and revolted look off your face which is freaking out your son
-Grab the puker and gently but efficiently move him from the carpeting on to the linoleum.
-Say soothing, encouraging things to said puker to get him to stay calm. We all know that crying just brings on more puking.
-Attempt to comfort son in the way which endangers the least amount of your own clothing since you already got dressed and these are the only jeans you fit in.
-Do calculus level calculations to figure out if it is in your best interest to keep son in the kitchen or risk carrying him over the carpeting again to get him into the bathroom.
And just that fast you went from a leisurely morning to needing every multifaceted skill that motherhood requires. The above incident happened a couple weeks ago, but it is a daily occurrence.
Case in point: On Thursday the kids and I went on a road trip to Columbia to see Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Nathan. That's an hour and a half each way with motormouth and the baby. Here is a sampling of our conversation. I am not making any of this up.
D: I see a water tower! And a phone pole. And another phone pole. Phone pole...phone pole...pole, pole, pole, pole, BIG POLE! Pole, pole, pole....And I see a bridge! No, it's just a wire. I see another wire. Wire, wire, wiiiiiiiiiiiiire...."
As you can see, this really required minimal input from me. The occasional, "Mm hmm." seemed to satisfy him. And so I was lulled into a false sense of security.
D: It's verrrrrry sunny out today. No clouds. I can see WAY up high in the sky...Heaven is high up in the sky."
Ah, the word 'heaven'. We've moved from babble to a more serious topic. My ears are perked.
D: WAAAAAAY up high in the sky. Jesus lives there. And God..."
And here is where things switch gears so fast.
D: Mommy, who is God?
Ahh! Now I'm responsible for continuing the formation of his idea of GOD! Boy, this is not going to have any ramifications on his character, morals or entire worldview!
So, over Silly Songs with Larry I attempt the simple task of quickly and concisely defining God in three year old terms. But just as I'm getting past explaining how he is so big that he goes past the farthest star but that he is always with you and made you and loves you, I'm suddenly done. My intense mother-responsibility of shaping his view of God is relieved as he interrupts with...
D: I saw a trampoline! I would like to jump on a trampoline. HIGH up into the sky! Oh look! A butterflly!
I decided to just look past the fact that the butterfly had in fact been a hawk and just slide back into tossing a "Cool, honey," towards the back seat every thirty seconds or so.
And my favorite D quote of the day, spoken in his best teacher voice:
"Mommy, the moon is very hard.
It is so very hard because it is made of plastic."