Example One. This morning. 7:03am:
Ellie: I want Rice Krispies with milk and honey and blueberries.
Me: (No caffeine yet, hobbling around like Grammie O, wondering what mornings will feel like twenty years from now) Okay. Rice Krispies, milk, and honey.
Ellie: AND blueberries!
Me: You want blueberries? Okay.
Meanwhile Benji wants his juice, but he says it now so it’s super cute even when I’m half dead, I mean, awake. (Juuusss?)
Ellie crawls into her old highchair (this started two weeks ago I’m not sure why) and waits. Patiently. No TV yet. No demands for TV. So far so good.
I wash the blueberries, pour the cereal and place the blueberries gently into the Rice Krispies so it doesn’t drop and make Krispies fly everywhere. I dribble some honey. Then I add the milk.
Then I frown because you can’t see the honey anymore. Do I normally pour the honey after I pour the milk? Yes. Okay. Re-dribble the honey. Find her spoon. Peel Benji, screaming, off the gate across the stairs.
Me: No stairs before breakfast!
Benji: WAHHHHHHHHHHH No NO NO NO NOooooo, Mommieeeee, nooooo.
Ellie: Where’s my CEREAL?? (Voice rising ten octaves on ceREAL!?)
Me: Here, here it is. Benji cut it out.
Ellie: (Wailing) I didn’t WANT blueberries!!!!
Honestly for a minute I’m like…am I going crazy? Did I make that up? WHAT IS REALITY!? OMG I’ve totally lost my mind.
And this is a pretty normal, better than average, morning with me and the kids. Where I’m wondering if I’m totally nuts and both kids are crying for no apparent reason.
Should I try getting them coffee? No, no that’s probably counter-productive.
Maybe I get up before Benji’s first morning ‘Mommmmieeeee!’? and have my tea then? So, 5:30am? You know what’s worse than hobbling around like Grammie O and wondering if I’m losing my mind? Being awake before the sun comes up. No, no, no. No. It’s unnatural. I struggle on…
Example B: WHERE: Girls Bathroom of Freebirds Burrito Restaurant
When: Lunch time today
When: Lunch time today
Ellie: (Points to the painting of Jimi Hendrix on the wall) WHO’S THAT?
Me: Jimi Hendrix. Famous singer. He died a long time ago.
Ellie: I think he’s in Heaven. Do you think he’s in Heaven?
Me: I hope so. I think he had a rough life.
Ellie: Yeah he’s in heaven because it’s for me, it’s purple and God knows that’s my favorite color.
Me: (Holding her steady on potty) Ellie I don’t always follow what you’re talking about but it’s always beautiful.
Ellie: Yeah, I think so too.
Her big thing lately is, ‘Did God make that?’ As in, “Did God make that scary black bird with bad eyes?” (Crows).
“Yes. Everything has a purpose, even the things we think are kind of scary. God made them too.”
“Did God make this dress?”
“No, man made that.”
“Did God make Benji?”
“Did God make Toby?”
“Did God make…the trampoline?”
“NO!” Wiping a massive poop form a squirming, flailing, screaming 20 month old while your 4 year old is trying out philosophy is really, really, really HARD TO DO.
Hear me sigh, from the bottom of my toes as I finally tape shut his diaper and let him go. (No. Clothes are for overachievers. He’s got a diaper on he’s fine).
“Ok Ellie, basically it’s like this. Everything alive, everything beautiful or scary or awesome, God made. Everything else, everything not alive, we did.”
Silence from Ellie then squeals of laughter as I catch Benji mid-jump on Toby’s back.
“So, did God make this blanket?”
Cue me, knocking my head against the nearest wall and wondering how strong to mix my dinner time ‘Mommy-juice.”
Strong. Really strong.