If you want a fast track to getting an earful of gossip, consider bartending. Or hairdressing. Or even better still: driving a taxi. Something about riding in a car just makes people dish. Does it feel like a mobile confessional? Easier to talk when you don’t have to look anyone in the face? In any event, the car phenomenon seems to be amplified ten-fold for four-year-olds. Strap them into their five-point-restraint car seat and suddenly they will tell you EVERYTHING. More than you ever wanted to know. About things they couldn’t possibly really know. (I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it.)
Hi again, folks. It’s me, your favorite pint-sized blogger. FINE, MOMMY. Your favorite pint-sized guest blogger. Whatever. I’m here to give you the REAL story about what goes on in our family. Put on your seat belts.
Now, let’s see, where did I leave off last week? Oh, yes. It was nearly lunch time and my big brother was usurping MY spot in Mommy’s lap. Don’t panic, people. I got him out of there. I gave Daddy a meaningful look . . . while screeching like a banshee. Daddy understood. He looked at the big kid square in the eye and said, “As you know, Jacob, Mommy’s lap is just for Emma. Not you. GET UP!” Jacob seemed surprisingly happy about all this. (Mommy claims that what Daddy actually said was, “Lunch time! Go wash your hands, Jacob.” Whatever. I’m willing to agree to disagree.)
GUEST BLOG TODAY BY MY ONE-YEAR-OLD, EMMA.
Hi, folks. I understand that Mommy has been telling you some stories about our family. WHATEVER. You wanna know what really happens in a house with two semi-competent parents, a sweet, lovable (let’s-just-go-ahead-and-use-the-word) brilliant one-year-old and the four-year-old they keep around for my entertainment? THE WAIT IS OVER.
The time has come to expose the seedy underbelly of . . . Mommy, why are you looking over my shoulder while I type? That’s just rude. As I was saying, I’m here to tell you what really goes on in our family. Let’s get started. A day in the life of Emma.
Why is it that I can negotiate with a car dealer but not with my four-year-old?
When I was pregnant with Jacob, I was still driving around in my little thirteen-year-old Geo Prizm. I saw no reason to give it up. But everyone was telling me that I NEEDED a bigger car.
“Do babies come with an entourage?” I asked. “Because this little person is going to start out somewhere in the ballpark of six to nine pounds. WHY DO I NEED A ROOMY INTERIOR AND CARGO SPACE?” When I said this to people with kids they looked at me like I really shouldn’t be entrusted with a newborn.
Have I ever mentioned that both of my children are performing FAR above grade level? Of course, it’s tough to pin down exactly how advanced they are because Emma is only one and Jacob is only four. Which means they are not actually in grade school. Or old enough for standardized testing. (Or, as far as Emma goes, talking.) But they are ADVANCED. I can tell. Jacob is a poet. If he’s not reciting verse from some cultural touchstone (read: the “Wonder Pets”), he’s running around the playground making up his own rhymes. (MOVE OVER, KEATS.) Sure, he’s usually running around with his shoes on the wrong feet. And running right by the friend he’s madly searching for. DETAILS. He is an artiste. And Emma? Where do I start? She is clearly a scientist in the making. Sometimes when I hand her a bottle of milk, she studies it for a moment. Then shakes it gently up and down. And watches the milk slosh around. I’m almost positive she’s trying to determine its molecular structure. Or measuring the volume by sight. (“Six ounces, Mommy? SUH-WEEET!”) Of course, the sloshing is usually a prelude to upending the bottle and watching the milk drain onto the floor. SOMEONE GIVE THIS GIRL A PIPETTE. Can a Nobel Prize be far off?
Okay, maybe not.