Danny and I read a book today called "Smiling." It's a book about feelings. I don't usually go for these kinds of touchy-feely books, but it was what I could grab in a mad dash to gather up 20 or so books before the newly minted toddler daughter clears dozens of books from the shelves.
The book asks "What makes you smile?"
"Carson," he said. Carson is his friend, the son of my best friend (who we haven't seen in a few weeks but he talks about all the time ... guilt, guilt, guilt.) "And Katie," he chirped.
"What makes you sad?" it asks.
"Germs," he said. "Make me sick."
"What makes you mad?" it asks.
"Grown ups," he said. Hm, I'd never heard him use that word. Intrigued, I asked, "Why do grown ups make you mad?"
"They not play with me," he said. Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. Trying not to sound defensive, I explained that Daddy plays ball with him and Daddy is a grown up, and Nana plays with him and she's a grown up (sometimes) and Mommy plays with him and she's a grown up (on occasion). All the while, I'm thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't be checking my e-mail or Facebook so much or obsessively sweeping the Cheerios from the kitchen floor five times a day or insisting that it's actually good for them if I just step aside and let them do their own thing for a while."
"I'm a grown up," he declared happily. Um, yeah, if grown ups pee in their pants and throw tantrums at the drop of a hat, then sure kid. (Oh wait ... I'm pregnant and that happens on almost a daily basis. Nevermind.)
As for the girl child, Jim declared the other night that she understands way more than we give her credit for. So today I decided to test her comprehension. I asked her to put something in the trash. And she actually did it only after trying to put the piece of paper in her mouth. She understands and can respond to simple requests and conversation. I can ask her to pick out the circle shape and she will. I can ask her where her farm is and she'll go find it. I tell her to leave the bathroom and she howls, loudly, before complying.
It's incidents like these that make me think, "I need to get my act together before they start understanding that their mother is just a little crazy." Quick ... how much time do you think I have before one of them realizes that mommy is throwing just as big a tantrum as they just did? Not long? Crap.