Yesterday morning we hopped into the car and Rex and I began one of our wonderful, typical, car ride convos…
“Mom, where are we goin’?”
“We are going to run some errands.”
“Are we goin’ on the highway?”
“Because we have to.”
“Because we need to go on the highway to get to where we are going.”
“Because that’s the only way to get there.”
“Because we live in fucking Gloucester and it’s a God damn island and the highway is the only way out.”
“Because Gigi and Grumpy decided to move here and I wanted to stay close to them because I need help raising you and your crazy brother.”
“But I like talking. And I don’t like the highway!!!!!!” (Cue the sobbing)
I mean, that’s a productive conversation, right? Our days are filled with hours of these. I am trapped in a place (in my head) where I can’t decide if I need to engage the “But, whys” to help him understand things, or ignore them because they typically come with a one-way ticket to Shutthefuckupbeforeikillyou.
It actually becomes a very tricky little brain exercise, because I end up realizing how dumb I am. For example—Why is the sky blue? Why is a helicopter called a helicopter? Why does Rocky like to eat the electrical outlets? I actually just end up saying “I don’t know” a million times a day. Sometimes because I can’t take any more questions, but most times because we get to a place where I DON’T ACTUALLY FUCKING KNOW. Do you?! Google it, Rex!!!
And who actually says, “Stop talking” to their nice, inquisitive three year old? The kid is just tryin’ to work through a little highway issue and I am telling him, basically, to shut the fuck up. That makes me an asshole, right? It has to. But when I tell you that Rex is a talker, I mean that Rex does not take one breath all day. Like, I actually do not understand how he even has time to inhale some days. We talk from 6am to 7:30pm about absolutely everything. There is no nap. There are short-lived ipad breaks when I think I might die, and then we are back at it, full throttle. So, what am I supposed to do? Because often times the “But, why?” game actually has no ending. Like, if I didn’t stop it, would he keep saying it forever? I actually don't know.
And if you are thinking, ‘Just change the subject! Kids are easily redirected!’---HA! Well then, you have not met Rex. When the kid wants to know what I am doing when I am plucking my unwanted neck hairs (yeah, plural. whatever, I’m married, cat’s outta the bag now) he will not stop until he knows why there is a hair there, why I want to get rid of it, why I am using tweezers, why tweezers are made----you get it. I mean, give me a break dude---let yo mama pluck her neck hair in peace!! I once tried a sly, “I dunno, Rex. Why don’t you show mommy how you play with your trucks?”----oh heeeeeeeeeell, no. Nice try, lady.
Oh, and don’t even bother suggesting that I try to ignore him. This kid has unmatchable stamina. I once drove for 20 minutes “ignoring” him while he asked me why we don’t need to stop for gas. He did not come up for air once. And he didn’t change up the questioning at all. Just the same thing, “Why aren’t we stopping for gas?”—ignoring my first three answers and then hitting repeat for twenty minutes. The car rides are especially crazy, because I can’t run away. He chats from door close to door open. And it always requires full engagement. The door shuts, engine starts, and I am locked inside a moving interrogation with little volume control and a losing record.
And actually, I did this to myself. I have no shortage of big opinions on things, love a good debate, and decided to procreate with the mayor of Talk Town, so here we are. And today is Monday, which means I am starring down the barrel of a five day butwhy fest without the luxury of my favorite weekend response, “I don’t know, go ask Daddy.” And just think, soon Rocky will be talking. Is it 7pm yet?