This week, I had occasion to spend two hours in the back of the van, squished between my two middle children. It was extremely illuminating. You know how children are always screaming, “Stop touching me!”? Yeah, I might have been heard to say that
a dozen times once or twice. Nicholas, you see, felt a need to rub back and forth over a mole on my arm until it hurt, and Julianna wanted to pat my other one.
I also learned, through the ignoring of repeated instructions to “stop talking for one minute PLEASE!”, that Nicholas’ ability to rest his vocal cords is three seconds long. When he runs out of things to say, he starts warbling: “WaAaAaAaAaAaAaAaAaAay! DuhUHuhUHuhUHuhUHuhUHuhUH!”
We pulled off for gas at the exit for the hospital where all our children were born. “Oh, I guess we’re going to have a baby tonight,” I joked. To my right, Julianna grew very still, her little face blank with intense concentration. “I’m joking, Julianna,” I said hastily. “We’re not having a baby. This is just the exit where the hospital is where we had all of you.” I looked at Nicholas, whose excitement was quickly draining. “Why, do you want another baby?”
“YEAH!” both of them chorused.
“Okay, fine,” I said, “but you guys have to change all the diapers.”
Dead silence. (Three seconds long.) Then Nicholas said, “NoooOOOOO! That’s disGUSting! YOU do the diapers, Mommy!”
“Nice,” I said. “So you guys get to play with a baby and I have to clean up all the meses. How typical.”
“Yeah!” Nicholas said. “If it’s a girl YOU change all the diapers, and if it’s a boy DADDY changes all the diapers.”
In the meantime, Alex got carsick. A lot.
We got back on the highway, and Nicholas proceeded to sing a long song about babies and diapers and who changes them, set to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner. Being accustomed to Nicholas’ unique form of storytelling, I didn’t think anything of it, until up in the front seat, my grandmother’s shoulders began to shake, soon followed by my husband’s.
He is a stitch, my third-born.