My favorite cast of characters.
By Kathy P. Behan
Whenever I’m driving with my kids, the same song plays in my head. You know, the one that goes, “People are talkin’ at me. Can’t hear a word they’re saying…”
For some mysterious reason, whenever my children are placed in a car, their urge to talk is automatically activated. I wouldn’t mind so much, except that they usually like to talk simultaneously, and at high volumes. Plus, all their conversations require some sort of response from me.
Yesterday, for example, we were in our regular middle-of-the-week schlep routine (our motto is: We go almost anywhere, and always at the most inconvenient times!). We hadn’t even pulled out of the driveway yet, when the talk-assault began.
“Mom, who would win a fight between an anaconda and a sand shark?” asked my 5-year-old.
“That’s obvious,” answered the 8-year-old. “But it depends on whether they’re fighting on land or water.”
“On land, and on water,” was the response.
They continued this discussion, while I was mentally searching my memory bank trying to figure out exactly what an anaconda was.
Child No. 3 enters the fray. “Mom, yisten to me. It’s my turn to talk!”
“So Mom, who would win?” queried my nature lover.
“I told you already,” huffed the eldest. “A more interesting question is who’s a better hockey player, Mario LeMieux or Cam Neely?”
“Who cares about hockey! Mom, wouldn’t the anaconda win?”
“Mom, Mom, are you yistening? I wanna talk!” yelled the youngest, kicking the back of my seat.
My response? Why, I did what any normal red-blooded American mother would do — I turned up the radio full-volume. This so thoroughly shocked my kids that they were actually quiet for a good, oh, two minutes.
“Mom that’s too youd!” complained the 2-year-old.
“Yeah Mom, ya wanna make us deaf,” echoed the eldest.
We drove in relative silence, each of the kids temporarily immersed in private reverie.
“So Mom, whaddya think? The anaconda or the sand shark?”
Kathy P. Behan, a mother of three, is a nationally published freelance writer, specializing in health and family issues.