Actually, today I'm not running, just walking and pulling a wagon containing two of my children while the oldest is in school. The sound of the plastic wheels churning on gravel is loud enough to wake the neighbors, but I'm sure the non-stop questions and general banter of pre-schoolers will keep the zombies at bay. Princess is talking to herself; she brought her magic wand along with her for the ride. Every once in a while her little brother grabs it out of her hand and wacks her over the head, affectionately. Her voice bellows over the rumbling wheels. Her sentences run on and on as long as the twisting path, till I'm hearing her little girl life story in my sleep. It's like the replay button is jammed in my head and she won't stop talking.
"I am The Queen of Buttons. I love circles; they are my favorite shape. That's because I love buttons. Your welcome for meeting me, Mama. I fly; I play on the computer and sometimes, I take care of my babies. I love circles because they are around and around and they don't have any sides, just like my little brother's head."
People, like relatives, friends with grown children, and neighbors tell me that years from now I will miss this stage of my children's development. Someday I will long to remember these amusing infant conversations. This is partly why I write everything down. It's my note in a bottle.
"Sit down, baby. No standing in the wagon," I say to my youngest. I stop the wagon and he looks offended. It appears that Baby Bigfoot, who is about to turn three years old, is entering an identity crisis.
"Me not a baby. Me BOY. I drive the RowRow in my BOY seat fast to my house. Me not, not a baby, I, I, I am BOY, Mama." (scowl)
"Alright, then. Sit down, BOY," I say, thinking hey, it worked for the Waltons in TV land.
Boy smiles. "Ok," he replies, sitting. We continue.
The Queen of Buttons picks up where she left off in her femine odyssey. "I fly around and attack-ed all of the evil weeds. That is how I save the day, Mama. And then I dance like a beautiful dream. Oh, and mostly, I look for circles. My favorite thing is cleaning and I love being Queen of Buttons and finding circles all day. I practice dancing with my baby brother like I will do when I get maa-read with a boy. Mama, why do people put their bodies in the ground under the stones?"
Well, I should have expected that question would sneak into the story. I try to stall, pretending I didn't hear.
"MAMA, WHY DO PEOPLE PUT..."
I figure I better answer my yelling daughter before some annoyed deceased person does.
"When bodies break, or get sick and do not work anymore souls don't need them. Our souls leave our bodies and go away to live with God. So people bury bodies to remember them out of love." I explain.
The Queen of Buttons is quiet. That means her little brain is processing. Meanwhile, BOY is staring down the hole in the bottom of the wagon as it rolls along.
"Oh, That's right, Mama," my daughter suddenly shouts. "Like when SpongeBob didn't need his round pants anymore because his body was square, and he kept them in a safe place."
"Yes! That's exactly what I mean." I say, thinking, I knew that cartoon was educational.
-A little joy ride in the backyard.