Friday, February 11, 2011

pirates, parrots, and pilots

I've heard many a parent talk about how their kids cry and wail when put into a car safety seat. I've always felt extremely lucky that's never been the case with Graham. He's always enjoyed car rides, and for the most part, he remained quiet and content in his seat.

That is, until recently. Now that we live in the land of difficult driving where I have to focus every second in order to avoid getting run off the road by a Smart Car or a motorino, Graham has decided to stop being quiet in his car seat. He's still content. But he's anything but quiet.

Yesterday, for example, went a little something like this:

Out of the blue I hear, "Mom, can pirates talk?"

"Yes, Graham."

"Why can they talk, Mom?"

I try to think of an answer, and in the meantime, he persists. "Talk Mom? Why can they talk? Talk? Talk? Pirates? Mom? Talk? TAAAALK?"

Eventually, I snap out of it and say, "Because they are people."


"They are people."


"Graham, I am only going to answer your questions once, so please pay attention."


No response. Trying my best to stick to my word and not answer again, which is really hard when someone keeps saying, "Huh?" A natural instinct would be to answer again and again. I fought my natural instincts.

"Oh, they are bird people?"

"Bird people? What do you mean?"

Big truck swerves into my tiny lane. 

"They are birds that can talk, so they are bird people."

Motorino just misses my side-view mirror.

"Oh, you mean parrots."

I am driving too fast, passing a giant truck, and trying not to miss my exit.

"No, Mom. Pirates. They growl and take things from airplanes. Airplanes, Mom. Airplanes. They growl, Mom. Growl. Airplanes. Aiirplaanes. Airplanes."

Just barely make the exit, and now must focus on where to turn next.

Then, I say. "Okay, Graham. Pirrrates are people who steal things from boats and ships. We've talked about this. Pillllots are people who drive airplanes. Parrots are birds who can sometimes learn to talk."

"No, mom. Pirrates growl and take things from airplanes. Airplanes. Airrr   planes."

"No, Graham. Boats."

"No. Airplanes."

I come to my senses and realize I am arguing about pirates with a 3-year-old when I need to make sure we do not get into an accident on the road.

I roll down the window, because I am sweating and feel my anxiety rising, and Graham's voice is drowned by the sounds of passing vehicles.

He is still talking about pirates and growling and airplanes, but I pretend not to hear anything and I shout to him: "I need the window down because I am hot, and it is really hard for me to answer your questions because I must focus on driving."

Finally, I don't hear a sound from him, so I put up the window.

"Mom. What is that big truck carrying, Mom? That big truck? What's in it, Mom? That big truck? Truck? Big truck?"

I call for backup.

Nobody answers.


  1. This is so funny and relate-able! I was laughing while reading this. Thanks for sharing. (And I'm sure it is way scary driving there!)

  2. I loved this post too, Katherine. Definitely can relate! Benjamin started preschool at Cataldo last week. He loves it so far! Tony's Aunt Anita is the one who gave us our tour and has been my point of contact. Small world, huh? Remember Graham and Benjamin wrestling the big kids in Juliann's backyard this summer? :) Hope you and your Valentine's had a great day!