Monday, May 5, 2014

Car Talk (ie, an upgraded "kids say the darndest things")

I've mentioned before, but I have books that I keep on the shelf where I write down all the crazy things the boys say. Right now Felix is owning the crazy talk, while Miles's questions and conversations err on the side of, dare I say it, mature. (And you have to pronounce mature like mah- tour.) You know, things like "will you wait for me at the gates in heaven?" (I mean...kick to the gut on so many levels), and "what if a kidnapper comes into the house at night and I am asleep and don't hear him entering?" "Are fairies real?" "What happens to sewage after it goes down in the pipes under the house?" In comparison to Felix's "knock, knock" (who's there?) "alligator in your BOTTOM!" (mass hysterics ensue while Mom rolls her eyes and walks away.)

More than not, Miles and I have solo time in the morning as I drop him off at school before 8am as Eric drops the "littles" off at childcare. During that car ride, Miles and I have some really epic conversations.

Last Friday, Miles and I discussed politics. It stemmed from him asking who was President, and then we talked about elections, campaign funds, senators, pork barrel legislation, and even medicaid. And then Miles asked if when I grow up could I be president. So then I went all women's studies on his 4T briefs and talked about Hilary Clinton (and also thanked him for thinking I hadn't grown up), and somehow I tried to explain the differences between republican, democrat, and libertarian. Miles said he wanted to be President some day, and I told him "absolutely. You just have to make sure gay marriage is legal in all 50 states and run under a democratic ticket." Okay, just kidding. I said that he had to study really hard and get involved in local level politics--even run for student council when the time comes. Of course, Miles's next comment was classic, "okay, but I just need to make sure I get enough time off." Work-life balance, kid. Work-life balance. Maybe I can get him to pass some sort of law requiring all new moms to get a year paid maternity leave. It was almost surreal talking to him about politics. And one thing is for certain--it exposed how little I know. Somehow I feel very adept at talking political shop with adults, but the line of questioning he had really had me rattled.

Would someone ever want to be a democrat after being a republican?
What is foreign policy?
Why can't I be president more than 8 years?
What if I don't want to be President anymore, can I quit?
How much money do you need for the voting game? (love that he called it a game)

Sometimes I'm like, can't you just ask me about how babies are born or something? I actually feel better equipped to talk about that!

During this discussion, we started to talk about homeless people. I realized that I don't think Miles has ever really heard about homelessness before. He knows about kids who are less fortunate (why we donate old clothes, toys, etc), but I could sense the idea that some people don't actually have a home got him thinking. I told him homeless people live on the street. And as a "preK literalist" he asked, "but what happens if they get run over by a car?" I explained that by "street" I meant sidewalks and parks and even homeless shelters. Then I talked about soup kitchens, at which point he said "what if they don't like soup?"

I don't know if Miles will ever remember all these mornings the two of us shoot the $hit in the car, but I know that it will go down as one of my favorite parts of the day.


  1. Priceless! Both Felix's wild and crazy talk and Miles's erudite conversations. Talking with one's children in the car is a time honored and valuable tradition. It's one of the best ways to engage in deep conversation ('m not sure what pioneer mothers and children did - talk during horse and buggy rides????), especially once they're teenagers. Miles certainly is a deep thinker, and he's approaching that developmental stage when intelligence and imagination instill some profound fears - I remember mine to this day, don't you? Young children are amazing beings! I'll bet he will remember your car ride talks, even if not the exact content. It's time to treasure. Happy Mothers' Day!

  2. So sweet. And I also wonder if you can quit being President. I bet nearly everyone one of them wants to.