“Mom, are you going for a run?” Squish asks as he watches me wiggle my toes into my running shoes.
“Yep,” I answer.
“Mom, why are you going for a run?” he presses.
“So I can be a good mom,” I say.
“And you can be kind?”
“Yes. Exactly. So I can be kind.”
“Is that a tower you’re building?” Micah asks.
“Yeah,” Squish says as he watches me stack blocks on top of each other.
“Is it one of the two towers?” Micah asks. We exchange a playful smile.
“Yeah,” Squish says again, hardly hearing the question.
“Is it Mordor or Isengard?” Micah asks, clearly for my benefit.
Squish doesn’t miss a beat: “Isengard.”
I can no longer balance the blocks and the tower falls.
“Oh, Isengard has crumbled! Wait does Isengard crumble? Probably not. But Mordor does?” Micah asks.
“Uh, I don’t remember. I think Mordor falls. Maybe?” I say.
Manchild has wandered over and looks puzzled. “Wait, what are you guys talking about?”
“Someday soon,” I tell him, “we’re going to start reading The Hobbit.”
“The Hobbit? What’s a hobbit?” he asks.
“It’s a little person. Well, not really a person. But it looks like a person, only smaller,” Micah says.
“It’s a halfling,” I add.
“A hobbit looks like a person but it isn’t really human. They are smaller than humans and they have hairy feet,” Micah says.
“But where do they live?” Manchild asks.
“The Shire,” I say.
“Where is the Shire?”
“Middle Earth,” Micah and I answer together, and laugh.
Can’t wait for that to really happen . . . .
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word,” I sing as I dig through the laundry looking for the boys’ pajamas.
“Waaaaaahhhhhh,” the baby replies.
“Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird,” I sing on.
“Waaahh! Waaahh! Waaah!” she cries. She’s off tune, and honestly, it’s not very good harmonizing on her part. But I don’t tell her that.
“If that mockingbird won’t sing, Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”
“Waaahh!” she stops, gasps, then “Waaaahhh!” again. Not the best place to take a breath, but she’s young and her lungs are small, so I give her a break.
“If that diamond ring turns brass, Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.”
She seems to have given up harmonizing or doing the back-up vocals or whatever she had in mind, at least for a moment.
“If that looking glass gets broke, Papa’s gonna buy you a billy goat.”
“Waaahhh! Waaaahhh! Eeee!” she squeaks. It crosses my mind that maybe she is registering her dislike/embarrassment of my singing skills. But I’ve found the pajamas, so there’s no reason to let her just lie there and mock me.
I scoop her up and she calms down.