Monday, September 1, 2008

The Black Car and the Sick Giraffe

I really need to watch myself around the Bean. He all too easily gets wrapped up in minute details that any person who isn’t two and a half would let coast by.

On the way to our most recent “just the boys” outing, we hit some traffic on the freeway. No big deal, this is Los Angeles and it just wouldn’t feel right if we could drive the posted speed limits. As we crested a hill, we approached the wreckage of a gnarly accident. In the middle of the freeway were the smoldering, charred remains of a car or truck or something barely identifiable as having once driven on a road. There were at least three fire trucks (which I now am able to identify as hook and ladder trucks thanks to the Bean’s vehicular obsession) and two fire fighters were actively trying to pry the door off of the wreckage. It was such a startling sight that a “holy shit” nearly spilled out of my mouth, but I caught myself just after the “holy” and finished it off with the more kid-friendly “guacamole”. This caught the Bean’s attention and he drank in the sight of the accident, which instantly became the coolest thing he had ever seen in his life.

By causing him to notice the accident with my PG profanity, for the next three days I was forced to endure him asking every three minutes, “What happened to that black car?” Even after I told him repeatedly that the car had caught fire, he still felt compelled to keep asking, “What happened to that black car? What happened to that black car?” Every single person he encountered was met with, “What happened to that black car?” and I was forced to translate and repeat the story of the accident ad nauseam in order to stave off the looks of utter confusion.

At this point, I’m pretty freakin’ tired of talking about the black car.

This evening, we were winding down the holiday weekend by hanging out in the backyard when a bird made a bizarre sound. The Bean asks me, “What’s the noise?” I nonchalantly say, “I don’t know. Sounds like a sick giraffe” almost to myself as I’m heading past the screen door back into the house. When I return to the backyard a few minutes later, I hear WonderWife™ explaining to the Bean that the zookeeper is taking care of the giraffe. I throw her a look of confusion and she rolls her eyes at me, which is the unmistakable look that means I’ve done something wrong. Based on my little comment, the Bean first was afraid of the non-existent sick giraffe, then he grew compassionate and was very concerned about it.

“Where is the sick giraffe? Why is the giraffe sick? Can I see the sick giraffe? Where is it? I wanna hear the sick giraffe again.”

The bird that had made the original sound was of course now silent. WW™ was left to think on her feet and spun a parent lie about a zoo keeper who had come to take care of the giraffe. This seemed to pacify the Bean for about five minutes before the questions started again.

“Where is the sick giraffe? Can we hear the sick giraffe? Why did the man come to take the giraffe? Where is the sick giraffe?”

It all seemed to have calmed down during the subsequent bath and story times. But as I’m finishing tucking in the Bean, he looks up at me with bleary, tired eyes and says, “What happened to the black car?”


Jenny F. said...
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Jenny F. said...

Loved this story and I could just picture the whole thing!! So glad you are enjoying the parenthood roller coaster.Can't wait till Sara can really talk...I think I'm really in for it. --j. abrahams (now flax)