“Daniel? Daniel?? DANIEL?? It was you- it was YOU?- it was YOU! The whole time… the whole time? THE WHOLE TIME??”
Oh, the shock mixed with denial mixed with realization, all converging upon themselves simultaneously in an excellent mess.
But lately, I found myself having the Sally-Field-My-ExHusband-Dressed-In-Drag-As-Our-Housekeeper moment on a lesser level.
Generally this happens when the girls are playing quietly on the floor in the family room. Perhaps I am sitting and playing with one twin while the other goes nuts. Or, sometimes I’ve stepped out of the room to load dishes into the dishwasher. And still, there may be times that I am intently watching House Hunters and providing my own commentary on their home selections.
Whatever is going on, there is peace and quiet. I remember my mom saying that her most panicked moments were when there was quiet in the house. Quiet means that someone is doing something that they know they should not be doing.
It’s taken a while for this instinct to settle in, but I think I’ve firmly grasped the silence = trouble instinct. So when the not-so-subtle droning of baby babbling and innocuous crashing noises (dropping toys to check gravity, throwing dolls to check gravity, and unceremoniously dropping on their behinds from the standing position) stops and the reason is not apparent, I look over at the twins in a flash.
Sometimes this reveals that Carrie is trying to make her great escape, has gotten stuck and is now drifting off to sleep. Sometimes this reveals that Ellie has found a remote control and is seconds away from turning the volume ALL THE WAY UP. OMG. (seriously, if you have poor bladder control, this is a liability)
And then, there are many times when the twins have stopped what they are doing because they found a day old puff/craisin/cheerio that fell under a couch or an interesting, and, by the way, DELICIOUS-looking fuzz on the floor. Oftentimes I catch them early in their investigative process. This is where they pinch the item between their squishy little fingers and examine it very, very closely. And then? AND THEN! they put it in their mouth.
Wait – What?- WHAT?!
Who does that?
Toddlers, that’s who.
If it is interesting, it must also, therefore, be DELICIOUS.
If I catch them late in their fuzz investigations, they are already trying to subtly chew the fuzz. You can see their little cheeks working away ominously. And that’s when I have to do the sweep.
If you have kids, you know the sweep well. You pinch their cheeks to open their mouths, stick your finger in and fish around for the object.
“What is in your mouth? – WHAT IS IN YOUR MOUTH?!”
Personally, I think the best time to ask ANYONE a question is when you have a finger jammed in their mouth and you are pinching their face. I also think it’s great to ask infants questions that they can’t answer.
Sometimes I’m relieved when all that I pull out is a day old craisin that they found. Sometimes I’m horrified at the items I pull out. I will not mention these fuzzy, insectish-like items here.
And it always ends the same: the girls always look at me as if to say, “What mom? What did you expect?”
When the phrase, “from the mouths of babes” was coined, I now know what they really meant.