Conversations With a Three Year Old
Saturday March 6, 2004
By Roberta Pitts
First Published in the "Stehekin Choice"
traveled to Ellensburg today to meet Tom and family. They arrived at the appointed place at 12:45PM. It was a quick transfer and before I had hardly said hello to them I found myself alone with the Farrukh strapped into his "kids" seat next to me. It was almost like someone said, "Let the conversation begin!" Farrukh began to talk, with Grandma scrambling to decipher all of the words bouncing around in the cab of the truck. With a lot of echoing back to assure Farrukh, and myself I was on the same story line as he was, the stories began to serialize. I heard the "bad word" story first, followed by the "scary bear" story, which lead into the "dinosaur", "worm", "truck driving", "boat riding", "friends waiting", and "chasing bad men" story. Punctuating all of this were the questions concerning, "where is Grandpa Don?", "when will we get to Stehekin?", and "where did you get the McDonald's cup?" Although the trip back to Chelan didn't take much over 2 hours, it seemed much longer than that.....chatter from a youngster is going to be a challenge for this Grandma!
We made it to the boat company just in time to pee. Peeing seems to punctuate most activities, be it grocery shopping, eating dinner, or driving down the highway. With peeing taken care of, we moved on to delivering the freight filling the back of the pick-up. Irina had presented me with a very large, very heavy plastic bag full of Farrukh's stuff. I had some room in one box, my last box. As I dug deeper into this bag I found that it was full of groceries, one item being a gallon of apple juice. Aha! I discovered the weighty item. I began to rearrange things and eventually worked everything in except the package of fresh hamburger buns.
Since the exchange hadn't gone as I had envisioned, parked next to a restaurant I foolishly thought we might eat lunch there; it was time for a very late lunch or an even earlier dinner. We visited the Apple Cup where a favorite line from Farrukh was, "We don't know those people!" One needs to have a conversation with Farrukh to appreciate the decibel level of his voice, his non-stop voice! We did well at the restaurant. I had a smile or two even. At one point I kicked the table leg which prompted Farrukh to admonish me, "Grandma, be careful!" French fries were the item of choice for lunch/dinner. He carefully took each fry, laid it on his placemat, cut it in two with his knife, placed one-half on his fork, dipped it into his water glass, and happily ate it. All this motion and nary a drop of water was spilled, and stuck in the glass was that accident waiting to happen, a straw. I drank 3 glasses of diet soda waiting for the required number of fried to be ingested. When we reached that mystery number the rest were put into a box and we took them with us.
The next stop was a real, real new experience. A MOTEL. Farrukh had no concept of a motel. I told him were going to get a "bedroom" so we could go to sleep, wake up, have breakfast and then to Stehekin on the boat. Yes, I also explained repeatedly why we couldn't go to Stehekin right then. He was a bit uncertain we really wanted a bedroom, because he assured me he already had one and didn't need another one. I prevailed and once inside, seeing the two nice big beds and the even more alluring TV he was more than happy. Before the TV enchanted him to excess, we were off to Safeway.
There is a huge trap for parents of young children lying in wait there. Parked beside the grocery carts are these nifty oversized pickups designed especially for children to pretend to drive while "Mom" shops. I wondered if we could get in without Farrukh noticing. Silly me. Before I knew it I was behind this rather long pickup with Farrukh happily settled in the cab, spinning the steering wheel in delight. These are a bit longer in size than the usual grocery cart. I wondered how many displays I would take out on this trip. I wondered too, Farrukh would stay in the cab happily spinning the steering wheel. I had a pretty good sized list which took even longer because Farrukh continued to talk to me although we were now separated by 4 feet of cute blue pickup. I spent lots of time stopped, walking to the front, and answering the current question or hearing the current statement he was making. The good news was he stayed in the cab; the bad news was at the check stand he announced he needed to "pee". The bad news was he wouldn't get out of the truck; the good news was he "forgot" about "peeing".
At last we went back to the room. It is now 5:30 and although it has only been 4 ½ hours since his parents drove away, I was feeling like it had been four and ½ days! I needed a break! Where is that cartoon channel?! I quickly found it and the marathon was off. I'm not sure this had the desired effect for me, you should watch Sponge Bob non-stop for 2 ½ hours. It did the trick for Farrukh though, he was happy as a clam.
Bedtime eventually arrived. I got him stuffed into his pajamas, tucked into bed and we both laid back and read our books. Quiet at last, it was wonderful. I am beginning to reme mber "motherhood", and believe me events today continue to bring it home with staggering reality. If my energy holds, perhaps I can write tomorrow, about the events of today