"What's a crash truck?"
Oh, great. Why does he always ask me this stuff when I'm behind the wheel? One of these days he's going to drop a major bombshell like "I'm gonna become the first-ever pregnant man, Mom!" and we'll end up taking out the bathrooms of the Whole Foods - which might be fine with him, since he hates their automatic toilets anyhow - but...but...oh, right...keep your eyes on the road and answer the question without mowing down a pedestrian.
"It's another name for an ambulance," I say carefully.
"Can't a fire truck do what an ambulance does?"
"No, because there's no room in the fire truck to bring people who need medical care to go to the hospital."
"Yes, there IS."
"No, there isn't, kiddo."
"Yes, there IS!!!"
Oh, lovely. I have Mr Omnipotent in the backseat, now. Just when I think he's asking me a question to confirm something, he decides to say it's not the way I said it because he says so. Huh, sounds familiar. Must...not...get...pulled..into...argument...with four-year-old...but it's so tough...to...resist...Eyesontheroadeyesontheroad.
"What is it????"
Spit it out, kid. This trip to school won't last forever. And if you keep testing the micromommyphone, eventually it won't work. I just won't answer back. Nyaaah nyaaah nyaaah......................I'm lying, damn it. I will answer back most of the time, unless I'm completely out of earshot, or in another state. If I'm not careful, after I drop this child off, I may end up in another state. Oh, here it comes:
"Mom why'd you give me the name you gave me?"
Phew. Easy, for once.
"Because Daddy and I thought it was a beautiful name. And also because it was your great-great grandfather's name."
"Mom, what's a star box?"
"Nooo, star box."
(practically yells in frustration) "Nooo, star box!!!"
"Ohhh, Starbucks. Is that it?"
Where is that coming from? Oh, he heard Dan talking about the little guy and I meeting our neighbor's friend in a Starbucks the other day. Dan made it sound like we'd committed some major traitorous deed by setting foot in the place. We probably have, even though, when I go in there, I only get an iced tea lemonade and the kid gets a chocolate milk and many opportunities to pester patrons working on their laptops. He even got some guy to allow him to get into a game of pinball on his laptop. The kid oughta be running for governor.
"It's a coffee shop, honey."
I am not caving in to this child this time. No no no way.
"Mooom, can you tell me what this is?"
"What what is?"
"That in my book."
Urrrrgh. I don't have eyes in the back of my head, little guy. Why why why can't you understand that? Why why why can't I just eliminate books from the backseat altogether?
(testily) "Honey, I am driving this car. I cannot read that book to you right now. What happens if I try to read that book to you while I am driving?"
(with a sigh in his voice) " We could get in an accident."
"That's right. So let me drive, please."
(singing from the backseat)
"Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
I got a big fat mama trying to break me.
And I love to live so pleasantly,
Live this life of luxury,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon."
Aaaahhh, we're here. Thank God. And my barely-there self control. Into the classroom, back out without the kid, no messing with carseat restraints, no counting down from five to get him climbing into the seat faster, just get in and go. Weave out of the school traffic. Get that granita. Lazing on a sunny afternoooooooon....
(singing aloud)"In the summertiiiiiime. In the summertiiiiiiiime...."