Mothers are all slightly insane. – JD Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
And there you have it summed up well. I thought of this quote tonight as I sat with my girlfriend, Amy and her two kids and husband at Jeni’s ice cream parlor. Maria and Mario wanted to see Zach and Grace (Amy’s kids) and we decided to meet at a local ice cream parlor and sit outside. Zach is as wild as Mario so whenever the two of them get together, it tends to be chaotic. Gracie and Maria do their own thing – typically not together since there is a two-year difference – but they are cool with just hanging out in their own separate hemispheres.
When we got to Jeni’s, Amy and her hubby already had a table. Zach came running up to me and rammed into my side. Mario jumped on him and fake-punched him in the back. Maria climbed on Mario. Gracie watched. Let the chaos begin. A friend with a daughter in Maria’s class was in front of me in line for ice cream. She began to make small-talk with me about what teacher Maria had next year while Mario was dodging in and out of the stools with Zach. This is how the conversation ensued:
Her: “So, who does Maria have this year?”
Me: “She has, ugh…Mario, get off the floor and stand over here now! She has Ms. Palmer – is she any (evil eye to Mario) good?”
Her: “I hear she is just awesome. Did Maria like her first grade teacher?”
Me: “Yeah, she… Mario, stand still now; do not move another inch or no ice cream! Yes, she really liked her – Maria, watch out for the wandering baby! – first grade teacher.”
And so it went for another five minutes as my friend waited in line without any children in tow surely thanking the heavens for a night with no interruptions. When I went to sit down, it started all over again. Amy and I would get a question and half an answer out before interrupting one or the other with a command to one of the children. But somehow we were able to pick up where we left off in the conversation – even if it was right in mid-sentence – and complete our thoughts. Mothers may be slightly insane but we can multi-task with the best of them and walk away from a get-together having got caught up on each others’ lives and kept the children from disaster!