Inexplicable Morning Meltdown Of The Week
Elijah and I were having a lovely conversation as I drove him to school this morning. Lately, he's been spending a lot of mental time comparing sizes of cities based on how many "teams" they have, meaning professional sports teams.
"Austin is little," he said. "It doesn't have any teams."
"Right," I said.
"L.A. has four teams! The Dodgers, the Angels, the Evil Lakers, and the Clips."
"As I taught you."
"Phoenix doesn't have any teams."
"It does, actually."
"Oh," he said. "The Phoenix Suns."
"Right," I said, not considering the Diamondbacks worth an explanation. Elijah replied,
"Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Avocado."
That was the moment his brain short-circuited.
"Avocado isn't a city," I said.
"What city did I say?"
"Did you mean Chicago?"
"NOOOOOOOO!" he wailed. "WHAT. CITY. DID. I. SAAAAAAAAAAY??????"
At that moment, I made the mistake of driving onto the freeway.
"I DON"T WANT THE FREEWAY!" Elijah shrieked. "TURN AROUND, DADDY!"
"I can't turn around," I said. "I'm on the freeway."
"OH NO! I HATE TRAFFIC!"
By this point, he'd begun to shake his head from side to side. He was in full sob. The nonsequiturs fell in concurrence with his tears.
"MOMMY DIDN'T GIVE ME MY VITAMIN CANDY THIS MORNING!"
We refer to vitamins as "vitamin candy."
"You can have it after school."
"NOOOOOO! MY VITAMIN CANDY! I HATE TRAFFIC! AVOCADO IS NOT A CITY! I WANT MY MOOOOOOOMEEEEEEEE!"
All this because, in January 2002, my wife and I made sweet, magical love for two minutes one afternoon in a rundown townhouse in a transitional neighborhood just north of downtown Philadelphia. I felt sorry for the kid. He didn't ask to be born crazy. It's just in his genes.
However, I stopped feeling sorry for him when he threw his shoes at me.
"GODDAMN IT!" I said. "Jesus Christ impaled on a toothpick! I'm trying to drive here!"
"Elijah, I understand that you're very sad right now. I'm sad all the time, too. The world is a horrible place. But you do not throw your shoes at me while I'm driving!"
"OK," he said.
"Are you calm now?"
"Are snakes nice?" he asked.