Making Sense of It All

Yesterday as I was driving the children with all our ski gear to the slopes, Nic said, “Mom, did you get me a new pair of poles?”

“No Nic, I didn’t,” I said.  “What’s wrong with your poles?”

“I can’t use them any more,” he answered.

“Why not?”

“The baskets fell off.”

“What do you mean the baskets fell off?”  I asked with growing irritation.

“I don’t know.  They fell off.  I can’t ski with them.”

I began imagining the long lines at the rental shop at Buttermilk, how we were suppose to meet Emma’s Challenge Aspen ski buddy in less than five minutes and we were just leaving the house.  I said as much to Nic who now sat quietly in the back seat staring out the window.

“Mommy’s so upset,” Emma’s voice could be heard saying, from the backseat.  “Nicky’s so upset.  Mommy’s angry.”

“Oh Em,” I said.  “I shouldn’t have gotten angry just now.  I’m sorry Nic.  Don’t worry, we’ll borrow a pair of poles and get you a new pair this afternoon.  Okay?”

“Okay,” Nic said.

“Hey Em?  Are you excited to go skiing?”  I asked.

“Yeah.  Ski with Mommy and Nicky and Matt!” Emma said.  “Mommy’s upset.  Nicky’s upset.  Nicky wants to jump off the diving board.  I’m sorry, it’s closed.  Nicky’s crying,” Emma continued cheerfully.

This kind of dialogue from Emma is typical, she applies whatever logic she can to a given situation, usually however, it’s incorrect.  She will come up with reasons for someone’s upset with things that have recently upset her.  If Emma doesn’t get to the Aspen Recreation Center by a certain time during the week, the diving board is closed and she cannot jump off it.  As jumping off the diving board is one of her favorite activities, she is upset when she realizes she won’t be able to.  That Nic is now upset, it stands to reason, he must be upset as she is, about the diving board.

“I don’t care about the diving board Emma,” Nic grumbled.  “And I’m not crying,” he added.

“Hey Em.  Nicky’s not upset about the diving board.  Nicky’s upset because I was cross with him about his ski poles,” I explained.

“You got that right,” Nic muttered, giving me a grin.

“Nicky’s upset, Nicky’s angry, Mommy’s so upset, Mommy’s angry, Emma’s upset, Emma wants to jump off the diving board,” Emma said.

It’s a bit like watching an Olympic Sporting Event where the newscaster does an ongoing narration of the events as they develop.  Only Emma is reporting on events with reasoning which has nothing to do with what’s actually going on.

“Mom, make her stop,” Nic said irritably.

I began laughing, “I can’t Nic.  She’s just trying to make sense of it all.”

“But it doesn’t make any sense,” Nic said.

“It does to her,” I answered.

“Whatever,” Nic said.

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