We've all been there. You hear the small one crying, blearily glance at the clock, and stumble to your child's room to see what is wrong. I've often thought that there must be some biological evolution in the body and mind of a parent that makes us capable of these trips. Or...it could just be conversations like the following (which includes several examples of "Things I Never Thought I'd Hear Myself Say") that make it all worthwhile.
It was 2:30 am, and I'd gone upstairs to find that my husband had already responded and changed Thing 1's wet sheets, but he was still inconsolable (Thing 1, not my husband--although there was quite definitely an air of desperation about him as well). I quickly set to diffusing the situation with silliness-- Wookie talk gets 'em every time--and was about to make my escape when Thing 1 piped up from the depths of his pillow and stuffed animal throne:
"Mama, is outside on the floor where crocodiles poop?"
"Umm...they poop in the water."
"Why?" (Here, I shuddered in anticipation of the why game, which always ends in me saying what I swore I'd never say: Just because!)
"Because that's where they live."
He pauses. I start to close the door, but have apparently forgotten an important lesson from Boromir:
"But Mama, do they poop down to the floor in the water or up in the water?"
"Down to the floor."
"But why down to the floor?"
"Umm...because otherwise they'd have to swim through their poop. Eeeeew!" (Yes, brilliant response, I know.)
*Pause* "But Mama..."
"Honey, we can talk about crocodile poop more in the morning." (No parent ever expects to have to say this to their child...)
"Because Mommy is tired and really wants to go back to sleep." *Fingers crossed that this response actually works. It only has about a 13% success rate.*
*Pause* "Oh, ok."
"Goodnight baby." *Shut door. Commence silent hallway victory dance.*