I was sitting on the couch this morning when Clara projected herself into the room. She was repeating a frantic question that had become so muddled by emotions that I had to calm her down in order to understand what she was saying.
“Clara.” I said, holding the little girl still. “What is wrong?”
Her breathless response was, “I need to know when Gideon is going to be able to eat peanut butter!”
It took me a few seconds to process the question, and then once I thought I understood the words I still doubted whether my brain had heard her correctly.
“What?” I said.
“When is Gideon going to be able to eat peanut butter?” She repeated.
Well, at least I was sure I was understanding the words correctly. But I secretly was wishing that children were not insane Sudoku puzzles that ambush you during your most restful moments. I gave her an honest response. “It will probably be a very long time before he is eating peanut butter. Probably after his next birthday even.”
Her eyes rolled back in dismay as she melted away from me. “Oh no!” She said. “But he has the hiccups right now! I don’t want him to have hiccups until after his next birthday!”
I reassured her that his hiccups would go away soon, and that eating peanut butter was not the only way of curing hiccups. She accepted this, shrugged her shoulders, and slowly walked back upstairs. I watched her go and went back to conserving energy for the next ambush.