During an uncommonly quiet moment in the car this morning I heard Gideon suddenly make a strange wet gurgling sound in his seat behind my head. Andrea immediately spun around to look.

“Oh no!” She said. “Clara, can you help your brother please?”

“Do I need to pull over?” I asked.

“No, just…” A flutter of napkins were pulled from the glove box and released into the backseat like a flock of frantic birds.

“Why did he even have that?”

“I don’t know mom. It’s so gross!”

“I know it’s gross, but stop trying to put it back in his mouth.”

“I’m not he’s trying to. I’m trying to stop him.”

“Well stop letting him eat the napkin. Just get it out of his hand!”

There was the sound of something squeaking and a torrent of little boy giggles.
“Stop Gideon! It’s not funny!”

Finally I turned my head, but all I could see from the driver’s seat was Lydia on the far side of the car sitting calmly in her car seat watching whatever was happening, every muscle in her face screwed into a tight disgusted knot. She caught my eye and said, “I did not want to see that.” Then she slowly turned to face the window. “But I did.” And then a few seconds later, “I did see that.”

Five minutes further and we piled out of the car, and I unbuckled a perfectly happy and seemingly normal little boy from his seat. I still have no idea what traumatizing horrors his sister witnessed that day.