We're at Starbucks and Chance is asking questions about his babyhood. (He gets very nostalgic over a blended strawberry lemonade.) I've run through all the usual stories – his first teeth, diaper-changing pee mishaps, vomit disasters – and I'm running out of material. Yet he keeps on asking.
"Tell me another story about when I was a baby, Mom."
"I've told you all the stories."
"No, another one!"
"Come on, Mom, tell me."
"Ummmmmm… well… there was that time that purple alien showed up and wanted to trade you for shoes. You remember that, right?"
"You don't remember that?"
"Oh well, this alien wanted to trade you for shoes and he kept asking and asking but I said 'No'. Those shoes were really ugly."
"I don't remember that."
"Huh. I could swear you would remember that because you kept looking at me and shaking your head and saying, 'No Mommy, no Mommy'."
"What color was he?"
"How many eyes did he have?"
"How tall was he?"
"I don't know exact inches but he was well over 7 feet tall. I mean, he was huge!"
"What else happened? Tell me another story!"
"Umm… oh, there was that time on the boat when this giant octopus reached up and grabbed you and snatched you right off the boat. I had to wrestle you away from him. It was like one of your first boat trips."
"You had to what?"
"I had to wrestle you out of the grip of an octopus."
"With the beak?! Did he bite me?!"
"No, no, he hadn't gotten you to his mouth yet. Just, you know, those big suckers on his tentacles were all stuck to you."
"Was this on the Pacific? Because that's where you find giant octopuses."
"Yes, it was!"
He chewed on that for a while and I got to sip my chai latte for a whole minute before…
"Tell me another story when I was a baby."
"I think I'm all out of stories, kiddo. Oh wait, do you remember when Superman came to visit? He was going to teach you how to fly. But you hadn't even started walking yet so I didn't think that was a very good idea."
"Moo-oom! Superman isn't even real." (This is where he questions me.)
"Yes, he is. He's coming back when you're twelve to teach you to fly."
"Mom! Ugh. I don't want to learn how to fly anyway."
"What?! Who doesn't want to learn how to fly? That would be awesome! You could swoop down… hey, can I have your lesson if you don't want it?"
At this point a lady at the next table (close but probably not close enough to actually hear us) leaned over to me and said, "You know, I teach a class on parenting for social services and I wish I could video tape you two. I've been watching how you interact with your son and this is exactly what we talk about in our classes, spending quality time with your child!"
"Uh…" I'm sure my face went beet red, "You didn't hear the story about the octopus, did you?"
– the weirdgirl