And then, when you least expect it, ‘normal’ just pops out of nowhere.
So two examples:
Monday night, while I was alone with the kids, I turned around for a few minutes to handle some work things, since I had jury duty on Tuesday, while they were jumping onto the giant beanbag we have in the living room. When I turned around again, the Monster was on all fours, and R was sitting atop him.
“What are you two doing?!” I shouted at them.
The Monster looked at me, blinked, and as calmly as you please said, “I’m a cat.”
R chimed in. “I’m riding the cat.” (And this is without the benefit of R having seen any “He-Man”…)
“People,” I said, equally calmly, “do not ride cats.”
“Yes, they do,” insisted R.
“I’m a horse,” The Monster asserted. “Neigh.”
But more impressive was last night. Again alone with the kids, who were cooling down so that we could start getting ready for bed. (The Monster had been doing his usual “CAR” act, but since I’d put it out there firmly – no car unless both boys finished their dinners in a timely fashion, and R hadn’t done that yet again – there was no car ride in the offing.) And from across the room, the Monster started coughing. “Hey, buddy,” I called over to him. “How are you? You okay?”
“Yes, I am okay,” came the Monster’s voice, without any real prompting. I am okay. I work on that response with him a lot, the call-and-response of social nicety. How are you? I ask him, and then try to work through getting a response of I’m okay or I’m fine instead of his repeating the question. And out it comes, just plain as day.
All in all, it’s a nice treat, now and again, when ‘normal’ appears around here…