Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Green lighthouse

As we drive around town, and if I feel confident in my ability to control the required number of brain cells, I talk to Val about different things we see. Lately I've been explaining traffic lights and what each color means. She will often give a mostly-accurate play-by-play on traffic movement through an intersection we've stopped at.

"OK car you hafta stop. Red light. This one car go and that car and that big truck go. See the green light. We can't go now. We not fall over [her terminology for "crash."] and this one not falling over and this one not falling over. OK green! We go fast like Daddy now, Mom?"

The other day I was zoning out to NPR when I was startled by her loud protests involving a certain truck.

"Hey, no truck! Have to stop! Come BACK. Come back right now, truck!" Then to me, distressed, "Mom! The truck not coming back! Have to stop!"

I tried to explain the seeming loophole of right turns on red being allowed, but she would have none of it. Why on earth did I just go through the trouble of teaching her that red lights mean STOP if they actually DON'T really mean 'stay stopped until a green light' all the time? What on earth is the sense in THAT, mother?!? The truck was GOING! At a red light! Did you not just SEE THAT?!? And you're changing your story now and telling me that was OK?!


This is the first of many such apparent exceptions to the rules in life, my girl. How I wish life made more sense to me, too, but sometimes you've got to accept the fact that the truck is just going to make that turn, even though in your world it would have made a whole lot more sense for it to stay where it was until you thought it should go. The world is pretty good at operating outside the rules we think it should abide by.

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