Gigi – You don’t know everything, Charlie!
Charlie – I definitely know more than you.
Gigi – (Silence, but one can almost hear the thinking that is going on within the quiet space between the speaking voices.)
Charlie – I said, I definitely know more than you….Did you hear me?!
Gigi – I heard you. I’m going to tell Mom that you said that “insist” to me.
Charlie – I think you mean “insult,” Gigi. There’s my point exactly. (Exaggerated snickering.) You don’t even use the right word. (Snicker, snicker, snicker.)
Gigi – Weeellll, when I get bigger, I WILL be smarter than you.
Charlie – I doubt it.
Gigi – (In a sing-song voice that Gigi’s employed so often when she really wants to get under her brother’s skin…..)
I WILL be smarter, I WILL be smarter, I WILL be smarter! Dada, da, da! Dada, da, da!
(If there’s one thing that can really get Charlie into a lather, it’s sing-song voices and wordless tunes punctuated by made-up rhythms. A situation such as this could cause a massive eruption. I am concerned that this will all come to blows shortly.)
And because I am waiting for the tiger to pounce on the chirpy bird, there are many things I wish to say. Automatic mothering type words of admonishment threaten to spill forth from my mouth…before I’ve really had time to think about what they would mean or what their effect would be. Do I really need to direct this moment, to force myself into this particular experience that is between my two children? I choose, instead, to remain quiet and still….moving only to pick up my pen and open my journal to a clean page. I sit at my desk and begin transcribing the children’s conversation quickly while the memory of it is fresh and intact. I watch from my bedroom door as Charlie leaves the living room quietly…without another word. It seems that the tiger has chosen to retreat to another corner of the cave. The sing-song bird continues to hum her tune. The mother concentrates on her writing, immensely proud of herself for remaining quiet, for letting life unfold around her while she remained still…only to observe… instead of whipping things into a froth as is her usual style.