Tuesday, April 6, 2010


So my recent post about Martin and his superhero persona was all wrong. Really, Martin is Irrational Man, a creature fervently committed to things that make no sense.

Example #1: Martin is convinced that I should never, ever drive the family car. When we're going somewhere as a family, Martin asks if I will be the passenger and my husband will be the driver. Today, I had to drive Martin to speech while my husband stayed at home with our daughter. "You can't drive, Mama," Martin said. "I am a small boy that can drive, but you cannot drive." He was so convinced that I should not drive that he began to cry, silently, in the back seat while I pulled out of the driveway. The whole way to speech he mumbled that he knew how to drive and that I should not be driving.

(As far as I know no one has ever told Martin that I once drove the dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School into a snowy ditch or that I once tipped over my motorscooter in front of a bar full of Harley riders, prompting one of them to cry out "Biker down!" As far as Martin knows, I am a safe, if somewhat timid driver who always gets him to his destination.)

Example #2: Martin is convinced that if Sasha grabs her toes she will be able to pull them right off her feet. Whenever I take them out in the double stroller, Martin is grabbing at Sasha's hands within a few minutes. "Don't touch your feet, Sasha," he yells. "She will pull her toes off!" No amount of reassurance convinces him that Sasha's toes will stay attached to her feet.

I know that all kids have their irrational moments, but Martin's language difficulties make it particularly difficult to help him move from irrationality to rationality. He really is convinced that I shouldn't drive him anywhere and that he is all that stands between Sasha popping her toes right off her feet. When I tell him that I am a decent driver, he just looks confused. When we tell him that Sasha's toes will remain intact, he looks skeptical.

I'm not seeing any way to get through.


  1. I'm wondering if Martin has stories in his head where the man or father is driving and never the mother or a woman which leads me to consider deliberate movies or books where women are driving which I know poses its own problems in finding ones that fit into Martins accepted viewing or reading lists. The toes thing has me stumped. But I guess what I'm wondering is if these are actually perfectly rational fears to Martin and that he is really trying to protect you and Sasha. Which makes me wonder if that is what Martin is really doing is trying to be a protector, again perhaps a gender stereotyping issue that has gone afoul. There's my unsolicited and somewhat uninformed thoughts.

  2. There is that Angelina Jolie movie about carjacking.....

  3. Aww... I'm seeing it as a form of protecting you guys too. An example of totally irrational? My son won't let me put anything on my face at Halloween, because he's afraid you're a changeling. As an example- I cannot be a cat, because if I draw on whiskers, I will actually become a cat. There's logic for ya. :)