Yesterday shortly after lunch, I went to pick Charlie up from day care. I eagerly mounted the porch stairs and had my hand on the doorknob when I realized I'd left the canvas bag I carry his gear in — lidded lunch plate, Nalgene milk bottle, Fisher-Price Fun2GoWilding riot gear — back in the car.
I turned around and trotted back to the car. While I was getting the bag, my cell phone rang, so I answered it and carried on a lively three-minute conversation. Then I hustled back to the porch, opened the door for real this time, and went in to get Charlie.
Charlie, who was sitting on the floor whimpering, "Mama. Mama. Maaaaamuuuuuuh."
I picked him up and held him, and his crying stopped immediately. The woman who takes care of him looked at me with wide eyes. "You're not going to believe this," she said in a hushed tone, "but he knew five minutes ago you were on your way. I think he must be psychic."
She thinks my kid is psychic. Hey, I don't know; maybe she heard him chanting spooky French couplets, Nostradamus-style:
Avec son sippy-cup pour boire,
Le prince demandera du gâteau,
Mais la lionne dans le T-shirt noir
Bruit qu'il n'y en a plus! L'horrible tyranneau!
(I know it may seem that the rhyme above foretells a devastating famine and the decades-long domination of a brutal but stylish despot, but it actually predicts the upcoming assassination of President William McKinley. Look, it's a metaphor, okay?)
Or maybe she saw him holding a giant LEGO up to his head, Carnac-style, the way he does with my keys, the TiVo remote, the hairbrush, the bubble wand, and his yogurt spoon. She could probably tell he was trying to call his grandmother, what with the "hennuh, Nana" and all, but she might not have known that Nana is alive, well, and not at home to telemarketers, push-pollers, or a crafty toddler conducting a séance, rattling the tray on the highchair to convince his mother that Nana really would let him have a can of soda.
Priceless. I suppose it didn't occur to her that he'd seen my initial approach through the window, which looks directly onto the porch, before I turned to go back to the car. I couldn't stop myself from telling her mildly, "Well, we are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives."
And then gliding out of the room with Charlie, telling him, "C'mon, kiddo, let's go bend some spoons."