As a mother I've learned a hundred new skills - one of them being foresight. Being around my kids all the time has resulted in me having a keen insight into the goings-on of the household. At any one time I likely know what has just happened, what is happening right now, and often, what is about to happen.
Watching them, or even listening from another room, I can predict whether someone is likely to fall or trip. I can sense if someone is about to break into a rage. I can tell if a pot of paint is about to become a contemporary work of art on my wall.
And I respond. And sometimes, having foresight means being able to quickly devise a plan of my own, to counter the oncoming incident.
And that is why I've been smearing Vaseline on the headrest in my car. It's not because I'm a raving nutter. It's that I am a cunning, wicked mother. You know, but in a good way.
Because, as if getting out of my house with two little monkeys wasn't time consuming enough, my twenty-month old son came up with a fun new hilarious way to make the process evenlonger . His plan involved clinging to the bars of the driver's headrest with his sturdy little fingers like a bat clinging to a tree branch as though his life depended on it - making it impossible for me to get him into his car seat. The boy has strength.
Normally I would laugh it off, or patiently find a distraction, but there's something about getting two kids strapped into a car that sets my pulse racing. Perhaps it's because often we're working with a time constraint. Whatever it is, it doesn't take much for my patience to wear thin.
And so, in the morning, before we got into the car for our outing to the grocery store, I had the foresight to sneak out into the garage like a thief in the night and slather Vaseline on the bars of the headrest.
And the clinging-like-a-bat-to-the-headrest was no more.
Unfortunately, for some things, foresight has no use. Once in the grocery store, my preschooler pointed to a stack of pop tins by the tills and, in his loudest voice exclaimed: "MOMMY! HERE'S YOUR BEER!"
For this, the only suitable response is to keep one's sunglasses and hat on with the brim pulled low and keep walking, very quickly.