One game that Nicholas is fond of playing is the “Then what happens” game. It ranges from the negative scenarios to the more mundane.
“Mama, if the car behind us crashes into us, then what happens?”
“Then the police would come to see if we were ok.”
“Then what happens?”
“Well, if we’re ok, we go home. If we’re not we go to the hospital.”
“If we go to the hospital, then what happens?”
“Then the doctor checks us out.”
“Then what happens?”
And this could go on until I cry uncle.
“When we get up the morning, what are we doing?”
“You have school.”
“And after school … then what?” And so on.
Recently on the way home from an errand, he focused on something different.
“Mama, how do you learn how to drive?”
“In school, they’ll teach you.”
“But how do you know where to go?”
“Well, you’ll have a teacher in the car with you showing you where to go and what to do.”
“In the car?!” he shrieked, nearly falling out of his booster seat. “No blackboard?!”
“You’ll learn in a classroom first and then they’ll take you out in the car so you can learn how to drive.”
“But how will you know where to go?”
“The teacher will tell you.”
“What is he doesn’t know?”
“Then he can ask for directions or use a map.”
“I’m never going to drive. What happens if I don’t drive?”
“Well, you take a taxi or train, or ask someone for a ride.”
“What if they don’t know where to go?”
“You can tell them – you’ll probably know how to get there.”
“No, I won’t. I’m never driving. I’m going to live at home with you and Daddy forever.”
Seriously, the stuff that weighs on this kid’s mind never ceases to amaze me. Forget about his love of Hannah Montana, High School Musical 2 and SpongeBob, he’s worried about driving in 12 years!
At that point, we were about 2-3 miles from home, and I told him that I bet he knows how to get to our house from where we are, and he wouldn’t need to worry about someone else having directions.
“No way,” he shot back.
“I bet you do.” Before each turn, I slowed down and asked him if I should continue going straight, or turn left or right. With each move, he nailed it and we were soon pulling into our driveway.
“See? You can do it. Nothing to worry about.”
“But Mama, what if we move and it’s a different house?”
And so it goes.