#6 walked out of his room, each ear cupped by a hand, the way he held them when he was frightened. Tears overflowed down his cheeks. He looked to Wife. “Mom, I fink I heawd a cwocodile or somefing.”
Wife’s response was similar to the sound a mountain lion would make.
The four year-old jumped. He then rushed back into his room and onto his bed.
Now, hold your criticism. Allow me to paint the entire picture.
Our little boy had refused to finish his soup from dinner. Wife, unwilling to waste it, placed his leftovers in the fridge. He had soup for breakfast, and was not allowed to leave the table until he ate it. Unfortunately, he did not eat it. After some time of whining, Wife had enough and sent him to bed.
When #6 emerged, it was as much bad timing as anything. With the down pour of rain, none of the children were let outside to play. Wife had been schooling the older children, while the younger ones did their very best to distract everyone. In a marvel of organization, Wife somehow managed them. At the same time she fed the baby, who experimented with nursing and chewing at the same time.
To top off her frustration, THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO CROCODILES IN CALIFORNIA.
As much as Wife has had to be a stern disciplinarian, she is really quite soft. Once she had been obeyed, and the girls were back on their studies, she went to check on #6. As she walked, she wondered, what could lead his imagination to jump to the unlikely conclusion of a crocodile? And what sound does a crocodile even make?
#6 huddled on his bed, mumbling that he was scared. Wife listened closely. She heard a tick tock, tick tock, tick tock that came from outside the window. Upon closer inspection, she saw the rain dripping off the roof onto pieces of old metal, just under the window.
With a tender consideration, she showed #6 the source of the sound. Though he was still not allowed out of bed, he fears were abated.
Of course, most children would have thought of a clock, rather than a crocodile. I think we will put away our Peter Pan DVD for a while.
I really should not be surprised by his overactive imagination. I once lay awake half the night staring at a man who sat in the corner of my room. He turned out to be a pile of laundry.