This past week, we were in D.C. for spring break. The boys acquitted themselves quite well, in large part due to the fact that we were staying with my in-laws. The boys like to create the illusion that they are well behaved.
They may have been so delightful because we kept separating them from one another. Both grandparents work, but they took some time off to be with the kids. Lilah declared herself my appendage, but the boys happily trooped off with one or the other of their grandparents for some quality one-on-one. I am unused to such a high adult/child ratio and it felt almost like a vacation.
One afternoon, I was reading to Benjamin on the couch while Zach hung with my mother-in-law in the kitchen. Ben, in a rare display of fondness for his mother, was snuggled up close. He reached over to pat my abdomen.
“Mommy, you got a baby in your belly?” he asked, raising his voice at the end in his exaggerated-question tone.
“No, Benjamin, I don’t have a baby in my belly.”
He kept prodding my post-partum pudge. “You got a ball in your belly?”
“No, sweetie. I don’t have a ball in my belly.”
“Why your belly so big?” he wanted to know.
Ever so helpful, Zachary called out from the next room, “Because she ate too much!”
My mother-in-law did not say a word.