I don’t have a kitten. Or a Roomba. Though, I kind of want a Roomba. T has heard me say that before, but it’s been a while. Not that the timing of my musings really matter, because the kid has a steel-trap mind, which is pretty common for foster kids (at least I think I read that in a book once; I’m clearly no expert). I remember reading that it’s one of the ways they keep themselves safe. Remembering all the details gives them more chance to protect themselves, or something. Not that remembering about a robotic vacuum, specifically, keeps him safe, but the point is this kid doesn’t forget.
He also blurts out stuff that seems really random, but when I pay attention, sometimes I learn it’s not random at all.
Like at dinner the other night when T declared that if we made a dog pile Brian would be on the bottom, then me, then him. I asked him why he was thinking about dog piles, and he said he didn’t really know, but that he had made one with his family once.
T thinks about his family a lot, but he doesn’t talk about them often. So, by the time he mentions a memory like this, he’s pretty deep into his processing.
“And!” he added, “If we had a kitten, the kitten would go on top.”
A while later, he blurted out that if we had a robot-vacuum, we would probably want to get a saddle for it. The saddle would be for the kitten, of course, who would then ride the vacuum.
“And! And! And we’d need to make him a sign that said, ‘Giddy up!’”
Clearly. Since the kitten wouldn’t be able to declare that of his own accord.
His train of thought made me laugh. But as we talked before bed, I got a small glimpse of what he had been processing that led him to talk about dog piles and robot vacuums. Some of the clarity came as he was telling me about the robot he drew at school that day.
“It’s not a robot vacuum, though, Amy, it’s just a robot. And it weighs infinity tons.”
“Hmm,” I wondered back at him. “If it weighed that much it would probably collapse in on itself.”
“You’re right, Amy,” he said. “Then it would be like a black hole and it would suck us all in and we would die.”
I recommended the robot weigh as much as an elephant instead, and he countered with a skyscraper. So that’s where we landed: A robot that weighed as much as a skyscraper.
“Why’d you decide to draw a robot, buddy?”
“To protect us, Amy. My robot will keep us safe.”