"M'am, I am tonight!"

Today I was feeling a little defeated (read: utterly exhausted and crankier than the toddler) after an afternoon out with Madeline.  She was a well-behaved little angel, but even a lovely three-year-old is still a three-year-old. I think it's the constant use of my voice that drains me.   When Madeline was an infant I CRAVED adult conversation -  multisyllabic words.  I had a nasty habit of unloading my thoughts on politics and theology and global warming on Dan as he was walking in the door from work.  But now that she's three, I never want to talk to anybody, ever again.  I've lost the will to lecture, to climb up on soapboxes and preach to my husband about things I normally can't shut up about.  Most days, when Dan asks me a question, I say,  "I can't care right now.  Ask me after Madeline goes to sleep."  I've also been known to say really new-agey, nonsensical things like "I can't formulate sentences right now because my aura is cluttered."

In the words of Tina Fey in Date Night, (paraphrasing because, very unfortunately, I don't own the movie):

"Steve: Do you ever think about leaving me for someone else?

Tina: No. Never. Not once.

Steve: Really? Never?

Tina (Kate): Never. If I ever dream of anything like that, it's more like...wishing I could go be by myself.  Like, get a hotel room and have even one, uninterrupted thought.  A quiet room, where I can eat my lunch with no one touching me.  And drink...a Diet Sprite.

Steve (Dan): That sounds awful."

Spot. On.

At any rate, today I was tired of explaining to Madeline WHY I could not turn around and blow her nose for her while I was driving in Huntsville (something about us dying in a firey car accident), and WHY she was not allowed to double-fisted BANG on the fish tank at the pet store (something about the fish's ears. Which, as you might imagine, prompted more unanswerable questions).

SO .  (I'm getting to my point)  As we were leaving the pet store, I buckled Madeline into her car seat, and equipped her for the 15-minute-drive with her doll, some chicken nuggets, and a pile of Kleenexes.  Then I explained WHY we couldn't watch her Blues Clues from the library in the car on the way home (something about us not being millionaires), and FINALLY I plopped into the drivers seat and cranked the engine.

The car cranked, the radio came on, and in that moment I experienced salvation.  The most beautiful, recognizable four piano notes in the history of music.  (I'm sure that's not quite true, but it felt true this afternoon.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JzuZW-Lcns[/youtube]

Madeline did not ask one single question during the four minutes it was on the air, which leads me to believe that this song has actual magical powers.  It is a bringer of peace and silence and okay-ness.  *Exhale*

So thanks, Marc Cohn, for having walked, at some point in your life, in Memphis.