It was 7:30 AM, the front door was open in readiness for the five of us to brave the morning chill and head for the van, and I was crouching in the front entrance hurriedly attaching boots and mittens to my dawdling four-year-old.
I ushered him out the door, entreating him to pick up the pace as he ambled down the walkway, stuffing pinecones into his hoodie pockets. Once in the van, I had to remind him several times to climb into his car seat, as I strapped in his sister and deposited backpacks in the trunk.
I read once that children have no sense of urgency, that it's a waste of time to try to make them hurry, and I must say that in my seven years of parenting, truer words have never been spoken.
However, from time to time I can't resist trying to instill the importance of efficient house-departing routines into their little heads, and so this morning I told him earnestly, "Mommy and Daddy can't be late for work. If we are, we could be fired!" Unlikely though that scenario is, against the backdrop of today's economy the statement sounded sufficiently grim.
My words seemed to have an effect. I had his full attention. "They would set you on fire?" he asked with real interest.