Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear
"Sammy!" John said sharply. "Stop wiggling!"
Sammy had been leaning forward, then turning and craning his head to look behind them, over and over. He was a regular Houdini at getting out of the car seat and John suspected the constant movement had something to do with it. When Sammy heard his father's voice, he froze, still looking behind him.
John tried to count to ten in Latin. It took him considerably longer than it took in English and he gave up when he couldn't remember what four was. But he didn't have the urge to snap at Sammy anymore, so he guessed it had served its purpose. Although when he looked at his son, Sammy was looking over his shoulder at him in a very creepy way. "Turn around, son," he said, calmer.
" 'Kay, Daddy," Sammy said, settling into his car seat, and smiled at him.
John smiled back. "Sorry, kiddo, I'm just tense, I guess."
"Why?" Sammy asked.
John didn't know what to say. Why? Because Dean had looked at him like he'd betrayed everything he knew when they left him at school. Because Dean still wasn't talking like he should. Because John hadn't made him go to school like he should have the year before and Dean would probably be behind. Because the teacher wasn't going to understand. Because taking Dean to school was the best thing. Because taking Dean to school was the worst thing.
Because Sammy, damn it, was wiggling around again.
"Sammy," he said wearily.
"Daddy, the mirror is not working," Sammy said seriously.
At least, that's what John thought he said. Sammy generally used full sentences, but his pronunciation left something to be desired. "What?" He glanced at the passenger side mirror, which seemed to be fine.
"No, Daddy, 'cause, look." Sammy pointed at the mirror. "Small." Then he leaned forward as far as he could and pointed behind them. "Big." He looked over at John again, forehead crinkling. "Why?"
John couldn't help chuckling. Trust Sammy to stump him again, with the exact same question, but in a completely different way. How was he supposed to explain convex mirrors to a two-year-old? "I don't know," he said.
Sammy frowned. "Wanna know, Daddy," he protested.
And wasn't that the truth. As soon as Sammy started talking, he started asking questions. Dean had talked (hadhadhad, always past tense now), but he'd chattered to everyone he met, family, friends, strangers. He talked about he saw and what he did and what he wanted and things like that. Not so much with the questions, not until Sammy came along and then Dean had questions about everything.
But Sammy couldn't be more different. He hadn't really done the incomprehensible baby babbling and hadn't really tried to talk until one day when it just all happened. John wasn't even sure of Sammy's first word, not really, because it seemed like when he decided to talk, he'd had a store of them ready for use. And Sammy's favorite word was "Why?" Always with the why and John never had the answers. He dreaded the day when Sammy would start asking real questions.
"Because objects in the mirror are closer than they appear," John said.
Sammy frowned at him. "Where's Dean?" he asked.
"He's at school, remember?"
"Want Dean," Sammy insisted.
John sighed, hoping this wouldn't become a full-blown temper tantrum. He'd worried about getting Dean off to school and hadn't thought about how Sammy would react to Dean disappearing for hours at a time. "Me, too, bud. Me, too. We can go get him soon."
Sammy's frown disappeared. "Don't be sad, Daddy. See Dean soon."
John didn't really have a reply to that, so he just stopped the car. Sammy was usually easy to distract at least. "Come on, Sammy. We'll hang out at the park for a while.
Sammy's whole face lit up. "Swing, Daddy! Wanna swing! Let's go!"
And John noticed that Sammy had somehow escaped from the car seat.
Right under his nose.
"Let's go, Daddy!" Sammy insisted. "Go swing!"
John just sighed. "All right. Let's go."
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