For all of you with children in your lives – yours or someone else’s, it doesn’t matter – imagine yourself in the following story:
You’re in your kitchen, making something to eat for the kids. You have four children so things are going as you might expect. They’re running around the house; the ten-year old is asking (again) when lunch will be ready; your five year-old yells “Hey, that’s mine!” from the other room, and you just know that it was the toddler that took something from the boy. It’s like every Saturday of your life in recent memory.
Everything is just about ready and then you hear it; your oldest (she’s 12) screams. Not that little-girl-sees-a-spider sort of scream, but real terror. Scientists have spent decades trying to figure out how you do it, but before she takes her next breath your brain goes through everything it knows about everything you’ve seen and heard ….ever. Before your legs can release you from where you are standing, your subconscious puts together the following facts:
1. In the last 15 seconds you’ve heard the voices of three of your four children.
2. You’re the only adult in the house.
3. The last time you saw the baby he was walking past you and away from the living room.
4. That sound about 3 minutes ago was a door being opened
5. You mopped the kitchen floor yesterday.
6. Your oldest was in the backyard with a friend and had to come in through the laundry room.
Halfway through the instinctive inhale that happens just before you move, your subconscious lets you in on what it figured out:
You know where your baby is.
In the 2 seconds it takes you to get to the laundry room your oldest pulls her fourteen-month old brother out of the bucket….and he isn’t breathing.