By peoplestaff225
Updated October 10, 2008 10:30 AM


Children can often surprise their parents, both in terms of what they understand and when they understand it. Molly Shannon‘s daughter Stella, 5, and son Nolan, 3 ½, are no exception. During a Wednesday appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the 44-year-old actress said that she has recently begun to realize just how much of her actions and words are being soaked up by her kids.

The family’s previous apartment in New York City had a "terrible mice problem," and Molly said that although she didn’t want to make Stella and Nolan nervous she was "very skittish" around the house nonetheless. Constantly afraid of stumbling upon a mouse, Molly’s kids were picking up on her fear — so much so, in fact, that she one day discovered Stella putting tin foil over Nolan’s eyes. "I asked ‘What are you doing?’" Molly recalled with a laugh. "She said, ‘I’m protecting his eyes because I don’t want the mice to eat them.’"

In all seriousness, however, Molly revealed during a Thursday appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly that she feels "so lucky" and "so happy" to be a mom because she knows how close she came to having never been one, at all.

Stella and Nolan are Molly’s children with husband Fritz Chestnut. Molly’s new sitcom, Kath and Kim, airs on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.