For those of you who are lurking readers that never leave comments (I am assuming I have a readership here, work with me), I have only one piece of advice for you. If you already have one child and get the itch for another, take up knitting. Better yet, take a pottery class. Swim the English Channel but, for the love of God, DO NOT HAVE THAT SECOND CHILD! The moment will pass. You’ll get over it. Whatever traits you adore in your first child will only mutate into something hideous and grotesque with the second. It’s genetically impossible to have two well-behaved, nice, decent children. For every angel and Momma’s baby you think you’ve given birth to the first time, you will most assuredly get the booger-picking, hitting, spitting, kicking, biting Hell on Earth with the second.
Let me just say I love my booger-picking, hitting, spitting, kicking, biting Hell on Earth. Love her to pieces. But both she and her sister are going through a growth spurt both physically and behaviorally. Mooter has spent her summer with Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel. Not exactly a productive summer but, given our recent adventures, the television has become the babysitter. While it isn’t a practice BFam or I intend to continue, it is proof-positive that we’ll have our hands full trying to erase the brainwashing taking place these past two and a half months. A six-year-old does not understand sarcasm or humor very well. And to watch this or this, does not give the best example of how children should act towards their parents. I have been hit with a parade of catch phrases this summer. “Get a grip, Mom. I’m too cute! Don’t even think about it!” have all given Mooter a free makeover of a fat lip. Slowly, with each notch knocked out of her belt, she’s becoming the child I knew. The one who’s respectful and courteous. The one who wouldn’t hurt a fly and prefers dancing in the daisies barefoot while playing a harpsichord to getting her hair combed.
Booger, on the other hand, has taken to breaking away from anyone holding her hand so she can play hopscotch with traffic in the middle of residential streets. Laughing and running from anyone who calls her name. Telling you NO whenever you ask her to do something. Whining. Falling out in the middle of floors. Kicking. Screaming. Hitting. And, my favorite, biting her sister. I have not had one bad report from her daycare mentioning any of these things listed. My rationale is she’s quiet and sedate while she watches her classmates and takes mental notes of their behavior, making sure to pay extra special attention to details. “Punch in stomach, then run. Wait, no. Cry, THEN punch in stomach. THEN run. THEN cry again when caught. Got it.” Her vampire-like episodes have spanned the last two nights. She won’t break the skin, but Mooter displays perfect oval impressions of teeth on her arms. Luckily, Booger isn’t old enough to lie. So “Did you bite your sister?” is always met with “YES! Now give me a cookie!”
Between the two, I’m convinced they’re trying to get me. Last night, Mooter told me she wanted to be just like me. Drive a car. Have a dog. Work where I worked. I told her that was great, but that she couldn’t do those things and live in my house. She’d have to get out. “Why?” Because you’ll be too old to stay with me, and I don’t live with grown people. “But you live with Daddy.” Yes, and his age is still up for debate. “But I don’t want to leave my sister!” Good, I don’t want you to leave her either. Take her with you! “Can I visit you with my dogs?” Dogs? Like, more than one, dogs? “Yes. I want four of them.” Then, no, you can’t visit. You have to keep your wild kingdom at your house.
Was this conversation over then? No. All night I had to hear about how this six-year-old couldn’t believe I’d have the NERVE to kick her out of MY house, and how much she didn’t want to leave, and why couldn’t she be a grown-up AND live with Mommy and Daddy. It was one of those rare moments you wished you had a tape recorder because, no matter what I said, I couldn’t get her to understand that by the time she was sixteen, she and I would be at war with each other. That we’d hate each other so much, and she’d experience such a rite of passage in making my life sheer Hell, that I’d have to pay her to stay in school let alone MY house.
But you can’t explain these things to children as long as they want to be children. And you can’t beat them when they want to be adults yet are still children. And you can’t sell them on e-Bay when they’re grown and refuse to leave your house. And they don’t understand what adulthood is like. And they don’t yet understand actions and consequences and the results thereof. And they’re all confused, and the world is crazy and mixed up, and this getting older thing sucks, and why didn’t this life come with a manual, and you’re not the boss of me.
This begins the time when praying is not an option. When being tired is a daily occurrence, and you’re almost positive you’ll be childless before your 31st birthday. It’s times like these when WWJD sounds less like a joke and more like the only thing keeping you from a jail cell.
Unless you’re Mooter. Because What Would the Jonas Brothers Do sounds so much better.