She knows she’s in trouble, or at least knows that she WILL be should we discover what she’s been into, so she sidles her way through the kitchen like a small tin duck at the Carnival, bobbing and waddling and trying to avoid getting shot with a plastic pellet.
We’re both cooking dinner at the time (by “both cooking” I mean “she’s cooking while I stand there and relatively ineffectually look helpfully-sexily-mildly-retarded”) but Wife notices her first and asks what it is that she’s doing.
A wry smile spreads across the small child’s face as she stares me in the eyes lovingly and pretends to not have heard her mother’s question. I repeat the question, for posterity if nothing else, and her pace quickens as she continues rocking sideways through the room.
After moving around the kitchen counter and squatting down to small child’s level, I ask her what she’s got behind her back. Barely a flicker passes across her eyes as she gleefully pulls one of her hands into view and wiggle’s it’s emptiness in front of my face.
“Nice try Pie-Pie,” I smile sternly, “but seriously, lemme see what’s in the other hand.”
A more noticeable flicker passes across her eyes this time, as she looks me in the eyes placidly and innocently, shuffles her hands behind her back for a second, and then holds up the now empty other hand.
I simply stare in astonishment for a second before I grab her and spin her little body around to reveal a paintbrush that she’s pulled from it’s drying spot above the washer.
She’s barely THREE, and I’ve seen worse sleights-of-hand from idiot wedding magicians.
Bed time isn’t a huge trial for us, as both kids are usually fairly tuckered, and we get ’em down easily with a minimum amount of fuss and a fair amount of stories or mellow conversation. It’s when she feels like testing things that make it difficult, and I sensed her attempting this by sneaking onto the floor in search of an elusive toy while ignoring my command to climb back into bed.
It had been a long day, and though the expression she was showing me was obviously meant to make me think it, she just wasn’t being that damn cute. A lecture on being good and going to sleep instead of being naughty and ignoring the directive to sleep was going as well as can be expected, and I genuinely thought she was kind-of-sort-of listening.
She nodded when I asked questions of comprehension and she smiled lovingly into my eyes as her little hand snuck up from underneath the covers and began to scratch around in her ear.
It was only when I noticed the other hand sneaking up towards her opposite ear that my suspicions sparked, and those suspicions full-on flared when I saw that the “itching finger” was firmly embedded in her ear as a finger from the other hand was inserted into her itch-free ear.
A vacuum-sealing SCHOOP was almost audible as both her ears were firmly plugged and a satisfied smile broadened across her angelic face.
I almost screamed, “Are you fucking kidding me?!?!” as I pulled her hands from her ears, but it’s terribly confusing to be caught so firmly between the desire to chastise (or even punish severely) and the feelings of admiration and respect for such a blatantly cheeky act.
Oh, I punished her, not severely, but you have to respect the fact that the kid simply didn’t want to be lectured, did the best she could to avoid it, yet still wanted to let me think that I was succeeding.
I’m very afraid.
Bro-in-law and his girlfriend had dropped in the night before and we’d had a bit to drink while attempting to ruin his girlfriend’s birthday fondue set, so the next morning’s pitter-pattering of tiny elephants went ignored for a bit longer than normal.
I told Wife to stay in bed while I got up to quiet the herd and was greeted with an over-enthusiastic, “DADDY!” and a slightly guilty-looking little girl, who’s face was covered in what looked like frosting off of a glazed donut.
She defines “precocious” and has the appetite of a large bovine, so if a meal happens to be a bit tardy, just about anything is sought out for at least a test-tasting.
I wiped my finger across her cheek in extreme curiosity, knowing that if we’d had anything frosted in the house I’d have surely partaken in it already.
“What is this? What have you been eating?” I asked, popping my finger into my mouth.
Smiling sweetly at me she shrugged, and replied reasonably honestly, “I don’t remember.”
‘Sweet’ and ‘frosted’ were two of the things I was at the very least expecting, and I cursed and spat the plastic-tasting flecks of unknown across the oven while shouting, “What the hell is that? It’s not even ORGANIC!?!?”
It seems the previous evening’s efforts to ruin bro-in-law’s woman’s fondue pot were dwindled down to the use of those tiny tealighter candles, which bear a remarkable resemblance to a foil-wrapped, sugary treat.
She’d been gnawing on wax. Yummy.
I began cleaning her up and yet another lecture when I noticed that where there were once seven gleaming, pristine, gorgeous-looking, home-grown tomatoes on the counter, there were now six lovelies and one gnarled lump of seed-bleeding gore.
Frustrated already, I snatched it up in my hand and held it in front of her sticky little face.
“What’s this?” I asked with a snarl, yet remaining calm.
Without missing a beat, she pointed at the remaining tomatoes and replied happily, “It’s one of those,” obviously pleased that my question was an easy one to field.
“What happened to it?” I asked, feeling my temper rising.
With a look that suggested that I may have an extra chromosome or two, she replied condescendingly and somberly, “It got chewed.”
“Kid, I’m hungover and don’t particularly feel like playing The Pronoun Game,” I sighed out exasperatedly, “who chewed it?”
Her expression grew even more somber as she lowered her head, and her voice, and her hope faded that I wasn’t going to ask that particular question as she said, “I did.”
At that moment, with my head pounding, my bladder straining, and my stomach gurgling unhappily, the admission of the truth was like a shining beacon, but my anger only slightly lessened as I asked, “What the hell were you thinking first eating wax and then climbing up on the counter, where you KNOW you’re not allowed, and eating a tomato?!?!?!”
A brief flicker of hope lit her eyes and a slight smile spread as she thought that maybe the Loss-of-Memory card would bail her out yet again when she said questioningly, “Um… I don’t know?”
I’m very, very, afraid.
If this kid is on the verge of outsmarting me NOW, whether I’m hungover or not, when she’s only just turned three… by the time she’s a teenager I’m frickin’ DONE FOR.
My saving grace is that Wife was a Black Belt in the exact same brand of LittleShit Fu that our youngest is quickly mastering, as she was the spittin’ image of that same unique blend of piss n’ vinegar. At least that’s what CrazyCatLady feels the need to share with me every time that I’m touting the awesomeness of Wife in front of her.
Regardless, she’s on MY side now, and I can see myself calling upon her Ninjahood, “Honey, she’s countering my Stern Lecture of Doom with The Crouching Rabbit and my Disapproving Glare of the Watcher with Eye of Doe, can you go lay the smack down, BruceLeeStyle?”
Awrighty, first off with some linky-yums, I wrote a guest entry for a DLand favorite, Clarity because it’s this new thing Andyroo thought up and… well, coz she asked me and I’m a complete whore for attention.
AAAAAAAAAAND on that note, Wife is apparently opening up our cute little DLand-romantical world to her readers by openly inviting people to ask questions about amputees fellating vegetables… I mean, about ME (close enough, eh?). So feel free to ask her about how awesome I am at singing while making snail stew… Go on… DO IT.
My sis-in-law is awesome. Love her like a good game of “Making Babies Chasey.”
Also, I just can’t help this one, but you gotta go check this guy out. Wife keeps coming in from the next room because I’m fucking cacking myself in here. I have no idea if I’ve ever been to his diary before, but I randomly clicked on a not-even-very-funny banner, started reading, and am now in tears. I think I might love him.