Sunday, September 05, 2004

Swimming With the Fishes

We have had fish, in tanks of course, on and off for years. Fish are soothing and fun to watch. Decorating their tank is a family affair, though sadly cleaning it is not. When the kids were little they used to ask questions like "Mommy, how does the Mama guppy know which babies to eat?" Good question kid. I always wondered about the answer to that one myself. If I had known, I would have probably eaten The Little One.

The Princess of Wails started out as such a cherub. After #1 Son, who had colic, I was blessed with this beautiful little girl who slept like a champ and rarely cried. Visions of all the girlie stuff we were going to do in the future danced in my head. I was going to brush and curl her hair. We'd wear matching cutesy dresses, have tea parties and play with her dolls. Why I was filled with this fantasy is beyond me, since I was a major tomboy growing up. Reality with the Princess is so completely different than my original vision. The kid was practically bald until she was two. By the time her hair grew in long and flowing, she hated for me to even brush it. Oh what "fun" I had trying to sit on her long enough to get the knots out so people wouldn't think we were homeless. And cute dresses, dolls? Fat chance. The kid is a major punk. Black is now her color of choice, though she will wear a skirt if it's plaid. Black fingernail polish and pink hair spray (that brushes out in a hurry before we get to the grandparent's house) are big hits. Her favorite shoes are a pair of Doc Martens, a pink and black pair of Converse high-tops and a pair of pink and black Airwalks with skulls. I'm not sweating it, though. I have learned to pick my battles. I'm saving mine up for tattoos and piercing. That's when I will go to war.

I should have known she would be the one to test my patience. The signs were there fairly early on. When they were really little I had a rule that they were not to be in the kitchen when I loaded the dishwasher, even though I always loaded silverware with the sharp side down. One day I was in "load mode" when The Little One came tearing in and made a beeline for the silverware. Like a little Jack Nicholson she laughed maniacally, grabbed a steak knife by the handle and took off after her brother as if she was in a B movie. She was no more than about 18 months old.

Right around the same time period, I happened to walk by a cracked bathroom door to the sounds of "Ugh, UGH!" I opened the door to see my little Princess with both hands on a toilet brush, flushing and trying to repeatedly shove something down the commode with all her might. Being the concerned Mom I am, I asked her what the heck she was doing. She replied, "Batmon smimmin." It took me several minutes to unload the pot. Luckily she had shoved a pair of #1 Son's pajama bottoms in first. The P.J.s were followed in the drink by several Batman action figures, a couple of Hot Wheels cars and the Batman motorcycle. She's always had it out for her brother and it has only gotten worse.

Yes my friends, those are "hand to God" true stories. Friends of older girls tell me that it only gets worse. Apparently the teen years are hell. I should have eaten The Little One when I had the chance.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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