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Monday, July 20, 2009

She makes bad behavior cute

I don’t know if you’ve met my daughter, but she is a character. I’m not sure if it’s the product of three older brothers, genetics or our parenting, but she is a hoot and a half. Maybe even a hoot and three quarters.

She struts. Once, we were in Dollar Tree and she was walking next to a huge specimen of a pacific islander and she had the exact same strut as he did, arms out and chest puffed and all sorts of tough. Yesterday, we walked into church and I stopped to talk to a friend for a second and she struts past, glances up and says, “I Aubrey.” You know, just in case someone had any doubts. She also does a twirly walk, where she whips her hips around, and makes her skirt twist while she walks.

She seems to have inherited my single mindedness. She also isn’t afraid to barge in and get what she wants. Often, I’ll end up with her climbing into my lap, heedless of whatever sharp needles, crochet hoots or sewing machines may be in the vicinity. Then, if I don’t give her the attention she wants, she gets in my face, following it back and forth, head bobbing like a bird, and insisting that she wants to kiss me. I resist, because she’s usually covered with snot, chocolate or a gross mix of snot and chocolate and of course, since she has me trapped, I have no access to a tissue or a box of tissues and a gallon of soap. She is currently sitting on my lap as I type this, a mouth full of breakfast cereal and trying to feed me buttons she found on my desk and messing with my technology (she already broke my iPod once).

See, she can manage pizza, texting on my cell phone and looking adorable all at once.

She will also insist she’s a baby. It’s one of her favorite games for me to pretend she’s a baby while I rock her and coo at her. She finds this hysterical. “I a baby, Mom. I a baby. Uh, wah, uh, uh, wah.”

The way she holds hands:

Her listening skills are highly developed. She will refuse to hear you if she deems it inconsistent with her current trajectory. This, as a parent, freaks me out. She also likes to stick her fingers down into metal cans. Before we left for David’s family reunion, she stuck her thumb into a can of peaches that was buried in the back of the fridge—I’d forgotten it was there. If I’d had any idea of her coming close to it, I never would have left the lid attached. Anyway, that resulted in a visit to urgent care because of excessive bleeding where they charged me $100 to put a band-aid on her thumb. Then, we had the pleasure of trying to keep a band-aid on a reluctant two-year-old all through our vacation. We finally figured out the right combination of finger-tip band-aid and athletic wrap that befuddled her.

Family picture from the reunion (thanks Crystal!):

Aubrey's thumb:

Back to the listening skills. Saturday, I had mostly finished my can of Dr. Pepper, soda to the gods. She wanted some, so I let her drink the last few drops (this is a long-standing tradition in our family, see layout below). She held onto it for a while, then she and Griffin managed to get the tab off and Aubrey was blithely sticking her fingers down into the can. My no, no, no’s were ignored and I didn’t want to wrench it away from her since her fingers never left the inside of the can. David stepped in and we safely removed her fingers from the can. Somehow, I think that my verbal instructions are enough and I have a body freeze that does not allow me to put down whatever I’m holding and act.

Maxton drinking "the rest" of my beloved Dr. P. From reading the journaling, little sis is just following in big brother's footsteps. We are in for it if she picks up a bad habit from each of them.

This reminds me of a story from the other day. I was in the bathroom, putting on my make-up and she was hanging out with me. She had half an Easter egg. I tend to be super focused, so I was paying attention to blending my eye shadow and not what she was doing. David came in, just as Aubrey dips her egg half into the toilet and brings it to her lips. I start freaking out as I see it go up, but since I’m holding something, I of course, don’t have the mental agility to process everything to put down the make up and prevent her from drinking toilet water. David freaks, knocks the egg back into the toilet as I’m squealing and flushes it. I just sit there in disbelief that a) my child has just ingested toilet water, b) I did nothing to prevent it except stupidly believing that my freak out would stop her, and c) that David just chose to flush an plastic egg down the pipes when I’ve spent considerable time convincing everyone else to flush their pee/poop but NOT flush other things, like whole rolls of toilet paper and stuffed animals.

This whole not listening thing does not bode well for the future. In her defense, she only drank toilet water after asking us for a drink, but since we were both busy getting ready, we both put her off. Is it any wonder that we normally jump when she gives orders, like well-trained troops in the presence of a commander? Otherwise, she gets us back by drinking toilet water.

To counteract her bossiness, she is unfailingly polite. It is hard not to give her what she wants, when she says enthusiastically, “Thank you, Mommy! Thank you!” whenever I get her anything. Sometimes, I go into the kitchen, cut myself a brownie and I hear from behind me, “Thank you, Mommy! Thank you!” and what am I supposed to do? Become a villain from some fairy tale and deny her my brownie?

David is not immune either. You can tell from this picture, she's got him:

Let’s just pray I find the antidote to her cuteness before she enters her teen years. Otherwise, I’m going to be in big trouble with the strut, stubbornness and willingness to drink toilet water to get what she wants.

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