But children are frighteningly different from one another. And while you may have one child who is all sweetness and light and another who is dramatic and bright, you could have another who is HELL ON WHEELS.
My daughter Alice is that child. While a good deal of it comes from being 14 months old and recently acquring the ability move oneself with ease and a staggering quickness, the other amount of it comes from just being insane. I present the people's exhibit one: the toilet. Alice is my first and only child to be OBSESSED with the toilet. And not in the EC-ing, potty trained by 18 months kind of way. Like she wants to play in it. More than wants to, actually. Kind of like "lives to play in it." So much so that we have taken to totally shutting off portions of our house while she is walking around unfettered. If, by some miracle, she finds the bathroom open, she will go and sit there, IN THE DARK, and just wait until someone comes to look for her. Once she hears feet coming toward her, she sprints to the toilet, laughing maniacally the entire time, and proceeds to get as much splashing in as she can possibly do in the 4.3 seconds it takes for us to get to her, scream, curse, and pick her up. Same deal every time.
Or witness the People's Exhibit Numero Dos: rice. No bag/box/container of rice in our house is safe. She will find it, and she will figure out a way to puncture it/turn it upside down/whatever. And it will be all over the floor. And she will use her hands to dip into it and throw it to the far reaches of the house. And she will laugh maniacally. I used to keep rice in a lazy susan that is close to the floor and when she started doing this, I moved it to the pantry. She found it and screamed until Sam gave it to her. I then moved it to the countertop, behind some cookbooks and admonished Sam for giving in to her screams. Then one day I was holding her in the kitchen, talking to Matt about God only knows what, and she just calmly and quietly leaned over, picked up a package of basmati and boom. All over the floor. She was happy as a clam with herself. She then arched her back so I had to let her down and mussed her hands around in the rice while her two parents sat and watched her, bewildered, broom in hand.
This is just scratching the surface of what this child gets into on a daily basis. Perhaps I have rose colored glasses, but I don't remember my other two being this way. And I especially don't remember the glint in the eyes, this look that Alice gets that is the toddler equivalent of "IT'S ON, BITCH."
I also don't remember the other two just being this FUN. Sam was sweet and cuddly and Gabby was independent and stubborn. But Alice has the market cornered on just pure unadulterated fun. She tramps around the house, usually shirtless because for some reason she prefers not wearing a shirt, her bizarre distended baby-gut leading the way, wreaking havoc. And we all just sit back and watch and laugh. Her daily interplays with her siblings are especially priceless--Gabby is usually huffy and sometimes just purely angry with her for her exploits, but then softens and tries to please her. And Sam is purely in love with her, and accepts it all with happiness and hugs. I imagine that someday when she has wrecked the car and is left standing outside of a 7-11, smelling of Boone's Farm and bad teenage choices, it will be Sam that she will call. And he will show up, smiling sweetly and saying, "Well, A-lice..."
Kids are amazing. Sometimes I hear friends complain about losing their life once a child is born and not being able to do the things that they once did. And yeah, I get it. Sometimes you need a break. But seriously. Just sitting around watching one of these little monsters can be the most entertaining thing ever. That is, until you have to clean it all up. That, my friends, is what booze is for.