Weren't you wondering? Sidetracked, daydreaming and goggling at my apparent ability to blithely say "Yes!" in the face of mayhem?
For offspring numbers 1, 2 and 3 - it goeth well. We are achieving a higher level of peace. We are imperfect and yet... reaching better cooperation.
Offspring number 4? The 20 month old?
This would not in fact be The Year of the Yes for him. Oh, my, no.
See, that's what I get for getting all smug, and saying things like "Bring it on, child 4! Surely my eye hath seen whatever it is you got in store! You will of course fall into a categorically sound slot of Things I Have Already Seen! Yes, sure, you started out grumpy & discontent - but you will fit a mold - pick one!"
And then the boy went ballistic. And he took my challenge and he did things that made me say "Wot?! Nobody else ever did this! What is he doing??"
He is one of those. The mischievous, cheerful charmer with a heavy-handed "plunk!" in store for every toy. The one who hasn't yet learned to holler "Heads up!" before he lobs a random object at your coffee cup. The one who pokes small toys into the crevices of the gas fireplace, and uses stray pencils to scribble on front doors, cabinets and chairs. Oh yes, he's one of those. The Untrusted.
These are the ones that cannot be given a crayon under any circumstance. They will draw on everything but paper, and if put in their high chair with a crayon, will draw on the chair itself, then throw down the paper and proceed to step 2. Eat the crayon. Get it all in the teeth so that it drools out for hours, in chunks and spit-out globs.
He stands, jumps and makes whirlpools in the tub; when asked to sit, he assumes a runner's stance and waves his bottom to and fro. Yes, you're funny, you small maniac.
He pilfers discarded food from the trashcan, and puts toys in there instead. He decorates his hair with any messy substance he comes in contact with. He sneaks up behind the kids and whacks them on the head. He climbs on the kitchen table and sweeps off anything in his way. He scampers up the stairs and throws things down. Toys run from him. Household objects fall apart when they hear him draw near. He is Toddler Godzilla and Tasmanian Devil in one. Dum-dum dum!
He is exuberant in everything he does. He keeps me hopping.
This is not a Yes Year.
This is a time-out year. And yet, even that he handles with nonchalant style. He sucks his thumb, and half the time drops off to sleep during the enforced sit-down. He lures the kids over to entertain him, like he is seated for a show. They adoringly comply, despite my warnings. Such is his charm. And yet...hardly a consequence for wrong-doing!
Even now, he stands at the baby gate, alternately throwing things at me, ramming the gate in hopes it will loosen, and now - throwing things in the trash. That always gets a reaction. I hear that gentle click shut, and know that something cherished has just gotten canned.
This is the year I say "Yes!" to childcare expenses.
PS As I was about to click "publish" he showed up at the gate again. Dragging and heaving the changing table pad, trying to throw it over. And here come the blocks, tiny missiles aimed at my head. And now the small toy bins. Forget about a helmet for him - I need one for me!
I'm the king of the world!