I remember when my darling life-saving night nanny, Jenny, used to recap the night for me the following morning during our hand off. One thing I still remember her saying was that she would stare down at the baby (that being the youngest, obviously they were ALL babies at the time) and think how angelic he looked. How his white blonde hair gave off a glow as if he was wearing a halo. And then she said, “he’s going to be the one to give you trouble. And he’s going to get away with it.”
More prophetic words were never spoken. To be sure, the “trouble,” is harmless. But it is all Bray and I can do to keep a straight face when this child disobeys because he does it with such a mischievous smile that it’s darn near adorable and hysterical all at once.
Exhibit A, last night, now that he can leap out of his crib in a single bound (yes, we reverted back to caging them after weeks of mayhem in big kid beds), he has also gained the skill to leap over baby gates in a single bound. So approximately 30 seconds after we leave the room he is in the hallway heading for the den and some television watching. He says, “I’m sick. Watch t.v.” As if somehow I’m going to BUY that watching t.v. is going to make him feel better. This is from a kid that watches t.v. maybe three times a week for less than a half hour in the morning if I’m trying to get ready – but he’s an addict. So we promptly put him back in bed and tell him to stay. Well we’d just gone through this cycle and I was hard at work on the computer trying to get a project to partner in L.A. I heard the little lady in the next room saying the baby’s name over and over. I walk into the den and tell Bray that the baby is loose and we probably should go look for him. Just as he was saying we had nothing to worry about, I look up and the baby is staring back at us, smiling, eyes twinkling, blanket in hand, ready to catch a little WWII action on the military channel with daddy. He was obviously being determinedly disobedient. But that twinkle and nonchalance made Bray nearly bite a hole through his lip to keep from falling out of his chair with laughter.
This is not an isolated incident. This weekend we were at Lake Conroe for a TYLA Board meeting (they invite former Presidents and Chairs back years later to judge awards) and Friday night the kids were having a blast. They were up past their bedtime at a crawfish boil at the resort and a d.j. was playing good tunes. The eldest and little lady were DANCING. The eldest, and I have to digress because this story is priceless, was quite smitten by: (a) hats, and (b) crawfish. The d.j. had set up a photo booth with props and my adorable eldest had found himself a red felt fedora. This is a child, I may have mentioned, that loves himself some accessories. He was walking around the party like he owned the joint (and he’s not always our most social one). Shortly after finding the hat, he also developed a fondness for one of Bray’s crawfish. Carried that thing everywhere. And if he had to crawl over steps or a gate, he took his hat off, placed the crawfish in the hat, climbed over the obstacle, took the crawfish back out, and summarily put the fedora back at a jaunty tilt atop his head. I, sadly, did not have a camera so you have to trust me on the darling-ness of this whole business, but I’m hoping that someone at the meeting at least captured my man in his fedora.
Back to the baby though, the d.j. played a song where the chorus said, “cold beer on a Friday night.” Well, he started saying, “cold beer!” If you’ve forgotten, he’s two. Because we, stupidly, laughed the first time, he kept saying it and added, “I wanna cold beer.” (I’m sorry momma, I know she’s dying right now.) So Monday morning we are getting ready for school and he starts saying, “I wanna cold beer.” I’m pretty sure CPS takes your kids away if they go to Mother’s Day Out at a Methodist Church asking for booze. My wonderful nanny is trying to help me, and she’s saying, “no you mean cold milk.” To which he emphatically replies, “No cold milk Marie, cold BEER.” Good night nurse.
But he said it with a smile and a twinkle. It makes it incredibly hard to discipline. Sweet Jenny, I’m afraid you’re right. Houston, we have a problem.