Saturday, March 24, 2007

and it was terrible, too

Sister-san and her family arrived Thursday night to spend a between-homes week with me. They’ve vacated their place in Phoenix but don’t take possession of the new house in Duluth until the end of the month, so Sensational Acres is serving as a way station for a few days.

The Cutest Niece Ever is here, of course, and although I did not think it possible, she has gotten even cuter since I saw her at Christmas. Word up, yo. 100% adorable.

Aged 30 months, she is also a textbook example of the Terrible Twos. Her answer to almost every request is “NO!” If you tell her to sit down, she jumps up. If you tell her there’s no hitting allowed, she swats at you with all her might. If you say, “Don’t grab the kitty’s tail,” she’s got a fistful of fur in a millisecond. She’s testing limits, sussing out rules — and finding out more than she wanted to know about Mean Auntie Kim’s Voice of Grown-up Authority.

Although I have no children, and indeed could not be moved by any amount of money or pleading to have any, it struck me yesterday that I’ve been through all this before:

  • complete self-centeredness
  • deliberate contrariness
  • “How much can I get away with?” slyness
  • unwarranted pouting
  • careless mess-making
  • casual destruction

This is exactly what being married to El Pendejo was like.

Except CNE has somewhat better aim in the potty and a better memory for where she left her toys, generally smells better, and will eventually grow up.

My mother, CNE’s grandmother, is appalled by the little one’s behavior. (She was appalled by El Pendejo, too, but that’s another, much more profane, story.) Neither of her children — your humble narrator and her Sister-san — ever behaved in such a fashion, she assures me. Her girls were never intentionally naughty, even during their twos.

I finally had to remind Grandma that normal toddlers do test limits and do have kickingscreaming tantrums and do make it appear that a hurricane has torn through one’s home. Her son-in-law has not spawned a hellchild. Normal children simply are not as dreadfully serious and careful as Sister-san and I were as tots.

My guests are actually out of the house until tomorrow afternoon to visit and spend the night with some local friends. This gives me 24 hours to buckle down to some projects that have gotten put off over the last few days, and to bake a batch of monster cookies for Chef Jeff’s birthday.

So — to work!



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