Yeah, that's my youngest child. He pulled his first prank by making his appearance into this world several weeks early, disrupting my delivery of 80 Thanksgiving cookies to the local elementary school.
He was a sweet baby until he figured out what his legs were for. Overnight my Passive Prince sprouted octopus arms and roving hands. My reigning title as "The Good Mother" quickly changed to my Indian name, She-Who-Drinks-And-Swears-A-Lot. There wasn't a baby gate or door my Baby Terminator couldn't conquer. He never played with toys. He liked forks. And electrical outlets. He was like a drug sniffing dog when it came to finding sharp objects, poisonous bug repellents and frayed wires. You know you have a problem when your kid giggles over a little jolt of electricity running through his body. I never thought he'd live to see his second birthday.
When you take this kind of picture of your kid, there are bound to be repercussions
Sir Poops A Lot was turning into my rebel child, and there were not enough parenting manuals in the world to teach me how to handle a kid who risked his life on a daily basis. His experiments with fire, electricity and odd ball inventions were enough to keep me homebound for years.
His sisters wanted a baby girl, or a Cabbage Patch Kid, so they dressed him accordingly
My son dislocated his shoulder as a baby and fractured his wrist when he was five from a fall off a swing. Fast forward to elementary school when the principal called to tell me my child thought it was a good idea to bring a knife to school for show and tell. Yeah, I must have missed that memo about my husband's BRILLIANT idea to give our little boy a camping knife (man cave secrets, be damned!).
After many agonizing hours of nail biting, tears, pacing and bargaining with God, the police found our boy on a Greyhound Bus bound for Orlando. They said we were lucky that he survived the trip unscathed. My prior fear turned into a confused tangle of relief and outrage over what my son had done. I felt the little hairs on my head turning whiter by the minute.
Since that fretful day several years ago, we made some major changes in our son's life that drastically improved his behavior and attitude.
But this cat is still pushing the envelope on the nine lives thing. Just in the past 6 months, he was injured in biking accident when he collided with another cyclist. Shortly after that, he was hit by a car while biking down to the beach. The car suffered more damage than my son---it was no match for my Arnold Schwarzenegger offspring.
It was the last incident, however, that threatened to turn my hair completely white and send me into cardiac arrest. Another one of of my husband's BRILLIANT ideas was to give our boy a special pellet gun that looked exactly like an AK47. My son was out front shooting targets on the sidewalk---probably not the smartest idea since we live only a few doors down from a school and this occurred shortly after the Sandy Hook incident. My peaceful afternoon was shattered by the sound of screeching tires and a loud voice booming from a megaphone, "DROP THE GUN AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIR!" Our street was barricaded by four police cars and six officers, one with a gun drawn on my son. I stood by the window, frozen in horror as my boy slowly lowered the gun and walked backwards down the sidewalk with his hands held high in the air. In a flash, one of the officers snapped handcuffs on his wrists. There was that brief moment when our eyes met through the window, and I could see the fear and bewilderment in his eyes. I couldn't move---my legs felt like wet noodles---but my husband had already rushed out the door to quickly explain that it was just a pellet gun, not an assault rifle.
While I stood on the porch, wondering if anyone knew CPR to resuscitate my heart, my husband was busy JOKING with the police, telling them they could keep our son for a few days because the cost of feeding him rivaled that of feeding the entire Chicago Bears football team.
I never know what my boy will think up next to keep himself entertained. Which is why I shudder every time he climbs into a car with his friends. Although he is often the typical, unpredictable and annoying teenager, he is also loyal, loving, artistic, compassionate....and best of all, he knows how to operate a lawn mower, vacuum, dishwasher, washing machine and the grill. His uniqueness is what makes him one of the most fascinating people I know, and I'm proud to call him my son.
By my calculations, he still hasn't used up all nine lives....and I'm still sprouting gray hairs.