Somebody once told me, “People always get the kids they deserve”. What they meant was that when you have a child, your child will in all likelihood teach you the same lessons your parents learned when they parented you. If you were saucy, your child will teach you what it was like to parent you by being just as saucy. That sort of thing.
If that’s the case, then BDH and I must have been a barrel of monkeys as kids.
Stinkerbelle is hilarious.
I say that with equal parts pride and wonder. I mean, I love that she’s as funny as all get out. But sometimes her capacity for cracking up a room — or maybe just us — impresses me to no end. Like all kids, she goes for the laugh if she can get it. But she somehow seems to know how to wring the comedy out of a situation like nobody I’ve ever known.
Last night, we were all sitting around the table at dinner. That Baby had her jammies on, and she fusses with her sleeves sometimes, if they are long and I forget to roll them up. I had forgotten, and she was fussing with her sleeves.
She pulled on one sleeve with her left hand, and started pulling her right hand inside the sleeve. I said, “OH!”, and was moving to reprimand her, while at the same time, BDH asked, “Where’s your hand?”
She looked up, and said, “OH!”, waved her left hand in front of her, and then popped her right back out of her sleeve. “Ta da!”
She repeated it. Her “Oh!” became one of those magic trick calls — “Nothing in HERE!” And then a wave of her left hand and “TA DA!” Out pops her right with a flourish.
We laughed more. And that evoked a belly laugh in her that set us off.
Several repeats of her magic trick ensued, each one escalating in magical drama and hilarity until we were all sore from laughing. I had tears running down my face. BDH was almost falling on the floor laughing.
And Stinkerbelle? She was guffawing for all she was worth, and just soaking up the love of her audience.
That Baby loves her an audience.
This morning, we went back for our second term of swimming lessons. There are only 3 kids in her class, which means lots of attention, little teaching, and a whole lot of free swim time. It rocks.
After some time in the big pool, we all climbed into the nice warm teaching pool and put the kids in life jackets to let them float. Stinkerbelle was in heaven, because there’s little more she loves in swimming than doing a back float.
So she was floating along, as Zen and relaxed as could be. I let her float freely. She was blissed out.
The parents and the instructor marvelled.
And then That Baby discovered paddling.
Her little arms and hands flapped in the water. It propelled her forward. She flapped some more. It propelled her some more.
Soon, we were all backed up toward the edges of the pool, while That Baby motored along, right up the middle of the pool. She’d done almost one length of the pool before I caught up to her.
The parents were in hysterics.
She started motoring back to the other end of the pool. It was like a tiny red and brown motorboat was going by, feet and legs periodically sticking straight up out of the water like a little sail.
I just let her go. I was laughing too hard — we were ALL laughing too hard. Parents from the next class came over to see what was going on, and THEY began laughing.
And in the middle of it all was Stinkerbelle, grinning and paddling, paddling and grinning. Back and forth, back and forth. Feet held aloft, legs ramrod straight up in excitement.
I finally caught up with her and got her out of the pool to much laughter and praise from Her Public.
She was grinning from ear to ear.
She cracks us up on a regular basis. It’s wonderful. It’s one of the many reasons we count ourselves so lucky to be blessed with her.
I don’t know what I did in my youth to deserve this little firecracker, if, in fact, you get the kid you deserve. But I am sure as hell glad I did it, whatever it was.