Naughty Baby

What is it about the youngest?

That’s what I’m asking myself this week as I reflect on Boy #3’s recent behavior (AND my reaction to it).

It appears that he’s either going through a bit of a “naughty phase” or has become possessed by the ghost of Darth Maul.

Need some concrete examples? No problem. I have puh-lenty.

Let’s see… In the past two weeks, he’s:

  • spit his food at another boy in the lunchroom
  • written on the hardwood floor in the kitchen with a black permanent marker
  • scratched Husband’s car with some elusive sharp object, including writing “PH” on the front quarter panel. And no, those aren’t his initials. And no, I have no idea what “PH” stands for. Apparently neither does he. (Maybe he’s going to be a chemist when he grows up? Or maybe just a pool cleaner…)
  • lost his shoes at his cousin’s house
  • cut his shoelaces at school during a math lesson
  • decorated our sidelight window with a red permanent marker
  • brought home a toy gun from school that he apparently traded with another kid for Pokemon cards. (I have no idea why the other kid brought a toy gun to school. I’m just thankful that no teachers witnessed this exchange. Expulsion is not on our agenda for kindergarten!)
  • lost his brand-new shirt while playing outside with his brother
  • took the headband out of my hair and while examining it, accidentally snapped it in half

What is it about him, though, that makes it impossible for me to get really mad at him? One minute I’m lecturing him about how Sharpies are OFF LIMITS and spray paint is NOT A TOY, and the next minute I’m showering him with smooches.

Is it this way with the baby in all families? Or am I just a complete pushover?

Thinking back to when I was growing up, my youngest sister did seem to hold some spell on everyone she met, including my parents. Whether she was hiding under the bathroom sink after covering her body in lipstick, breaking the porcelain lid to the back of the toilet because she wanted to see what was in the tank, or holding a cat hostage while brushing its teeth, it was always considered “cute.” No one could get mad at her. Well, except her older sisters. But maybe that’s because she also did things like conduct a “study” to see how we reacted to various annoying sounds while trapped in a car with her on vacation…

Come to think of it, most everything she did actually was pretty cute, in a mischievous kind of way. And today she’s one of the kindest and most creative people I know. This gives me hope for Boy #3.

Is anyone else’s youngest child extra naughty? Or am I just so old and worn out now that I’ve inadvertently created a monster???

14 thoughts on “Naughty Baby”

  1. Do I really need to even answer that? You have met Abbott haven’t you?? Mr. I “crapped eggs” all over grandma’s carpet, painted my leater couch with red fingernail polish, eat an entire chocolate cake with his fingers on top of the kitchen counter…need I go on? And yes…he is too adorable to stay mad at too long!!

  2. Oh no, it’s not just you. My middle daughter has taken to kicking anyone at school that annoys her, boys or girls. And the littlest one has already christened our new IL house with red marker trailers down down the stairwells. I think they can smell fatigue and sieze their opportunities. And I think we don’t remember how naughty we once were.

  3. I think MM3 is right on. Those 3rd children can sense your fatigue. We were so pleased with how #2 and #1 behaved ….and how hard can raising another girl be anyway??? Oh yeah!! I think it is difficult to be #3 especially when the first 2 are of the same sex also. They must feel they have to distinguish themselves from the pack. (Me, I’m a #1 like you) And you are right that #3 turned out really well also…the only one I’ve been called to school for…and why was that you ask…..She was SO shy and the teacher wanted to know how she could draw her out. We all said WHAT!!!! Let’s face it …3 children can wear one out. Our #3 was considered somewhat of a miracle…wasn’t supposed to have any more after #2 and had a lot ‘o problems with her pregnacy…We figured if she wasn’t spunky she probably wouldn’t have been born.
    Just enjoy all the naughty stuff and the kisses, because soon enough it’s just you and hubby standing in the empty bedrooms wondering how could this all have passed so quickly. 🙂

  4. YES, Paula, it’s always the youngest! My youngest, Hans now 28 years-old is very much like your Boy #3. When Hans was just past his 4th birthday, I didn’t think he was going to live one particular week in April. He went to preschool on MWF . I volunteered at his preschool one day a week, in sister Holly’s first grade class one day a week, & for John, at the Clarke County Conservation Board Office or the Clarke County Extension Office in Osceola one day a week. That left Tuesdays & Thursdays to do stuff at home.

    Tuesday of this week in April, Hans & I, were happily planting garden … until he disappeared! I found him in the house & a mysterious stain dribbled from the kitchen through the living room into his bedroom to a paper plate of green goo under his bed. He said he wanted to finger paint. Unfortunately his ‘finger paint’ medium was Elmer’s glue and green food coloring. My carpet was burnt orange. OOOH NOOOO!!! I put him in the corner and told him to STAY THERE!! (I briefly considered sending him to military school for the rest of his life!!) I got the stain out by going over each strand of burnt orange carpet fiber with a Q tip soaked in a 50/50 solution of bleach & water (Thank you ISU ANSWER LINE!!). Hans was in that corner for a LONG time!

    Thursday we were merrily back to planting garden again. Again Hans disappeared! (The glue & food coloring being safely secured!) This time I found him in the basement. Hans had dumped out all the pieces of every game we owned AND had decorated a NEW 5 gt tub of ice cream with frozen lima beans & strawberries! He and the cat were having a party!! Yup, Hans went back to the corner! The party ice cream was dumped and 6 year-old Holly put the games together. John & I planted garden on the weekend with a watchful eye on Hans!

    Hans really was a good help in the garden then … and now. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University & a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture, Cultural & Historical Landscape from Cornell University. He is currently employed by RDG in Omaha. His professional plans include a PhD & to teach at the university level. His is married to our lovely & talented daughter in-law Megan. They have no children at this time, but have TWO CATS! Hans & Megan are both fantastic cooks! (Gee, didn’t see that coming!)

    Paula, Boy #3 will turn out Okay … even if he has to spend some time in the corner!

    PS: I sooo enjoy reading your blog!

  5. Awww! How come you are so nice?!? I always thought that I would never let #3 get their way, just because they are the youngest (I remember dad holding me on his lap and saying “but she’s too YOUNG to clean!” while I smiled and you two fumed). With my other two, I would get down to eye level and preach the virtues of sharing and turns. Now, #3 hits or bites #1 or #2 and takes, what is clearly, their toy and when they object I say “just LET him HAVE it! I know you had it, and he is being completely horrible, but he can scream for a LONG time, so please just take one for the team, here!” NEVER thought I would say anything like that!. But I am tired, and he has the biggest, sweetest cheeks I have ever seen, so what is a mommy to do?
    Tonight we took our McDonald’s to the airport to eat, and I jumped in an airplane with a perfect stranger for a ride (a really cute and nice 19 year oldish boy, who asked me if I was Ryan’s daughter. Life is good. Strange, but good.) When I got out of the plane, #3 was shaking like a leaf and kept saying hysterically “mommy go bye-bye in there!” I guess he was screaming “mommy! no, no!” as though I was being eaten by a monster, the ENTIRE time I was up there. SO, what is little #3 doing right now WWAAAYYY past his bedtime? Sitting on my lap, of course!! He’s got me wrapped!!!
    And thanks for still being nice to me, even though I was the most irritating and obnoxious child on the planet, and I would never leave you alone when you had friends over.
    And maybe you should consider getting that adorable boy of yours some paper!! 🙂

  6. I doubt you were EVER naughty, Suzy! 🙂 I’m so sorry about your new house, but I’m a little bit relieved that it’s not just happening to me! 🙂

  7. Paula, and Peggy, I remember when Peggy was born and alot of her “antics” as a young kid! Like wearing a swimsuit in the dead of winter because your dad liked to keep the house at a steady 80 degrees! Or climbing on the roof when at age 3 or 4 when your dad was roofing! Mostly I remember how much fun we had at your house and how we did it without fancy toys (who needs toys when there is a FARM to explore!) or games (even though your toys were way cool! Remember the red blocks?). We made up our shows and adventures and lived to tell the tales. And Peggy, I don’t remember you being a bother- just a cute and funny kid.

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