Contains mature material, those offended by foul or vulgar language, stop here.
My daughter is a class act. And if our children really are a reflection of ourselves, I think I’d better take a long look at myself in the mirror again. And pray.
I have a tendency to be short-tempered; Ava has a reputation for being short-tempered. My friend Chris summed it up perfectly – she calls her daughter “mini-me” with the comic sarcastic edge I have loved since we were freshmen. And I totally get it. My daughter IS mini-me, magnified by ten. Whereas I have had 35 years or so to harness the temper I inherited from my mother (and her mother), Ava is still blissfully lost in rage when it hits her. She has learned to yell when things – any things don’t suit her.
Being born just four days before my birthday also makes her a Gemini – a sure recipe for disaster most of the time. She is as charming as she is naughty and, like her mother, has a penchant for mischief. Her humor is fine-tuned to all that amuses a 5-year-old’s senses including, but certainly not limited to, the fine art of passing gas and all other toilet-related subjects.
She was born with an inconceivable store of flatulence – I worried over my newborn girl’s exclusive breastmilk diet, wondered if what I was eating was causing her this terrible ailment and, consequently, went dubiously about removing all the typical offenders from my diet. To no avail – the flatulence continued unabated, and accompanied by some impressive belching for such a tiny little package. She happily released it all, with no apparent discomfort.
Today she proudly shares the joy of flatulence with us; she will rip them anytime, anywhere. She will slip them out while lying in bed or – my personal favorite – bending over with her butt in my face, purposely squeezing out a big offender and laughing wickedly. She recently attempted to fart in the dog’s face, after Owen’s friend said a dog will bite you where it counts if you do. Our dog, by the way, just looked at me for some clue as to how to respond.
She not only delivers the goods, she takes equal pleasure in verbalizing it too. Guess what? she whispered to me earlier tonight. I have a boyfriend. Intrigued, considering her home-schooled status and limited exposure to her male peers, I took the bait. You do? I whispered coyly back. Yes, she said, his name is Jack Poopie. And his butt smells like orange juice and tomato soup. Wonderful.
She talks about poop, she talks about farts – she even engages her older brother in a sort of verbal ping-pong of insults. And, soon enough, the insults turn personal and they are trading jokes about private parts. We don’t use nicknames in this family – we get right down to business. So one night after Owen had just stepped out of the shower Ava barges in, hands on her hips and declares, “Oh look at Owie’s little penis!”
But wait! That’s not all. Oh no. That’s not all. The latest was also the most shocking of all. And – let me preface by saying that I have absolutely NO idea where she came up with this zinger. She said it one night before bed – and I was shocked nearly speechless, and then I explained to her that “we” don’t talk like that. To anyone. The next morning my husband came to me and says, “you’re not going to believe what she just said to me.” Oh, I bet I would. “She told me I have a big, hairy vagina.” At this point I struggled to suppress the unsuppressable – my own laughter. My shoulders started to shake and I looked away. “Tara, this is not funny!” Well, of course it wasn’t. But, she said it to him.
And the colorful language continues. A recent lesson covering the “-it” word family produced a string of “-it” words: bit, fit, hit, kit, pit, sit and………………………………………….shit. Owen just sat there laughing hysterically and Ava, like a comedian who needs only laughter like air to breathe, repeated the word no less than eight times.
My mother warned me that she would be a challenging child. At six months, I figured I’d begin mentally preparing myself for the prepubescent years we all know are turbulent at best. Four and a half years later, I’m struggling not only with bad attitude and diabetes-induced mood swings, but also with how to curb her mischievous ways so they are less offensive to others, all without cracking up myself. In truth, she does not behave this way outside of her family circle, so for that I am grateful. So friends – who’s up for a play date?