My first child was the epitome of laid back. From rolling around the floor with his NCT mates when he was tiny, at a playdate, to exploring filthy toys in the toy corner at a ‘play café,’ to learning to climb the rickety climbing equipment and gain dexterity with the plethora of plastic crap at playgroup, he has been laid back. If someone snatches a toy from him-so what? He moves on to get something else. If he tries to join in with what someone else is doing, and they tell him to ‘GO AWAY!!’ I die a little inside, but he slinks away and does just that.
I was constantly told by well meaning grannies/family/whoever saw fit to comment on my second growing bump, that I’d ‘never get two the same.’ I was already beginning to think the same thing, as the largely dominant governing body of parenting-Sod’s Law-would more than likely deem it unfair that the first child had given me such an easy ride, and see to it that I was given the questionable behaviour of an entire continent’s worth of children the second time around, because, you know, that’s how it works.
I prematurely surrounded myself with an air of smugness, when for the first year, the second baby was possibly even more chilled out than the first. Sticking a victorious two fingers up to the haters, and silently mouthing ‘what do you know, suckers?’ to all the people had been clearly so wrong, I basked in my superiority that I had produced two children so chilled, they were practically frozen.
Anyone who has seen the Final Destination films, and is also aware of the influence Sod’s Law has over parenting, will know the drill-I was NOT going to escape this a second time. On his first birthday, my second child took his first steps. On that day, he also went through a transformation similar to that of Harry Enfield’s Kevin, when he moves from mild mannered child, to hideous teen. Mini Assassin, as he is referred to on the blog (clue’s in the name y’all,) suddenly, and out of nowhere, decided he was going to become the kingpin of his generation. He was going to be the Pablo Escobar of the toddler world. By the time he was walking confidently, he was putting out more hits on other kids than The Krays.
Whenever we go anywhere, he stops and surveys the room, and I swear he has some inbuilt Terminator scanner, chez Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1991, which calculates for him the assassin skill level, and threat level of all the other kids in the room-usually because his target of choice is children smaller than himself, often who are either crawling, or taking their first tentative toddles, and most horrifyingly, often girls. The latter of course clearly causes me to question whether his seriously underdeveloped moral compass will ever correct itself, and brings the very core of his moral fibre into question.
I also have to be right on top of my game, often resembling a Total Wipeout contestant, hurdling other children, scaling climbing equipment, and honing my own personal ninja air combat skills, to cross a room and stop him before he does any damage. I’ve become as skilled as the best of hostage negotiators, at talking down parents of his unsuspecting victims-using all my conflict resolution skills to prevent them reporting me to the police for being a terrible parent, and to stop him being frogmarched to the nearest juvenile detention centre, or school for seriously misbehaved kids.
He is unstoppable, probably not helped by the fact that statistically, he is The Hulk of children his age. He has just turned two, but is the highest end of the height and weight range of an average 3 year old-which probably makes his behaviour look even worse, as I’m sure people must think that I must be able to reason with him by now, and improve his need to bite, kick, scratch, and scalp other children by pulling their hair so hard. But he takes his role seriously, and once he’s taken out a hit on a child, he won’t stop until he’s completed the task-escaping from me like Houdini, until he has completed his mission.
As a very quiet, soft person, I particularly find apologising to other parents hard, especially when they look at me like I’m responsible for the threat of nuclear warfare, and have possibly given birth to the a child/demon hybrid. I fear that my presence at scenes of repeat offence, are causing me to be as popular as Donald Trump at a Women’s Equality Party event. I find going out stressful anyway, and of course bemoan the added stress of assessing every situation and the threat of an attempted assassination: number of small toddling girls present x the mood he is currently in = the risk of amber or red threat etc. For him, he is simply finding his way and place in the toddler food chain. I rationalise that he is displaying normal behaviour, just on a possibly exaggerated scale. So, I raise my glass, and send a virtual fist pump of solidarity to parents of other assassins-may the force be with you….!
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