My toddler was quite well behaved. As far as toddlers go that is.Of course she was messy and strong willed and the terrible twos were indeed quite terrible and spilled generously over in to terrible threes. But she wasn't naughty per say. She did not make trouble to amuse herself and then laugh impishly at my frustration. She was often defiant with a purpose and sometimes sulky or clumsy but not mischievous.
My older one was well behaved when we visited other people too. She did not run around with or hide their stuff or rub chocolate on their sofa cushions or climb on to their dining tables.
I assumed that made me an awesome mom. Boy did my second one prove me wrong!
My second baby, is an honest to goodness mischief maker. The real deal, and she takes great pleasure in it.
The other day the baby opened the dustbin and took out some trash. Then, carrying the trash in her hand, she waddled all the way over to the laundry basket. She carefully picked the laundry basket with the clean clothes and gently placed the trash in there. She made several such trips, before I caught her. In response to my look of dismay, she blurted a lot of indecipherable stuff in sheer delight. Her tone seemed to indicate she was saying "Look what I have done. Aren't I awesome?" Then she flashed her two little teeth in the broadest most cheerful smile I have ever seen.
The baby loves to drop dal or milk on the floor or the sofa or the table and then rub it around with her hands, while her eyes sparkle with glee. She bangs things hard on the floor or the kitchen platform and she shuts her eyes tight and clenches her muscles just before making contact, in anticipation of the loud bang. She runs or crawls away when I want to change her clothes. As soon as she sees me get a diaper to change her, she crawls off to a corner and then taunts me with a look that says, "You can't get me, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah" When I finally catch her she giggles and squeals making a valiant effort to escape.
At grandma's house her favourite activity is to rearrange all of grandmas stuff. Baby doesn't think the kitchen shelf is the appropriate place for all the biscuit and snack containers. So she picks them up and relocates them to the dustbin. Then she gives us an animated garbled lecture about the proper place for those containers followed by an adorable chuckle.
She is exhausting and frustrating, but difficult to be angry with, because she does it all in such good cheer.
Initially my toddler's (the older sister) reaction was to be disdainful of the little one's infantile behavior. She would gloat about what a good girl she is and look for reassurance. Then she would gleefully point out that her sister was a bad bad girl.
But the gloating soon lost it's glamour and the mischief making became more enticing. Slowly she stopped telling tales on her sister and started joining in the fun. Woe is me!
Now I have two enterprising mischief makers on my hands. The older one is more capable and escalates the mayhem to new levels. They are partners in crime so to speak. The dream team is going to make me prematurely grey. But on the bright side they are hilarious. I guess there are worse ways to age.
Disclaimer: This is not to say that she gets away with everything. But she does get away with a little more than her angelic sister did at her age. No don't feel sorry for her sister. She is learning fast. So feel sorry for me.
I have written a series of picture books inspired by my mischievous little baby in case you are intereste