Monday, July 7, 2008

All Wet

My youngest is my most precocious and outspoken child. She instantly takes to absolutely anyone, and has no prejudice against young or old, male or female, attractive or homely. She craves human interaction, and will go far out of her way to get it.

She is also her very own person and beyond self-confident. She has no problem speaking her mind, and is honest to a fault. She isn't trying to hurt feelings, she just tells it like it is (very much like her father!).

She has quite a reputation amongst our friends and family. If I call my friend and say, "I have an Amy story," they'll drop whatever they're doing and be all-ears.

I love Amy with every fiber in my being. She makes me laugh. She is so smart. And she is so affectionate, giving lots of hugs and kisses, and (literally) wrapping herself around my leg, making me drag her across the floor.

She can also push my buttons better than just about anyone. Every good thing I mentioned has a negative, and she can do 'em all. She pushes the envelope, making me ask her to do (or not do) something so many times I began to sound like a broken record, whose volume goes up at a quick and steady pace. She has the ability to make her brother turn practically rabid with anger.

I suppose that's all (basically) normal for a six-year old. But, it doesn't make me feel any better when I lose my temper and get aggravated with her. And it doesn't give me any more patience working with her when she's on a roll.

Amy has a history of love/hate relationships with animals. She would bring home every stray cat, dog, bird, fish, lizard, frog, etc., etc. if we would let her. She likes to pet them. Sometimes she pets them a little too hard. And she gets frustrated if the animals aren't compliant to her whims.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed. I was downstairs as Emma was taking her shower. Suddenly, I heard a commotion upstairs, and asked Keith if he would check on the girls for me.

A few minutes later Keith appeared downstairs, looking disgusted.

"What?" I asked.
"Amy put the hamster in the shower with Emma."
"WHAT?? WHY??"
"Yeah, um, it's Amy. That's all I got."
"Is the hamster okay?"
"Yeah. Wet. A little scared and kind of mad."
"GREAT... Where is everyone now?" I was almost afraid to ask.
"Hamster is back in its cage. Emma is out of the shower. Amy is hiding in her room."
"OK. Thanks, Keith," I sighed. Then I trudged upstairs.

"Amy, why did you put the hamster in the shower?" I asked, fully realizing how stupid it sounded (and it will be added to the Top 10 list later).
She looked up at me with her big, beautiful brown eyes and said, "I don't know?"
I sighed. "Amy. Please tell me WHY you put the hamster in the shower."
"It smelled bad," she replied weakly, wrinkling up her nose.
"OK, you know what? You may not touch the hamster for two days. You are LUCKY she is OK. You would feel awful if she had died."
"She didn't die! Why can't I touch the hamster??? Please give me another chance???," she pleaded.

AAARRRGGGGGGG!!!!!! Another chance to what, I thought, polish the poor thing off? If you remember, she's also the one who tried to flush the cat down the toilet because she wanted it to "be gone" so she could get a puppy. Are you seeing the love/hate thing now?

Anyway, I would not back down. She swallowed that punishment like a bitter pill and has hounded me every hour on the hour: "Has it been two days, yet, Mommy?"

Tomorrow will officially be "two days". Do I actually allow her to touch that poor creature again? How is she going to learn if she doesn't have experiences?

I understand she's independent, and wants to make her own decisions and find her own way. But can't she ask for a little help now and then? How do you discipline behavior that is so erratic and has no rhyme or reason, other than what she has going on in her head?

Actually, her reasoning is fairly logical: Cat is keeping me from getting dog = Get rid of cat; Hamster is smelly = Give it a bath. But who in the world could predict her actions that would follow her thoughts??? And how in the world do I parent that???

Word to the wise: When you meet Miss Amy, she is engaging, charming, disarming, funny, and you will enjoy her immensely. HOWEVER, as a suggestion from me (and PETA), keep your animals away from her. AND, be prepared for the brutal honest truth; if you don't want to hear the truth, don't ask.

1 comment:

ThePrincessMommy said...

You know - I wondered why Haley and Cheeto run when they saw your van pulling in the drive . . . this explains a lot!!! :-)