I’d like to leave you all with the impression that my child is so pleasantly spirited that we never ever have to suppress the urge to wring her adorable little neck, but alas, I cannot. Our child, like every four-year-old you’ll ever meet, is perfectly capable of being a raging butthead when it suits her to be so. The picture to the right is one of those moments, in which Athena is doing her level best to press her mother’s buttons and is in fact doing a pretty good job of it.
I’d like to say that she doesn’t press my button with equal facility, but aside from being a lie, it would get me in trouble with Krissy because it would be insinuating that I’m a more together parent than she is. And then I’d get the same look that she’s currently giving Athena. That’s a scary look and unlike Athena (who as you can see is practicing her own glare), I have enough experience with that look to want to run and hide. It’s not that I’m scared of my wife. I just know that she has the potential to make me scared of her.
The funny thing about our difficult child is that she is kind of amusing, as long as she’s not being specifically difficult towards you. Truth be told, I really don’t know why Krissy didn’t punch me out as I was taking this picture, since she was trying to make a serious point to Athena about something and here I was giggling as I snapped pictures of them going at it with my digital camera. But on the other hand, there have been times when I’ve been doing the same thing as Krissy is trying to do here and been aware of Krissy standing behind Athena’s shoulder trying hard not to bust up. So we’re sort of even on these things.
Objectively speaking, Athena’s difficulty is not disturbingly frequent nor terribly high. She’s incredibly stubborn and often moody, but she doesn’t break things, or hurl objects, or stab stuffed animals or anything of that nature. It’s not to say that when she’s difficult, she’s not difficult, merely not unhinged. She’s smart enough to know that there are some boundaries that are not to be crossed without repercussion, although of course she’ll tromp right over them, just to dare us to do something. Yeah, we’ll have fun when she’s a teenager. At least our personal property will stay in the correct number of pieces. And she gives every indication of getting over stuff quickly. There are worse ways for the kid to be.