In case you aren't familiar with the concept of neoteny that I mentioned in the title above, this basically means that babies and small children have cuter faces (big eyes, chubby cheeks, etc.). This comes in handy when approaching the "terrible twos", as my daughter is now, since neoteny triggers a protective and nurturing response in parents.
My beautiful daughter Abby will be two years old in a mere 14 days, and I love her with all of my heart. That being said, she has been a holy terror around the house lately, and I hope we survive this phase intact. I have two older kids who had their own set of issues at this age, but nothing on the destructive level that Abby has recently achieved.
A couple of weeks ago, she was watching TV with my mother-in-law Jackie and with Jackie's helper Megan who works in our home about 30 hours per week. Megan put a stool in front of the TV so that Abby would have a place to sit. Somehow, Abby managed to stand on the stool, then fall against the television, breaking the LCD screen. It really wasn't her fault, but it was frustrating because it required us to rearrange several large pieces of furniture (and sell one of them), so that we could mount the TV on the wall safely out of reach. Overall, I am just happy that Abby was not hurt.
About four days ago, I lost my cell phone. I had taken my son to his martial arts class and I know that I made it into the car with the phone, but I could not find it ANYWHERE. I looked through the car two or three times, and everywhere in the house that I had been. I called it multiple times but I couldn't hear it ringing. Then, my wife called it and I heard a muffled ring. Where was it coming from? Is it…No! Surely not. I opened the pantry, then we opened the trash can, and we saw my Treo 650 glowing under a few pieces of refuse. Again, I was happy that I found it, but it was a close call (pun totally intended here). Abby somehow got my phone off of the counter in the kitchen and got it into the trash in the pantry, which is normally closed and childproofed.
Two days ago, Abby was apparently conducting an experiment with our home phone by submerging it into the cat's water dish repeatedly. I mention the experiment to make it seem smarter somehow, but it was really just playing. The phone didn't work for awhile, but we got it sufficiently dried out and all was well.
Her latest trick is dragging my wife's purse away to rifle through the contents and get out her phone, PDA, credit cards, you name it. Last night, I found her doing this and she took a credit card and ran away quickly (probably a bit of foreshadowing for what I have to look forward to when she gets older).
She was yelling, "No, I want credit card!" when I tried to take it from her. (This would be a great time for me to make a cheap joke about Abby taking after her mom, but nothing could be further from the truth in this case. My wife is far more concerned about debt than I am. Sorry for the long side remark. Back to the post…)
We have certainly had our share of broken items, stained carpets, and general mayhem during our 9+ years of parenting, but things seem to be fast and furious with this particular child of late.
Oh, well – this too shall pass. It's a good thing she is so darn cute.