On this blog I used to call Smiley "Maker of Trouble and Mayhem", and it was true. He was far more mischievous than our oldest girls, and the cause of many a headache. In retrospect we had it easy. Ginger is, by general consensus, the most destructive baby in history.
She is a feral child. If she needs to be changed she'll get a diaper and lay down at your feet. If she is thirsty she will bring you a cup (or steal your drink). If she is hungry, she will bring you the food she wants (if she has not ripped it open herself).
For that reason I have always been grateful that she was too chicken to climb out of her crib on her own. In fact, I planned to spell out my thanks in writing here, just a few days ago.
And then it happened. I woke up and found Ginger downstairs alone. She had woken up before the rest of the family, climbed out of her crib, gone down the stairs, and destroyed our home.
This is what she did. There is no exaggeration here. No enhancement for dramatic effect. This is all her.
She tipped over a chair.
She dumped a box of Rice Krispies all over the floor.
She opened a bottle of vegetable oil and trailed it around the kitchen table before abandoning it and letting it pool out.
She ripped open a bag of popcorn seeds in the pantry.
She upended a half-empty glass of juice into Lisa's purse.
She knocked glasses and plates to the floor.
Oh man, were we furious. I wiggled my finger in her face and called her a naughty baby, the worst baby ever. She took it without blinking. Lisa joined in, telling her she'd spend the morning in the playpen if she didn't behave. Ginger's response? She mimicked me, waving a finger at Lisa and saying "NO!".
In the playpen she went, the first time in months we've even set the thing up. She tried and failed to climb out, then spent the morning playing with her toes or crying to be let out.
I think listening to that was more of a punishment for us than for her.
I surveyed the family and the consensus is, yeah, she's a crazy kid. My Dad said she yanked all his potted plants out of their containers. "I don't remember any of the grandkids being that destructive," he said - and he has seven.
All this, and we're still months shy of reaching the terrible twos. God help us all.