Touch of Spice

Super sweet meets super snotty

We've decided Nikki is extreme Katie. Where Katie is sweet, Nikki is extremely sweet. Where Katie can be a little pain, Nikki can be a huge pain -- only she's much more devious about it.

Nikki is the sweetest, best behaved, most cuddly baby you've ever seen (that's not just motherly bias, I have independent, non-biased confirmation of that. I can even bring as witnesses people who are now pregnant because they spent an hour with my youngest).

At other times, Nikki's independent, assertive and reactionary (that's something I don't have independent confirmation of because in public, she's an angel).

There are really two distinctly different personalities evidenced in my youngest.

Nikki's in the "I wan tat" stage. To be honest, she's been in that stage for a long time, but it used to be she got what she wanted. Those were the days when she just wanted food or a bottle or a toy. Now "I wan tat" includes fingernail polish, toothpaste, lipstick and a go at an active computer.

She's not used to being denied much of anything because as I mentioned, her requests were usually in conjunction with how I like the state of my house and the potential for requests that are messy wasn't there.

It is now.

She doesn't deal well with "no."

We're working on "please," and like Katie, it's a battle that I don't quite understand.

Katie refused to say please for about two months and then something snapped and she'll say please on request for any reason.

It's actually kind of funny.

When we want her to take a bath, we say,

"Katie, it's bath time. What do you say?"

She always replies with "please," and therefore thinks the bath was her idea.

Katie was a challenge. Nikki, I think, is going to be frustrating and dangerous.

She got her first spoonful of peanut butter free. The second she had to pay with a please.

Forty minutes later, I rinsed off the spoon and put the peanut butter away.

It was three hours until bed time, and I was ready for a nap. That was a very tiring and stressful experience.

At one point, Nikki was chewing on the metal of my quilt rack in protest to my demands that she say please.

There were tears. There was yelling. Sadness and anger.

Poor Nikki reached and begged with wet eyes and a quivering lip.

Poor mama's heart was breaking and several times she was on the verge of giving in.

If daddy weren't watching, she might have.

But she stayed strong, stuck to the original demand and Nikki went without.

There's nothing easy about being a parent.

Nikki is very possessive, too.

She's very attached to her baby sitter, who also happens to be her brothers' grandmother, so you'd think they've got a claim.

Yeah, well, Nikki doesn't think so.

When Alex was sitting on his grandmother's lap, Nikki first tried nudging him off. When that didn't work, she pitched her bottle at him.

For someone who's not quite 2 years old, she's got quite an arm.

She hit him square on the noggin.

She does similar things if Alex is on his dad's lap, or sitting next to me on the floor.

Nikki's pretty sure she owns everyone.

Of course, that level of attention comes only when she's in the mood.

I asked her for a kiss as I was leaving for the morning. She smiled and puckered her lips. When I was about three inches away, she hauled off and

smacked me.

Katie did almost exactly the same thing at nearly the same age.

The difference, I think, is that when Katie did it, she didn't have the same malicious gleam in her eye.

Katie also took off running after she did it.

Nikki's other personality kicked in and she was all hugs and cuddles.

It's a rollercoaster at my house. Highs and lows and almost no middle ground.

I guess that's good preparation for the teen years.

If I survive until then.

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