My kids are not the most mild-mannered, even-keeled kids out there (I know, I know: “I can’t imagine where they get that from, blah blah blah”). And now that Cecilia is two I have been subject to seeing our least intense child join in the willful protests. It got me thinking about teenagers and their similar penchant for protest and of how my kid’s most memorable protest-moves will look if they re-manifest themselves in adolescence.
Cecilia: Currently, she will be throwing a fit about who-knows-what and you pick up her thrashing body to help calm her down and gain access to her red, blotchy, snot-encased face. You grab a tissue and start wiping - plaintively asking her to “blow” to which she screams “NOOOOOO!!!!!!”. As soon as you take the tissue from her face and throw it in the trash she blows her nose as hard as she can sending snot hurtling in all directions while she lunges to wipe it on your face, shirt or hair. Really very mean.
Thomas: This is a recent protest move that has lead to him passing on a pair of jeans to Cecilia - it is a pair that has snaps all up and down the mid-seam. When he is mortally-offended by being refused something (anything) he will start to throw fits and overturn furniture, dump the trash can, hurl food at you, etc. But when he is wearing those pants his first retaliation is to “rend his garments” by reaching down to his toes, grabbing the cuffs of the pants and then yanking up as all the snaps pop open and he yells, “I ripped my pants!!!!” glaring at me with a definite, “SO-THERE!” look in his eye. So-there indeed. I do my best to let him think this is striking a painful blow to my heart and then he wanders around looking like The Little Prince so it’s a win-win.
Rosie: She doesn’t usually have the same passionate outbursts as the others. Her general approach has been to melt-down and become a dead-weight on society. She used to be an actual dead-weight – just going limp when you tried to get her to do something. Nowadays she usually moves but so slowly that you almost wish you could count her out altogether, throw her over your shoulder and move on. But frankly, I’ll take her protests over all the others…especially Anthony’s.
Anthony: There was an occasion a few years ago when he and Rosie were still sharing a room that definitely makes the protest annals. My whole family was staying with us for Christmas and we were all gathered together in the living room enjoying some adult conversation after the kids had been put to bed. We heard the sounds of an argument, a scuffle and a wail - shortly followed by Rosie tearfully entering the room. “Anferny peed on me”. What? Were you in the bathroom with him?! “No. I wouldn’t stop singing and so he just came over and stood on my bed and peed on me.” I’m so glad that everyone was there for that…what a proud moment.
Now, as a teenager I can imagine that CeCe’s protest-move will be something to do with emotional outbursts at inappropriate moments. Thomas I’m thinking will protest with some sort of exhibitionist behavior. Rosie will be passive aggressive and will quietly set herself up to live on welfare by not living up to her potential. Anthony…let’s just agree to not go there, alright?