I call my littlest guy, Linus, my "Troublesome Truck." He is always moving, always climbing, and always finding some sort of trouble. I do have some experience dealing with mischief and mayhem, but he is definitely the most challenging of the eight. My oldest, as a toddler, would probably be a close second.
Emilie was into everything. As soon as she could walk, she was running. She spoke early and definitely had a mind of her own. Emilie was, and still is, a very strong minded individual. That can be a very good quality for an adult. For a two year old, not so much.
After my second child, Abigail, was born, every time I sat down to nurse, another wave of destruction would hit our small condo. A life sized mural of all our extended family members, drawn in red Sharpie, decorated our front entryway. One day while Emilie was "napping", she created a work of art composed of an entire tub of Vaseline, about 300 Q-tips, and a full tube of Desitin. Whatever didn't make it on the bedroom walls was smeared in her hair. Did I mention this took place two days before Abigail's Christening? Do you know how hard it is to get Vaseline out of hair? My little greasy girl looks great in all the family pictures.
One moment will be forever etched in my memory. It was the day Emilie's preschool almost called CPS on us. I can understand their position after seeing the purple bruises up and down her arms.
Let me rewind to the day before.
Pierre was working from home and needed to take a conference call in bedroom. I am not sure where I was, but I think I was probably nursing Abigail in the living room. Emilie was off playing, or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me, she had found her way into the bedroom while Pierre was in the middle of his call. She sat down on the floor, at Pierre's feet, and very quietly started looking through my collection of rubber stamps and stamp pads. She wasn't disturbing anything, so Pierre figured he would let her continue playing. Emilie grabbed my Sally Brown stamp and the purple stamp pad. Slowly, she started stamping herself over and over – up the right arm and down the left one, up the left leg and down the right one. Pierre just sat and watched. He later defended himself by saying, "but, she was being so quiet." I think I walked in as she started stamping her face. Horrified, I glared at Pierre, grabbed Emilie and ran straight to the bathroom. I don't know what type of ink that was, but it wouldn't come off for anything. The next day, and three baths later, we sent Emilie off to preschool wearing a turtleneck dress and thick tights.
At pick up, the teachers asked us to come into the classroom. They told us that Miss Renee was helping Emilie wash her hands before snack and as she rolled up her sleeves she noticed purple "bruises" going up and down Emilie's arms. Miss Renee called over the other teachers, and they started to discuss what steps they would need to take. Thankfully, one of the teachers looked a little closer and noticed all of the bruises sort of looked a little like Sally Brown. They were this close to calling CPS to report us. Luckily, I wasn't able to scrub all those little faces off or we would have had a lot of explaining to do.
Thank goodness for Sally Brown.