Adventures in Parenting #26: Creeper in the Corner and Mischief Managed

CREEPER IN THE CORNERIn my extensive experience as a parent, I have found that one of the most important parts of balanced, effective parenting is being honest about your child. We all love our kids but sometimes our kids do stupid things. Or weird things. Or creepy things. I mean, there's a reason why I have compared my son to both a vampire and a cannibal in the first four months of his life. Honesty. More often than not, our little grumble is easily one of the cutest babies on the planet. That's just science. But sometimes he does strange, weird, creepy things and those moments are just as important to point out as the super cute things.

Case in point: The Creeper in the Corner. As we were eating dinner recently, I propped Cooper up on the bench next to me so I could attempt to inhale some food without dripping chicken grease on him (not that that's ever happened before). A few minutes later, Lindsey started laughing because, as you can see below, the kid started trying to suck his thumb but in such a way that suggested he was getting away with something naughty. See for yourself.


I mean, really, he's a little mustache away from having his name added to a watch list. I like this one because he realized he'd been caught in the act and he's slightly embarrassed but not so embarrassed as to knock it off. Total creeper.


MISCHIEF MANAGED One of the fun things about parenting is watching as your child develops a personality and becomes less of a sad, crying little mass of spit and grumbles and more of an actual person. Cooper brought a massive amount of personality to the table early on but seeing him progress further and further in this department is awfully cool. Along with personality, however, comes instances of mischievousness. Now, it's highly enjoyable to see my son get himself into little spots of mischief at the moment because despite his best efforts, he is still relatively immobile. I'm sure in a few months, when he's pulling DVDs out of my meticulously alphabetized collection or yanking the dog's tail, I'll be less enthused. (Not to mention the trouble he's bound to get into as a teenager; Jesse Pinkman has me pretty freaked out right now.) In the meantime, though, these little instances of mischief are highly entertaining.

Recently, I was hanging out with Coop on a Friday afternoon. He was in a pretty good mood, which meant he was kicking like crazy and talking up a storm. As such, he was getting kind of sweaty. (This boy will definitely need some deodorant at a very early age. Like, does Old Spice make deodorant for babies? Because maybe they should.) I was trying to get some things done so I laid him down on his play mat to work out some of the energy. Before doing so, I undid one of the buttons on his romper because he was still wearing his pajamas at 4 in the afternoon (DON'T JUDGE ME!!!) and I thought he might need a little more freedom. He seemed pleased so I went back to my desk and finished up some work. I was gone for maybe ten minutes (and be gone I mean sitting 10 feet away, facing him) and when I looked up, this is what I found:


Not only had he wriggled himself out of his clothing, he also turned himself all the way around so that he could watch the TV. I've seen him turn around before but this clothing removal is new ground. Apparently he just needed one unbuttoned button to make it work. I'm now concerned that we have a little Will Ferrell on our hands ("We're going streaking through the quad!"). I think this face says it all:


I think we're in over our heads, Brian