That's my little fire gem to the right. Another blessing from Heaven and living proof to me just how much God truly loves me. Of course, tough love is love none the less.
Carlee is the second of my two...soon to be three...daughters. While both girls share several common traits (i.e stubbornness, impatience, fiercely competitive, etc.), there are also some core differences. Carlee's older sister (Tony C version 2A) was for the most part a very soft spoken toddler. She spoke quite often but mild-mannered. True to stereotypical profiling, she is now a loud, annoying teenager...but I still truly love her (Happy 15th Birthday yesterday).
Tony C version 2B is far more in-your-face than version 2A as indicated by this recent exchange:
Tony C: (looking over counter in direction of dishwasher) Carlee? Are you messing with the dishwasher buttons again? You know that's off limits. Carlee?
Version 2B: (slight paused, then popping into view with hands out) You don't worry about me! Tony, you just don't worry about Carlee and worry about Tony!
Tony C: (off-balance by the rebuttal) Excuse me?
Version 2B: You just don't worry about me. You worry about Tony, and Carlee will worry about Carlee.
Tony C: (regain composure) Come here! Come right here, right now!
Version 2B: But I don't want a spanking! Just don't worry about me!
Tony C: Now!
Version 2B: (chin tucked into chest, lower lip puffed out and mumbling) I don't want a spanking.
Tony C: (lifting tot up onto the table and looking right into her eyes) I worry about Carlee because it's my job to worry about Carlee. I'm your dad! Don't tell me not to worry about you. Understand?
Version 2B: (under breath) Yes.
She does actually call me Tony part of the time, and while this is a point of contention with some of my extended family, I'm cool with it. Her sister went through the same phase and grew out of it (and I'm sure on to calling me much worse behind closed doors).
While there is rarely a day goes by that Mrs. Tony C and I aren't entertained by our rambunctious toddler who seems to be obsessed with bodily functions involving digestion or shedding her clothing whenever and wherever opportunity presents, her matter-of-fact dialog and take on life keeps us in stitches...as well as...on edge.
One recent morning while preparing to depart for school and work, I let the teenager deal with getting the toddler ready (mom departs at 6:30 am for work). After 15 minutes of bickering and crying (by both I might add), I headed downstairs to let the teenager finish what she had started:
Tony C: (yelling back upstairs) Girls! It is time to go...no...past time to go! Get a move on it!
Teenager: (with toddler screaming in the background) Dad...she won't let me put her clothes on her!
Toddler: Stop! Don't touch me! Stop!
Tony C: Carlee! If you don't let your sister help you get dressed...
Toddler: No! I want you to do it!
Tony C: If I have to come back up these stairs, you will definitely get a spanking for not listening! Let your sister dress you...we have to go now!
Toddler: Come spank me! I want a spanking! Then you can put my clothes on!
While I've never heard those words come out of the toddler's mouth again, I should have punished the teenager too for not finishing the task and letting a 2-year old get the best of her...but then I'm sure she has plenty more lessons still yet to come before she's off to college.
Funny how birth control can come in many different forms...