Not My Child…

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that LadyBug is, well… spirited. She’s full of personality, demanding and incorrigible. Where Bug stayed within boundaries and respected rules, LadyBug just doesn’t. She’s the one jumping on (and off) the couch and encouraging Bug to join in. If she finds a bottle of just about anything lying around (shampoo, hand sanitizer, sun screen), she’s compelled to spray/squirt it around the house. Although they shared equal blame, I suspect she was the mastermind behind the Glue Incident. We call her our Wild Child. Bug is The Cautious One.

We recently attended Family Night at our kids’ preschool. They are close enough in age that they currently share the same class and I have to admit that I was a bit concerned that LadyBug would bring her reign of terror to school with her. As it turns out, she rarely gets “breaks” (their version of time-out) and she seems to be getting along well and following rules. Still, when I had a chance to chat with one of the teachers about my kids, I was nervous.

“She’s definitely the ‘cautious one’ in class…,” the teacher started.

I stared at her blankly. That wasn’t what I expected to hear, of course, but it was also the LAST thing I ever would have imagined.

The teacher nodded. “Yeah, LadyBug is reluctant to try new things and sometimes needs a lot of encouragement.”

I fought the urge to look around to see if she was talking to someone else.

“MY daughter?” I asked suspiciously, waiting for the teacher to burst out laughing with the absurdity of her own statement. It’s the sort of joke LadyBug herself might play. Even at 2, she was known for making up wild stories (as well as mundane ones) and presenting them as truth. I can never quite tell when she’s being truthful.

“Yes.” By now my kids’ teacher was giving me odd looks, most likely wondering why I am finding this so hard to believe.

“But she’s our Wild Child,” I insist, still in shock. “She’s the one jumping off furniture and playing practical jokes. Bug is The Cautious One.”

“Really?!” And now the teacher is the one displaying surprise. At least I’m not alone.

The conversation went on like this for a bit until another teacher joined in and I was forced to accept that my daughter apparently goes to school with an alternate personality. Now, I can see her being a bit shy in a group, or overwhelmed by the older kids in the class (she is still one of the youngest), but cautious? When she was barely walking she climbed our backyard swing set up to the monkey bars (something Bug still hasn’t done.) She perches on tip toe on the arm rest of the glider in her room (as it rocks) trying to reach the top shelves. She teases mercifully and has a quick comeback for anyone who tries joke with her. When we recently found ourselves watching trapeze students swinging high in the air, she begged to be allowed to do it, too. [I managed to convince her that two was just too young to learn the trapeze.] Within our family unit, she is bold, confident to the point of arrogance, and utterly unphased by any form of discipline we can come up with.

Needless to say, I walked away from the conversation at school feeling like I was living with a stranger.

The next day I told my husband the story. “They say she’s the cautious one in class…”

The words had barely left my lips when my husband laughed and said, “LadyBug?!”

I guess I’m not the only delusional one in my house!

2 Responses to Not My Child…

  1. When my sister and I were in school together, all the teachers LOVED her. When I would be in a class after her they would tell me how great she was at getting her homework in on time and what a delightful person she was.

    Then we would go home, and she try to stab my mother with a kitchen knife. I never understood it!

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