Monday, July 5, 2010

This Cheeky Little Monkey

Sometimes I think I gave birth three years ago to a reincarnated form of my brother Jesse. Who would have thought that the child that looks the most like me acts the most like my childhood nemesis. Things have since then changed between Jesse and me and we have a much friendlier relationship, but I remember as a child thinking that my life would probably come to an end at his hand. Okay that's a little dramatic, but at times he really did make my life hell. Sorry Jesse. Even though Luke in no way makes my life miserable, his personality reminds me so much of my brother.

I'm amazed at Luke's lack of intimidation by authority figures. One day when he was about 2 years old, he did something pretty naughty so I paddled his bum. Instead of crying, like most other kids would do, he grinned at me, shook his head, and wagged his finger at me. I had to laugh. What else could I do?

The other day we went to the zoo and a friend of mine's mom cautioned Luke about some mud he was about to step in. He turned and looked at her with a scowl and in his Mickey Mouse voice, as my sister calls it, he said, "You are NOT the boss!" and stepped in the mud. I was mortified and I told him to apologize. He looked at me and said, "No Mom, she is NOT the boss!" There was nothing I could do to pull an apology out of that kid. Cynthia, my sincerest apologies to your mom.

He's very happy-go-lucky for the most part and seems unaffected by the environment or emotional climate around him. If he wants to be happy, no person or thing is going to change that. His moods are predictable and not a day goes by that he doesn't say something that makes me laugh.

It used to drive me absolutely crazy when I was a kid when my brother would do something that terrorized one of us or that was clearly against our household rules, and my mom would laugh and then give Jesse a hug and a kiss while the rest of us would have gotten punished for doing the same exact darn thing. I find myself doing the same with Luke. He'll say or do something naughty and I have caught myself laughing and kissing him telling him how cute he is when the day before I spanked Camden's butt for doing the same thing.

Luke also loves to seek reactions from people. He'll often say or do something that he knows will set off a chain reaction and then sit back satisfied with a smug little grin on his face as he watches the chaos unfold.

Dennis and I have decided though, that some of these characteristics that drive us so crazy will very well be his best qualities as he moves through adolescence and into adulthood. Luke does not, and never has done things out of pressure or because he knows that's what others expect of him. He does things out of his own choice without attempting to please others. I think these are the foundations of a strong man.

One of the biggest similarities between him and Jesse is his ability to charm anything female that comes his way. I think we have a Don Juan in the making. That kid has me wrapped around his chubby little fingers. The biggest irony of it all, I think, is that I've heard my mom say on many occasions how much Jesse was like her uncle Victor. Now my Luke is just like his uncle Jesse. So I guess that means Lauren has a treat coming her way too?


Cristina said...

Luke is such a cutie! What fun stories those are...I loved reading them. Give little Luke a hug from me!

Cynthia said...

I am sure my Mom was not too worried...I will have to tell you stories about my sister some time :o)

I was laughing as I read this because my Max is the same way - he just looks at you with big eyes, all innocent like. I am sure as he gets more words, there will be some interesting things coming out of his mouth. But most of the time I just smile and hug him because I just don't know what else to do. My Aunt always said if she had had her second child first she may not have had anymore...or at least waited a lot longer in between :o) He is the sweetest kid now, my boys love him!

Percy said...

We learned in human development class that children sometimes fall into two categories:

1. the ones that really depend on parent's nurturing and guidance...
2. and the ones that will pretty much turn out the way they came no matter what kind of parenting they get.

I don't know if I particularly like putting people into categories, but it is instructive occassionally. Some kids are very moldable, and good or bad parenting pronounces success or devastation. They depend heavily on guidance. Then with kids (or moments) of other personalities, it is useful for concerned parents to not be overly concerned if the kids seems to be marching to his own tune. In a way, this ensures the survival of the species, come almost anything that may.

I was the first type of kid, now learning to become the individual on a course of my own vision. I see elements of both in all of my siblings, though each has a dominant persona.