By Genevieve A. Suzuki | Gen-X in a Millennial World
Our daughter tricked us.
As a baby, Quinn was amazingly easy. She was quick to smile, slept when we slept, and was always up for cuddling.
After several years of being parents to one, we were ready to welcome No. 2. Heck, we were great parents. Our daughter was proof. We had to have a second. We owed it to the world to have a second.
Alas, our second child, Deacon, has taught us many lessons — perhaps the most valuable being we are not God’s gift to parenting. The second most important lesson is that no two children are exactly alike. In fact, Deacon is as opposite from Quinn as they come.
Take our restaurant experiences. Quinn used to sit in the high chair, charming all who gazed upon her. “Awww, she’s so cute,” they’d say, smiling at her.
Deacon, on the other hand, is completely uninterested in impressing anyone except himself. He sits at the head of the table, waiting for his meal like a feudal lord. If our server has the misfortune of being an attractive young woman, she will likely have to bear with him pawing at her side.
“Awww, he’s…no!…so…no!…cute,” they say, clenching their teeth in a semblance of a grin.
And this is him behaving himself. Other times he likes to throw his head back and release a loud shriek, for no other reason than to alert others to his presence.
My poor husband spends much of his restaurant time outside, holding or walking Deacon, so we don’t interfere with fellow customers’ dining pleasure.
Deacon also isn’t so much of a cuddler as he is a hitter. One of his favorite things is to wait for his sister to lie down on the couch, walk up to her and look her straight in the eye before smacking her in the face.
He’s lucky Quinn is still that sweet kid I described. Although she understands he’s only 18 months old, we’ve given her permission to stand up for herself against our brazen toddler.
We don’t want him to assert dominance and believe he can bully her for the rest of their lives. (I can’t believe I just wrote that last line. It sounds like something out of the “The Dog Whisperer;” kids really aren’t too different — I may very well wind up with one of those clickers touted by Cesar Millan.)
Finally, Deacon is shockingly disgusting. We’ve caught him spitting on the floor for fun, just to trace the spit around the wood, and licking our blinds with abandon.
The good news is, despite the hitting, spitting and shrieking, Deacon has claimed his place in our family. He adores his big sister and is clearly confident we love him. (Seriously, if he were even a little insecure about that I’m sure he wouldn’t keep cleaning our blinds with his tongue.)
Funny enough, I can’t imagine sitting on the couch without fending off my tiny warrior as he emits a battle cry before launching himself at me.
After all, blessings come in all shapes and sizes, even blessings that smack, spit and scream. While I may not have been familiar with parenting a child like Deacon, I wouldn’t want anyone but Deacon to complete our family of four.
—Genevieve Suzuki is a La Mesa resident who practices family law. Visit her website at sdlawyersuzuki.com.