As anyone who has spent even the smallest amount of time around children has undoubtedly discovered, appearances can be quite deceptive. No matter how angelic the littl’uns may seem on the surface, it usually doesn’t take long before their true demonic nature starts to make itself known. My own children are no exception. Much as I love them, I know only too well that they can go from adorable to anarchist in a heartbeat. Often without any warning, a terrible tirade is unleashed upon all the poor hapless souls in the immediate vicinity.
Granted, my two are far from the worst of the ones I’ve had the misfortune to encounter, although they do say that you tend to have a higher tolerance for your own offspring’s shenanigans. Indeed, I have found this to be true, especially after a fortifying gin or three.
That being said, mine are both unarguably cunning little creatures that have firmly wrapped my husband and I around their sticky, little fingers. Sadly, all it takes is an unprompted cuddle or a wonderfully cherubic laugh and I find myself forgiving them almost any transgression…almost…I still mourn the loss of my MacBook to a toddler-spilt tea.
In a strange turn of events, my children’s almost supernatural ability to ingratiate themselves isn’t just limited to us. Certainly, friends and complete strangers often come up to us and gush about how gorgeous they are, especially their big, beautiful blue eyes. This in turn has resulted in an unexpected windfall. Upon taking my son for a walk to the boulangerie he’s often given free pastries by the adoring staff. Not only has this happened at a few different places here in gay Paris, but has even occurred when we were away on holidays. Unsurprisingly, my son soon realized what was happening and began to work this to his advantage, knowing that half-hiding his face and giving a shy smile seemed to increase the likelihood of a complimentary pain au chocolate or a Madeleine being thrown into the paper bag along with our other purchases.
Beneath my son’s carefully cultivated innocent façade resides an evil mastermind in the making, I tell you. He has also developed an uncanny knack for finding the way to get at what he wants, regardless of what methods we go to in order to prevent such things. For instance, using his bike as a battering ram to get through the baby gates we’ve put up to keep him out of certain areas, although he’s now found that shaking them violently also works to unlatch them. His latest feat of mischief was working around the ‘no-spill’ design of his newest cup. It took him all of two minutes to work out that if he tipped said cup upside down he could use his fingers to help free the liquid inside and then indulge in one of his favourite games of drawing pretty patterns on the floor with whatever he’s been drinking.
While his sister is still a tad too little for such malfeasance, I can tell by her cheeky smile that it’s merely a matter of time before the two of them team up and become an unstoppable force for mayhem and destruction. I’d better start stockpiling the Xanax now.