Let's face it, some people are just characters. Sure, everyone has a character of some sort or another, but some people seem to be born with characters that are somehow a bit more colorful and shine a little bit brighter making others smile that much fuller.
That is Lily. She is a character and then some. Now, I am not talking about some blown-up-on-steroids-Disney-Character who tries to be/dress/act a certain way. I'm talking about her truly authentic, spunky self. She genuinely is the way she is; no trying necessary, just born that way.
While it has been a documented fact that she started mounting the toilet at an early age (something you have to see to understand as she hops on top in a full straddle, landing as if she were a gymnast riding a pommel horse) here are some recent examples of her charming character.
I walked in the kitchen a few days back to find Lily, who had climbed onto the counter and was digging through the cabinet.
"What are you doing, Lily?" I questioned.
"I'm getting a band-aid," she replied, looking down at me.
Deciding to look past the fact that she was standing on the kitchen counter, I said, "Oh? For what?"
"Well, I have a bloody toe," she said as she held her toe up for me to see. (Yes, while still balancing on the counter top.) I looked, then looked closer, then got right at her toe level and pulled it closer to look some more.
"Um, Lily, I don't see any blood," I pointed out.
"Well, I have a bloody toe but you just can't see it," she explained.
Oooooh. My bad. I thought you were risking your life for an actual owie but you're talking about an imaginary one. Got it.
And, ever so often, a random moment comes around when she really wants to be like her sister, but just can't quite master the daintiness or etiquette required of the common household princess. This was accentuated when the girls were playing outside one day and talking about going to the royal ball.
"Yeah, we're princesses going to the ball," Madeline said.
Lily, wearing a bandana around her forehead, animatedly added, "....on our motorcycles."
Why of course! Who needs a coach and horsemen when you can drive yourself on your Hog! I'm just SURE that would have been Cinderella's preference too has she had the option. (Let's just say Lily would probably make a much better Mulan...or perhaps the Dragon who falls for the Donkey and then eats the bad guy in Shrek.)
"I LOVE school!" she'll tell you cheerfully. "I love my teacher, I love my friends...but, not that one boy who poked Eujay in the eye. That wasn't nice at all. I don't love him." Hey, a girl's gotta have some standards right?
Come to think of it, she often says things that remind me of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts: "The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face." Or: "Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." (For more Jack Handey quotes, click here or visit his website.)
Another character in our family is Liam. For a kid who doesn't say much (or anything really), he is a riot. And for a Weeble Wobble, he sure wields great power. Why, just the other day we took the kids to the local pool and despite being a half-pint, he single-handedly closed the entire thing down....
Now, I must admit, I am not one who really enjoys the pool. I simply tolerate the pool for my kids' sake since they absolutely love it. (I know, I know, I'm a martyr, really...) So, my goal anytime we go to the pool is to get through an hour or at least until the lifeguards blow their whistles to take a break.
So, last Sunday, I was in a great mood having just gotten home from a 10 mile run and I thought hey, I bet the kids would really like to go to the pool. So, we got ourselves ready and drove the 15 minutes to the gym while I silently prayed that it closed at 6 p.m. as we were set to arrive around 5. (The pool hours read 12:30 until 8 p.m.! Ugh.) We got our stuff put in a locker and made our way to the pool. Did I mention the kids LOVE the pool? It is zero-entry and while the girls and Liam can walk around with ease in the shallower sections, playing in fountains and befriending (or sometimes scaring) other little children, Aidan can go down the water slides in the deeper end or practice swimming with Kurt.
So, there we were, Aidan and Kurt racing down the slides while I watched the three non-swimmers: shadowing Liam so that I could pull him back up when he went under while Madeline hung from one arm and Lily went around making friends with anyone who would talk to her, or at least pretend to listen. That day, Liam was feeling extra courageous, and headed deeper than usual to the big fountain. He insisted on walking under the fountain, back and forth by himself and did a great job, not falling or choking on water. But, after a while I wanted to go check in on Lily who was playing with another girl in the shallower section. Liam and I started in her direction when he fell forward. I quickly pulled him back up but he must have gone in with his mouth open wide (after all, he spends a lot of time laughing in the pool.) as he had apparently inhaled a gallon of water and was choking and sputtering while I ran with him as fast as I could to the side of the pool. But given that we were in the middle of the pool at the start, I couldn't get him to the side before the gag reflex gave way and the vomit fountain erupted....all over him, all over me and by the time we got to the side there were also chunks of undigested grapes and other less identifiable particles floating in the pool. Ewwww.
Another mom who had watched the entire scene asked if I needed help. Uh, yeah: Clean-up on Aisle 9?! She got the guards attention for me, he looked over, I waved, Liam threw up again over my shoulder, I threw in a great, big smile....everyone was happy. Well, maybe I'm taking a little writers liberty as I am pretty sure there were not too many happy campers when they whistled everyone out and decided to shut the pool down FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT!
While Liam and I gathered the rest of the family and watched as everyone reluctantly left the water, Liam grinned as if to say, "Hey, look what I did! I am Liam, hear my roar!"
"Don't worry about it," the guard said when I apologized. "It happens all the time."
Needless-to-say, we gracefully hid in one of the family shower stalls while the rest of the families exited the building.
And all because a little bug went "ka choo".....or in this case, "bleeeeeeech!"