I don't mean "babies need daddies" as some kind of political statement on the number of single women raising children alone, I mean it as in "the youngest child in a household needs the kind of discipline that (usually) only a father can provide."
Why do I say this?
Because, holy shit, my baby, The Animal, a proud and loud six years old, is OUT OF CONTROL. I will give him the benefit of acknowledging that he is tired, sleep-deprived, and generally out of sorts because of his summertime status of being at the bottom of the totem pole 100% of the time. I get that it's tough being the youngest. I do! I was the baby of four and was constantly trying to get all up in my sisters' business and working overtime to get their attention. But, OH. MY. GOD. The Animal has passed from just being the "youngest son who's seeking attention however he can get it" to some kind of heat-seeking missile that will explode upon contact with whatever happens to be closest.
Let me give you an example of one of his random acts of meanness:
He and Destructo were riding their bikes over to the garage to put them away when Destructo's visor blew off. This is a visor that he made in an art class they were in together a few weeks ago. I heard him whine when it hit the dirt, but he kept pedaling and I expected him to pick it up on his way back in.
The Animal was pedaling about 25 yards behind, so looking at the unfolding scene, I leaned against the fence and commented to my friend, "Watch this: I bet he runs over Destructo's visor.... In fact, I bet he'll run over it TWICE—Just because he is THAT much of a jerk." She watched with incredulity as the Animal redirected his bicycle to run directly over the visor. And then circled around and ran squarely over it again before zipping off to join his brother at the garage.
I'm sorry, but what a little asshole.
And he's all mine, folks. Aren't you jealous!
Thankfully, we are leaving for home in Louisiana tomorrow (or Saturday since I haven't finished packing yet)—it's going to take a few days to get there, but I am extremely hopeful that having his Daddy back in the picture is going to remind my beloved little guy that he better straighten up or there are going to be much bigger consequences than not getting that new LEGO that he's been pining for. I will, in fact, relish watching some of the misery that will no doubt be on display when Daddy-007 puts him to work back at the ranch.
I promise I'll try to not look too pleased about it.