Hailey is wonderfully weird and we love it. But there are certain times when she’ll do or say something that makes us, weird as we are, pause and wonder if her behavior falls within “normal” weird or if she’ll be going to conventions dressed like stuffed animals someday. Below are some examples that may or may not fall within the “warning sign” category.
1. Gets a Thrill from Torturing Dinosaurs. I serve Hailey Dino Nuggets for lunch then go back to the kitchen. A few minutes later I hear her growling and roaring. “Are you playing with your nuggets?” I ask. “Yes,” she says. “I’m biting the heads off the baby dinosaurs and making their mommies watch.”
2. A Penchant for Violence. I take Hailey to her pediatrician, and while we’re waiting in the exam room, down the hall a baby is wailing. “Why is that baby crying?” Hailey asks. Awww, she’s concerned, I think, explaining to her that the baby is probably scared and unhappy. “I want to see that baby,” she says. “I want to kick that baby.”
3. Swears Like an Adorable Sailor. Hailey went through a phase where she repeated swear words she overheard someone…ummm, ok, me…say. A Lot. Then one day she drops her juice and says, “Dang it.” I praise her. “Good,” I say. “Dang it is okay to say.” I prefer this to some other choice words anyway. “Well,” she says. “I like ‘damn it’ better. ‘Damn it’ is my favorite.”
4. Mother Issues. Hailey sits next to me and puts her hands on each side of my face looking intently into my eyes, then turns to her dad and says, “I want to take mommy’s eyeballs out.”
5. A Cold as Ice Attitude Toward Authority. Hailey was misbehaving and I told her she was going to get a warning (warnings lead to timeouts if the behavior continues). “Why don’t you just wrap it up like a present and give it to yourself,” she challenges. Another evening she simply refused to go to sleep and our bedtime ritual had stretched to the wee hours of the night. I was about to crumble, and, verging on tears and insanity, I pulled myself together and made one last plea, explaining to her why she had to go to bed and listen to mommy and get enough rest to prepare for the next day, blah, blah blah. When I finished, she was quiet and I thought, maybe, just maybe, I had gotten through to her and she would be sleeping peacefully shortly. Then she looks at me and breaks the silence: “Why are you like this?” she wonders.
6. Bloodlust. On Hailey’s first day of preschool, I couldn’t wait to pick her up and hear about her day. When we got into the car after school I started with a million questions: “What did you do?” “What did you learn?” “Do you like your teachers?” “Did you make friends?” She gave me nothing. I tried again. “What did you have for snack?” “Did your teachers read to you?” “Did you play?” Finally, she answers…yay, she is going to tell me about her first day of school and I’m so excited! “Molly got a bloody nose. She picked it til it got bloody. There was A LOT of blood, mom.” And that’s what I got…. Her first day of school ever and all I’m ever going to know about it is that Molly got a bloody nose.
Never a dull moment in the Howe house with our lovely little weirdo.