“GET IN CAROLINE’S ROOM,” she bellows and shoves her stubby pointer finger at me.
“What? I’m getting someth-” I start to say.
“GO!” she points and marches by in her froggy tank top and bright green polka dotted pajama shorts.
Like the victim of an ancient Jedi mind trick (“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”) I start walking towards Caroline’s room when suddenly I stop.
WAIT A MINUTE.
“You’re two,” I say to frog pjs. “You don’t get to tell me what to do.”
But oh yes, she does. You see, I live with a tiny Jack Bauer. She doesn’t look like the rugged, hard-nosed and beloved counter terrorism agent that saved the world in the TV show 24. She has strawberry hair, dimples, puppy dog eyes and chunky little legs. But like Jack, she shouts commands multiple times, wildly gestures, doesn’t take no for an answer and can make people cry.
Catherine, or “The Kitty” as we call her, is two and a half. She’s the third child. The baby. (And according to the Department of Agriculture, will cost me $286,050 to raise. But I digress) She wants to do everything her big siblings do, and then some – she’s got to be loud so she’s not left behind. She’s a room wrecker, a LEGO destroyer and can turn the Barbie Dream House into a scene from “Hoarders” in five minutes. She likes to do what she likes to do. I think that’s part of being two years old (or coming from a long line of control freaks)
She can change her mind at a moment’s notice – even getting an afternoon snack can be tricky.
“I want goldfishies in a bowl,” she mutters.
Ok, here’s a bowl of goldfish.
“No, put it in a bag. PUT IT IN A BAG!”
She never asks questions. Like Jack Bauer in an interrogation room, she demands until she gets the answer. And if she doesn’t like the answer, she’ll ask again only louder.
“Where’s Daddy?” she suddenly appears at my feet.
“Um, I’m not sure whe- ”
“WHERE’S DADDY?! WHERE’S DADDY?!”
It makes me want to confess to something – like I really know where Daddy is and I’m just holding out on her. (Thank goodness I don’t know the secret location of nuclear weapons – I’d crack in a minute)
Kitty is also all about law and order. If her brother does something wrong, she’s the first person to pile on and yell “NO JOSH YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” while pointing forcefully at him. This can bring Josh to tears and he yells “You’re NOT the MOM!” (I say, if you want the job, it’s yours)
She sounds nutty, but most of the time Kitty is actually a silly, affectionate, happy and curious two-year old. Like Jack, she has many redeeming moments that make us root for her. Like when she volunteered to help Josh clean up his toys. And when Caroline fell down and hurt herself, Kitty rushed over, hugged her and said “That’s ok, Caroliney, you’ll be ok.”
But I know, I’ve got to rein in my little Jack, before she goes rogue and makes her occasional demands the norm.
“I want fishies,” she told me the other day.
“Please?” I say.
“PLEASE GET ME FISHIES!”
Ok. Not perfect. But a start.