The Anti-Who?

Most families have one of these. It's the inquisitive child, the one who notoriously and inevitably always finds a way to get into trouble, the ham, the performer, the one who doesn't understand the word no, who can hurt themselves one minute and laugh it off the next, the one who has absolutely no-fear of anyone or anything. We have one of those, and her name is Sheridan.

Riley, our oldest, is a pleaser. She loves rules, she loves organization, she loves to tattle on her sister when she thinks she's doing something that we wouldn't like. She loves all things pink and frilly, she loves princesses and ballet, she loves praise, adoration, hugs, and kisses. She's also sensitive... oh boy is she sensitive. She freaks out at the faintest sight of blood, she'll cry if she stubs her toe, scratches herself up against the wall, or even remotely thinks you're upset with her.

When she was born, Matt's family and friends joked that he was getting paid back. In his previous life before wife and children, he was a little rough around the edges; all boy with little sensitivity. G-d showed a funny sense of humor and gave Matt two daughters... and a female dog.

The youngest is the polar opposite of Riley in every way, shape, and form. While she too loves the pink and frilly, she is also drawn to all things dirty and disgusting. She's very tactile, she needs to touch, smell, pick up, and taste everything she puts her hands on. She likes to antagonize, play the mommy vs daddy card, she's sarcastic, she's precocious, she has a vocabulary that rivals four-year olds. Above all, she's the funniest little 3 year old I know. The world is Sheridan's stage upon which she must entertain, time and time again. Every meal is an opportunity for her to "test" her new material. Every meal I have to discipline her, yet quickly turn away so she doesn't see me laughing.

We've often asked ourselves who she takes after. We know that the oldest has more of my mannerisms. But where did the little one come from? Both of us have brothers who were jokesters and who continually got hurt and into trouble. Is she like them?

The other night, Matt suddenly remarked that Sheridan reminds us of her cousin Justin in personality. It was an "Ah-Ha" moment. Justin has always been a curious child with endless stories about him. Some similarities between the two ...
Justin occasionally ate a crayon or two, and had a colorful diaper... Sheridan decided to strip her clothes off her and used green marker to color on her private areas. Justin knocked his front tooth out at age 3 ... Sheridan fell down the stairs and cracked half of hers out at 1 1/2. Justin pooped a penny ... Sheridan made wall art with her poop. Justin's antics are slowly turning his dad's hair gray... Sheridan's antics are causing Matt's hair to fall out.

Justin's father, my Uncle Stu, is the calmest, sweetest father known to man. He rarely raises his voice, and even in the most trying of times, remains even-keeled. Matt used to find great humor in Justin's paternal antagonism and often referred to Justin as the "Anti-Stu".

Matt's not teasing anymore. It looks like we've been repaid again. We have the other "Anti-Stu".

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