That’s my daughter, Shelby. Isn’t she cute? Doesn’t she look so sweet and innocent? I admit it, she actually looks like she is about to chew out her construction crew. And, when this picture was taken last week, she was probably preparing to do just that.
I’ll tell you. She used to be sweet and innocent. I’m not real sure when that changed.
I’m certainly not sure what happened today. I don’t know if her daddy fed her horny goat weed supplements or what, but she became the problem child. It started at the restaurant today when we went to lunch with some friends. Shelby was standing on the booth between her dad and I. A lovely young couple with a new baby was seated at the booth behind us. They very innocently set their child’s carrier on the booth while he slept; it was like leading a lamb to slaughter. I saw Shelby looking at the baby, but I didn’t think she could reach him. We got to talking and next thing I know, Shelby was holding a baby toy in her hand! The delightful young parents had hung toys from the carrier’s handle and my child was pulling the toy so hard that the carrier was lifting off the seat! I apologized to the poor parents profusely. The dad had a pretty good sense of humor. But I got the feeling that the mother was not amused. Especially when she flicked a fry into my eyeball.
A little bit later, I took Shelby to Wal-Mart to get some groceries. Shelby likes to stand up in the big part of the cart and point the direction like a ship captain. She also likes to laugh and shout orders out so she can hear her little baby voice echo off the metal shelves and concrete floor. The problem with this arrangement is that it puts her in the ideal position to chuck the bagels out of the cart onto the floor and say, “uh-oh”. Really? Uh-oh? I do not think it is an uh-oh when you chuck a bag of bagels over the side of the cart. So to show her irritation at me for taking the bagels away from her, Shelby proceeded to gnaw a hole through the bottom of the box of macaroni and cheese. To distract her, I gave her the bananas. Now, to be fair, I did see her chewing on one of the bananas, but she wasn’t complaining; and who knew that a little kid with three teeth could chew through a banana peel? Well, my three-toothed kid can. She ate half a banana, peel and all.
I proceeded to the checkout and put what was left of the banana peel onto the bunch because they are sold by the pound and I didn’t want to get busted for larceny. I put the mac and cheese hole side up onto the conveyor and pulled the hot dog buns out from under Shelby’s feet. (Wonder brand hot dog buns hold up surprisingly well under 19 1/2 pounds of baby.) All’s well, right? Well, the kindly grandmother-type ringing me up, held up the bananas and proceeded to tell me that, “You really should bring a graham cracker in for her to eat next time. Bananas are sold by the pound and you aren’t supposed to eat them until they are weighed.” So I told her, “Yes, I understand. I turned my back on her for about 3 seconds without realizing she could do that.” The woman told me, “You should really keep a better eye on her.” OKAY! I get it! Would you like to call Wal-Mart security and charge the child with shop-lifting? I hear juvenile delinquent school is very effective on one year olds!
Throughout this whole discussion, Shelby was standing there with a big old tooth-showing grin acting all angelic and waving to the nice couple behind us. I swear I could see a crooked little halo above her head.