From the moment we saw him we knew he was trouble. Even in the ultrasound images his profile resembled a dictator's by the name of Napoleon. Perhaps we unjustly stereotyped him with the bad reputation of the second child and gave him no choice but to grow into it but after looking at some baby videos I said, naaah. He really is bad to the bone.
The trouble is I can see the fiendish gears in his mind grinding away and yet I still fall into his traps. He's too smart for his own good. Like the time his big brother asked me to explain the word "gnaw."
"Ooh, I know what it means!" The little tyrant exclaimed.
"Yeah," he said, "it's like when I ask you a question and you gnaw me."
"No, that word is IGNORE."
"Yah. That's what you do when I ask you a question."
Smart ass, that's all I got to say. But I have to watch it because should I say it out loud, guess who would be calling his big brother that in public? That's right - Napoleon Parasite.
I see he's got everybody wrapped around his little finger. For instance, I know he's only learning to speak Japanese so he can butter up my mother into buying him things by asking for it in her native language. He knows exactly what he's doing and from time to time, I too fall victim to his little schemes.
On the way home the other day, I overheard him say this to his big brother. "Mommy always says no to everything. Watch.
"Mommy, can we buy a toy today?"
"No," I replied.
"Then can we go to Target and look at some toys?"
"No," I said again.
"Can we buy a car?"
"Nooo." He was making it tough to beat him at this game. I saw big brother was impressed with his little brother's capacity to make me do his monkey dance. I'd have to wait for that million-dollar question. The little slip that would allow me to answer yes without finding I've sold my soul to the devil.
He went full tilt like the Subway commercial.
Can I eat gummy-worms for dinner? No. Could we get a pet snake? No. Will you take us to Aruba tomorrow? No. Can we plant a tree?
"Can we - did you say, yes?"
"Yay!" He jumped up and down, "We can plant a tree!"
Big brother jerked his head back, obviously disappointed. On his face, he had the expression, "You wore her down so we could plant a tree?"
But I was smiling. The game was over and all I had to do was say yes to plant a tree. I figured he would forget about it as soon as he got something flashy. Or a piece of gum.
A few days passed and I picked him up from school. His teacher - a Saint in my book - called him to the door and passed him along with a "take-him-take-him-PLEASE" look in her eyes. He must have been in rare form because he was a chatterbox as soon as he walked out the door. I don't what came over me, perhaps the sunny weather was confusing my gray hairs into having a blond moment but I asked him what he'd like to do today.
"Well, first we have to go home and get lots of money." He said.
"We have to buy something." He said.
Judging from the way he said something, I knew he had no idea what we needed to buy. What ever it was, it was going to be bought if he had anything to do with it.
"Oh, I know!" He said and I saw the conniving light bulb turn on because it was right next to the fiendish gears. "We have to get those rubber lizards. Lots of them. Like a hundred."
I promised I'd let him play at the park after I finished some chores but I couldn't promise that we could go shopping for a hundred rubber lizards due to recent budget cuts.
"Okay," he agreed much too easily.
Phew, I thought. Got off that debate fairly easy.
Then he turned up that innocent face towards mine and asked through a broad smile, "But we're going to plant a tree, right?"