Oh, my Duncan. He was furiously working at something the other day that involved a lot of scotch tape, and so naturally I asked what he was doing. He glanced up at me and very matter of fact said, "Making dynamite."
Then Marley asked him to get her some water, and perturbed, he spewed, "I'm not your manager."
Then he had a stinging paper cut, and since he had just eaten a huge orange, I surmised, "You probably got orange juice on it, so go wash it off." to which he said, "Ooooh, I have issues. How do I wash it off?"
The child is part typical 6 year old, part mad scientist, part comedian, and part teenager. I never know which I'm going to get, and he can just as easily make me laugh until I cry as make me want to drop kick him across the back yard.
He has been particularly hilarious this summer, but we're also having a lot of struggles with attitude and listening. A lot of "Whatever!" and "You're so annoying!" Marley adores him, but even she has noticed that he's a bit of a beast at times these days. This morning he had yelled at her and shoved her after she did something he apparently didn't like, and she was crying. I asked her to tell me what had happened, and she tried to explain, and I said something to the effect of "Oh those boys, I'm about ready to knock their heads together!" (we had had a fair bit of misbehaviour this morning), to which Marley quickly replied, "No! Not Gabiel! Gabiel didn't hit me, he jutht wuv me! Don't kick Gabiel'th butt!" Pause. "Jutht Duncan."
I have said for some time that I'm most worried about Duncan as a teen, because he is so headstrong, sneaky, and independent, but is also the life of the party. Throw in a driver's license, hormones and a teenage brain, and it's enough to make me want to sit and rock in a closet somewhere until he's 25 and hopefully not in prison. Or a band.
I was prepared for unique personalities in my children, but I never fully considered what that would mean in terms of how differently each of them would need to be parented, taught, and disciplined. Gabriel pretty much does what he's told, and if not, he accepts correction and realizes when he has messed up. Duncan doesn't care. He'll blow up, talk back or simply keep right on doing whatever he wants. I have to wait until he has normal blood pressure and a good night's sleep before I can talk things through with him. And then sometime later he'll say something hysterical, and I remember why we keep him.
I love that each of my kids shows up with parts that are pure greatness, and parts that I have absolutely no idea how to deal with. Multiplied by 5, I'm certain I will never be bored. With Duncan I hope I can steer him and help him use his powers for good, but not squash one tiny particle of his humour, animation and spirit. As my husband said last year, "I think that's why I find him so exasperating sometimes. Because he's 5 and he's so much cooler than I am." True story, folks, true story.