About five weeks after we got engaged, Ben was in a very serious motorcycle accident. His recovery involved several surgeries, skin grafts and about a month in the hospital. During one of my weekend visits out to California from Texas, where I was living, I had the opportunity to have a big breakfast with his parents. They told me of the Trouble he had gotten into as a child, Trouble-With-A-Capital-T. I laughed, of course, but inwardly reflected on how this would affect my genetics when it came to having children.

Fast forward almost nine years. Now I am the mother of two-year-old Tymen. Now I can imagine myself sitting at the table with Ben and my future daughter-in-law, giving her fair warning.

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  • Tymen draws on his face with markers.
  • Tymen swings on my dining room curtains and pulls them and the curtain rod off the wall.
  • I look back at Tymen in the rear view mirror after walking through a yucky parking lot to see him with his shoe removed, licking the soles.
  • Tymen leaps out of the bathtub and dumps water and toys into the toilet while I have gone to get fresh towels.
  • Tymen opens up his peanut butter tortilla rollup that I have made for lunch and rubs it all over his hair.
  • Tymen gets my hairspray out of the drawer and sprays himself one heck of a hair helmet.
  • I hear screams from outside and Tymen is hanging like a monkey off the bars of our playground.
  • Tymen pulls open his pants waistband and dumps handfuls of wood chips from the play area.
  • Tymen splashes his hands wildly in his soup, spraying the walls.
  • I look in the back yard and see my son mashing my plants in the garden as he stomps and yells, "Shoo, FLY!!! I get YOU!!" He also gets my flowers flattened.
  • Tymen climbs the shelves in the pantry and pours himself bowls of snacks. When he casually strolls into the office with his booty and is rebuked, he draws back, "Hey! MY 'nack!!"
  • Tymen heaves two fistfuls of sand into his brother's face from about eight inches away as Jasper is coming unsuspectingly towards him.
  • Tymen sneaks out of bed and is found curled up at Ruby's feet in her bed.
  • Pipecleaners are found in electrical sockets where Tymen has been. This right after I said, "Don't put pipecleaners in your nose!!" I guess he found a better place.
  • Baby Cowie, Tymen's friend, is found drenched in Daddy's cologne.
  • Tymen is discovered cleaning the toilet with his toothbrush. Daddy gets to deal with that one.
  • Tymen opens up my makeup and dumps bronzer on the new carpet. He is swiftly punished and Daddy has to use the carpet cleaner to get it all up. Two hours later...he does it AGAIN!
  • Tymen is found gnawing on power cords.
  • I pulled up the blinds to wash windows. While I go to get the Windex, Tymen winds the cords around his neck.
  • Tymen is found belly on the ground at the park, slurping up a drink from a puddle.
  • I go outside to find my tomato cages ripped out of the garden and half eaten green tomatoes scattered across the lawn. I bellow, "WHO DID THIS????" Tymen responds happily, "MEEEE!" I decide to laugh and get my camera. Tymen stands beside the carnage and yells, "CHEEEEEEESE!"

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He's a monkey, this one.

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We've tried a leash (ahem, harness) when we are out and it sure helps to keep this little guy with us. He actually loves it and hugs the puppy and says, "My yeash! My yeash!" Yep, I am totally one of "those moms" now.

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As much work as this boy creates for me, I am desperately in love with him. He is so affectionate and loving.

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He races towards me when he sees me and smothers me with kisses. He loves to cuddle. He has a tender spot for lots of people that he adores. And he has a laugh that I wish I could bottle. It would make me rich, and possibly pay for all the cleaning supplies that I have had to purchase because of him.

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A couple more of my little guy in his new underpants. I was not ready to potty train and told Ben it would have to wait until after the new baby comes. Ben shrugged his shoulders, "Well, I'll do it." I gave him the rundown on the potty training techniques that I used with the first two, doubting that he would be effective. However, when I got home a few hours later, Tymen was taking to it like a duck to water. He is enormously proud of his Elmo underwear.

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How I love this boy. I know I will have to give his future bride fair warning, but if the naughty little boy behavior is anything like his dad's, he will end up being every bit as wonderful.