Indeed, she does a lot of things four-year-old-Monkey never even considered. She spent months repeatedly climbing onto the dining table for the 10 seconds it took me to chase her off. She pulls the step-ladder into the kitchen to get goodies set onto the counter. (I rue the day we got rid of the kitchen gate!) In the living room, she stands on the TV stand to get the remote control and in my bedroom she pulls my jewelry box off the dresser to get to my necklaces. The way she tackles kids makes me think she'll be a professional wrestler. The frequency with which she writes on her stomach, back and nape of her neck makes me think she'll be a wrestler and a tattoo artist on the side. Every time I place something in a safe place, I walk into the room to find Munchkin waving it in her hand.
The number of times she's made other parents at the playground gasp and say, "She's fearless!" with a mix of awe and horror are countless. When she falls down, I get funny looks from other parents as I watch from a distance instead of running to her. Most of the time she gets right back up and keeps going without shedding a tear. Sometimes I shake my head at her and other times I beam with pride.
I try not to compare my kids, but I can say for certain that raising Munchkin is a different experience than raising Monkey. I always knew Monkey was very laid back and pretty easy kid. He is a little shy, likes to follow the rules most of the time and checks in with me before doing something he probably shouldn't. On the other hand, I constantly catch Munchkin doing things she should not be doing. Munchkin is also easy going, like her brother--when not climbing on shelves or onto tables--but more amenable to new people and situations. The upside of having a kid who puts food into her nose is that she'll also put almost any food in her mouth. She eats just about everything, especially if it doesn't belong to her.
Munchkin has me double checking all my safety locks and has even compelled me to lock my refrigerator. She's pulled out cartons of eggs more times than I can count. Those child-safety caps on bottles? They were invented for kids like her and I'm grateful because I am running out of places to put things she shouldn't be touching.
The good thing about Munchkin is that even though her fearlessness sometimes has me sprinting to the jungle gym, I know that it will serve her in the future. I can tell that she will try things that might make me hesitate. I can see that even though she needs my support she doesn't always need my approval and that's very powerful for girls today. I hope that the persistence Munchkin currently uses to hit me up for snacks will help her reach her goals even when others tell her it can't be done.
Not only is Munchkin tenacious but she's strong. This was evidenced just yesterday when she strolled into the room carrying my 5lb weights, one in each hand. Her strength and stubbornness will create countless opportunities for her, from cheerios-taster to Cheerios' CEO
For now, I've resigned myself to teaching Munchkin there is a time and place for her to climb or eat, but there is never ever a time to put Cheerios up her nose.