We think our number four child, our second daughter, is really very beautiful. As a baby she was one of those cherubic, gorgeous looking little bundles, with rose-bud red lips, soft dark hair with a perfect curl on the top of her head and huge, baby blue eyes with long, thick lashes.
She still is gorgeous at four years of age. Her hair is long and silky and her lashes even longer. She loves to wear girly things and accessorise with jewellery, lip gloss and flowers in her hair and can often be seen floating around the house with a tiara perched atop her shiny head.
She is also really scary and can make one break out into a nervous rash with her definite ways and strong personality. There are a few actions to observe which usually precede a 'moment'. One is the shaking of the left leg, in succession with also tipping the head to one side and losing all ability to speak. The next is becoming deaf and mute which also accompanies grunting and low toned animal sounds. However the worst is the growling. It is amazing how such a sweet and small individual can create such fear in a big person's heart (her entire adult family members) by simply uttering a low-toned growl and a sharp look, that says, 'tread carefully because I am on the edge and I hold all the cards'.
If you are very astute and on-the-ball as well as extremely clever, you can catch all of these things early and before the full blown episode takes hold. It is all about mental and physological tactics. Some days I am onto it but others I let my demeanour slip for just a moment, and like a hungry lion, she sniffs the vulnerability and weakness and goes for the throat. Should such a moment ensue, basically you are stuffed. Head to the kitchen and grab ammunition, usually in the form of alcohol or chocolate, although caffeine in large quantities, works well too.
Sometimes I hide until it is all over. Other times I stuff my ear-phones as far into my ears as they will go and listen to 'Amazing Grace' as loud as I can, hoping and praying that 'this too shall pass - very soon'.
'The Growling Princess', on a lighter note, can also be totally adorable and sweet and tells me 20 times a day how much she loves her Mummy and how proud I must be of her. She plants kisses all over my face and wraps her soft and chubby arms around my neck.
I am afraid though that this is just a smoke-screen because if I utter the wrong word or look at her the wrong way I inadvertently place myself in the vulnerable position then, whammo, the leg starts to shake and so do I, from fear and trepidation of what is to come.
We probably have another 20 years or so of this to which we can then hand her over to her poor and unsuspecting husband to enjoy!