She is four and a half years old.
She has big blue eyes, and eyelashes so long you’d swear she was wearing fakes for Mardi Gras. Those big, blue, long-lashed eyes turn into half-circle cartoon eyes when she smiles, which she does a lot.
She is a compact sort of person, not terribly tall or large.
She’s our Spicy Child.
More than any of the others, she debates and wheedles and argues. She has a swift temper, and tends to focus on any slight to her small personage as a terminal affront to her dignity. She loves fiercely, and battles fiercely. She is curious and clever and funny, and doesn’t like to go to bed earlier than her older siblings.
And, even when I’m feeling particularly exasperated (and she’s feeling likewise, I’m sure), I find this child to be a wonderful creation. Right now, we’re struggling to train her will and help her to use her powers for good instead of evil. I can see the future, though, and a strong, unyeilding will is one characteristic I hope to instill in every child. With this one, her in-born spirit standing about forty feet tall, I don’t worry about making it happen.
We learn at home, so I’m keenly aware that it’s my responsibility to outfit my children for the world. I mean to outfit them with academics, but in the end, it’s the character training that seems to count the most. If I can teach them to Learn with a capital L, to seek out understanding and information, and then to put it to good uses, I will have done my job well. When we get bogged down in the mires of multiplication, or feel like our path is a bit thorny and off-beat from that of our friends, I come back to the main goal: productive, eager adults who can handle what the world throws at them.
My spicy girl? I worry a bit less. She’s strong.
We have several theories as to how she arrived this way. Of course, it has very little to do with either me or her Daddy (’cause we’re such sweet, biddable things.)
I blame it on the peculiar craving I developed while carrying her. Thrice weekly, at least, I had to eat cayenne buffalo wings, about half a pound of them. Forget blue cheese dip or ranch to soften the blow. They had to be roasted wings, slathered in straight cayenne sauce and butter, the bones sucked clean and stacked neatly. As soon as the cayenne-induced endorphin rush hit my bloodstream, I was the most mellow pregnant lady you’ve ever met. But in between fixes, I had olfactory hallucinations on a near-hourly basis, 24 hours a day.
So, we think the cayenne crossed the placental barrier, and altered our child at the genetic level.