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Jan 16, 2019 15:18:23

How the Devil Earned Her Name - Part 1

by @Rawhead PATRON | 393 words | 🐣 | 203💌

Jeff Riddall

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I am fortunate to be the father of two spectacular adult children who, since they were both very young, I've affectionately referred to as the Boy and the Devil. The origin of the Boy's moniker is self-evident, but the I find myself quite often needing to explain the genesis of my daughter's admittedly questionable nickname. Lest you think me a cruel, monstrous dad, I rarely, if ever, address her directly as the Devil. In fact, I also dubbed her "Pookie" early on, though I'm not really sure which she now prefers. The Devil is simply the name I use to describe her to friends and new acquaintances. I've had several colleagues over the years who didn't know my kids had other, actual names (Brendan and Jessica for those who are curious). The Devil acquired her lofty title as a result of her unique personality and several memorable incidents, which I intend to detail here over time. As a teaser, I once received a call from my wife letting me know The Devil, at the tender one, managed to open and generously spread a large container of vaseline all over herself. An unnerving omen to be sure.

To properly understand where the dubious tag came from, I believe it's important to first examine the common early childhood circumstances and experiences which influenced the development of their personalities. I've come to refer to this as "The Soother Effect." The first born of any new, inexperienced parents is generally coddled and handled with kid gloves. If his/her soother falls on the ground, it must be boiled immediately or disposed of altogether to ensure no harm comes to the child. This overly cautious approach to child-rearing has a developmental effect. When the second child arrives two important factors come into play; more experience and less time. The first baby survived and requires some degree of attention, so there is often a delay in picking up and cleaning the soother. If a third child enters the picture the attention and urgency degrades yet again. Maybe the dog ends up with the soother. Frankly, for those of you who have more than three children, all bets are off. I contend "The Soother Effect" is at the root of my kid's personalities; one relatively careful and cautious, the other, well, you know. Real stories of toddler terror to follow...

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