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My second child. My little middle. My Itty Bitty Bumpy Little Chumby Chumby, Big Red, baby boy. Grant… is a gangster. A thug. An OG. For real.

I’ve known for awhile now that he isn’t made of all sweetness and rainbows, but his big blue eyes and unruly red hair has had me blinded. His flawless milky skin with those fluffy rosy cheeks, his beautiful, pearly-toothed mischievous grin, his wrinkled up little nose, and overall angelic appearance has had me fooled for so long, that it was nearly impossible to admit it when I first saw the signs of evil unsavory behavior.

He picks fights with his older brother. His favorite instigation technique is running up to Truman and ripping the cell phone (undoubtedly playing Spiderman videos) right out of his hands. Then, he makes Truman ask nicely before he’ll give it back. Grant will also sneak up behind Truman and hurt him. Punching, smacking, pinching or pulling hair are the usual offenses. Grant tries to smooth the action over by yelling, “Sorry!”  (“Sah-De!”) immediately over his shoulder as he runs away. Truman always cries and Grant, well… doesn’t care. He seems very remorseful when he gets in trouble but turns around and does it again as soon as possible.

There are other things too. The way he asks questions over and over even though he knows the answer, he just likes to hear you say it a million times. The way he takes off at a dead run, completely naked when you try to change his clothes. How he stands up on the couch and stares you down as you beg for him to sit before he falls and breaks his neck. Oh, and who could forget the whimsical sound of him screaming “POTTY!” at the top of his lungs until you take him. Not nicely. Not asking. A deep, animalistic growling. Demanding. Screaming potty potty potty over and over. He accepts no excuses, he wants a bathroom now. Even if you are driving. Or ordering your meal at a restaurant. Or trying really hard to find a bathroom somewhere…anywhere. He isn’t crying or angry about it, he’s smiling and happy… and insanely loud.

Grant is a little brute on many occasions but the ultimate display of badassery happened on Thursday. It actually all began on Tuesday when Truman and Grant were picking on each other incessantly. We were trying to get out the door to go to a farm and the boys were just being horrendous. Truman refused to help Grant find socks and they both took off running down the hall toward their bedroom. As I asked myself for the 50th time why I was attempting an outing of this caliber on a day when my children were being complete jerks so difficult, I heard a blood curdling scream from the bedroom. I ran down the hall to the kids’ room and Grant was sobbing on the floor. Truman was also on the floor but in the process of getting to his feet and already apologizing. Grant was holding his stomach and when I pulled up his shirt I saw this…

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Yes. A really terrible bite mark. Truman has never bitten before, not even as a young toddler. Tuesday, he decided that biting was something he wanted to try. The farm trip was off the table, Truman was grounded to his bed until after nap time and Grant needed a lot of cuddling and a Spiderman Band-Aid before he stopped crying. (Mommy drank beer on Tuesday night.)

Wednesday was a whole new day with a new behavior chart, a new no-yelling policy, and a “let’s talk about our feelings instead of throwing a fit” policy. Wednesday was a smooth, good day.

Thursday we got up and cleaned the house. Grant is currently obsessed with the vacuum so he got it out, vacuumed the living room and hallway and then wanted to put the vacuum back in the guest bedroom. Truman, ever the helpful big brother, decided that he could put the vacuum away faster and attempted to take it from Grant. I was nursing the baby on the couch and heard the struggle in the hallway beginning. As I called to Truman to leave Grant alone and let him handle putting away the vacuum on his own, I was interrupted by another blood curdling scream, this time from my first born son. Truman came running into the living room holding his arm and screaming, “HE BIT ME!” Grant was hot on his heals, looking remorseless and determined.
I said, “Grant! Go sit in time out right now.” Grant ran to the mat by the front door and sat down.
I pulled up Truman’s sleeve and saw this…

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Yep. More teeth marks. I pulled Truman close to hug him and that’s when it happened. I looked toward the door where Grant was sitting, stone faced, watching his big brother cry.

Before I could open my mouth to scold him, Grant slowly and silently lifted his t-shirt. Staring at both his brother and I, with his tiny first finger, my-not-yet two-year old child pointed – POINTED!-  to the Spiderman bandaid covering his own bite wound.

Like a straight-up gangster.

Like this entire situation was a beautifully crafted act of revenge that had been in the works for two days. I couldn’t speak. I wanted to laugh but I obviously couldn’t do that either. Keeping my composure, I simply said; “We don’t bite, Grant.” And got Truman his own Spiderman Band-Aid.

Grant. My little middle. My sweet, red-haired, Itty Bitty Bumpy Little Chumby Chumby… AKA ThugLife.

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