Recently Nathan has been trying to climb onto things. His little-boy-ness is so innate. Like climbing, for instance. In the past 2 weeks, I've looked over from the stove to see Nate with a desperate grip on the other side of a kitchen chair, grunting like an over-burdened ox and trying to heave his body up. In my infinite wisdom, I let him struggle. Not for his character's sake, but rather for my sanity, because I knew that once he could climb, it was all over... again... like when he started to walk.
The other day, I heard the familiar scrape of a chair being pulled out from under the kitchen table and the ox-grunts as he tried to climb, but when silence ensued, I looked up and he was standing on the chair, grinning like a fool at his mother as if to say, "Look what I did, Sucker!"
He then, being a newly established Billy Goat, proceeded to climb on top of the kitchen table.
In my infinite wisdom, I choose to empty the table of fragile items first, instead of hauling him to the floor, because I knew he would just climb back up while I was saving my hoard of breakables, that were up there for the sole purpose of being out of his reach. I got most of them and as I was going to grab the last one - a vase wrapped in paper - my own dear godzilla, destroyer of all that is good and holy, grabbed the corner of the paper and unrolled the glass vase onto the floor, where it shattered.
It wasn't even my vase.
And it was a special order.
Sometimes I get to this point in the story and I can't decide on the next line. A sentence is never enough to express my feelings, which are usually a mix of exhaustion, extreme exasperation and a tiny bit of hidden affection. He may be a horrible rotten monster who destroyed my body and is slowly chipping away at my sanity with his Billy Goat hooves, but he's my rotten monster. And for some unknown reason, I have a hard time being mad when he grins at me so endearingly with each new dangerous accomplishment.
Which is why babies have survived to this day. If they hadn't learned to grin before they were two, the human race would be extinct. And if we were extinct, there would be no one to feed Henry.
Therefore, God was not only looking out for the future of the human race when he programmed "smile" as one of the first learned tasks, but also for large yellow labs.
So I have a vase to replace.
And such is life.