|Teddy at his finest|
Another stellar example: I was talking to the kids about what they wanted to be when they grew up. Our daughter, Bella, also known as Little Miss Perfect, said, "A teacher." Charlie, our temperamental artist, said, "A rock star." And then Teddy furrowed his brow, regarded the question, and answered in total seriousness, "A donut." (By the way, we're still not sure how bright he is, especially considering that when Bella told him he COULDN'T be a donut when he grew up, he feverishly changed his answer to, "A lobster.")
But aside from his disarming sense of humor, what I love, love, love about the kid is his total lack of self-consciousness and his spectacular desire to enjoy life. "T-bone" (his charming nickname) could care LESS about what people or teachers or peers think about him or his behavior, and he just wants to delight in each minute of each day as much as humanly possible. He steps in every muddy puddle just for the pure thrill and joy of the splash. If I give him a bowl of chocolate pudding he immediately sticks his fingers in it and, once that sensory adventure gets old, he begins fingerpainting and drizzling the remains, a la Jackson Pollock. (As you may have guessed by now, I am a little lax in the discipline department. I also have completely given up trying to keep the house in any semblance of order.) Not only is Teddy a pleasure glutton, but he is is also completely fearless, and already has developed a serious penchant for free-falling roller coasters and abnormally large reptiles.
I could go on and on, but I guess what I need to say is that I feel like I have learned so much from Teddy, and that I will probably continue to learn from him. He is the ultimate free spirit, and that is what I, and what I think so many people, would wish to be if they could. He doesn't worry about the rules, about peoples' reactions, about how he looks or smells...he doesn't care. He is totally comfortable in his own skin, and you can take him or leave him, but he is going to express himself however he damn well pleases.
So maybe he's pretty smart, after all.
P.S. I was literally JUST about to publish this when Teddy came running upstairs to me screaming, "Mom! I ate all the bugs in the yard because I was trying to kill them and they were DISGUSTING!!!" In relation to that last line above, all I can say is how outrageously ironic.