Next came Spike

February 18, 2015


There are times it feels like our second daughter just dropped into our lives as a hilarious, button-pushing, booty-shaking, crazy-haired, firecracker of a 2 year old. That’s not to say I don’t remember the night she was born. You tend to recall when a doctor presents a 9-pound Thanksgiving turkey of a baby, tushy toward you. It’s more speaking to how her facetious, force-of-nature persona over the past few years has eclipsed any of her earlier work, including first words and moving on to solids.She was a pudgy, perfect chunk of a little lady, who, after coming into the world, folded her hands gently under her chin and looked at me, almost as if she were inquiring, “What now?” In just 18 months she would be walking proof that God does, indeed, have a great sense of humor, which He sometimes shares through tiny little messengers with sparkly brown eyes.


But first, the name. It began, I suppose, when the meager Mohawk she was born with stalled, and she was left with, for a very long time, a sparse, short strip of strands. Looking back on it now, more than 3 years after the fact, it’s hard to say who started it, but we began calling her Spike. Eventually, after those first follicles gave way to uncontrollable ringlets, it stopped being about her hair, and started being about her general demeanor.You see, Spikey only cuddles when she’s sick, and only says she loves you when you absolutely aren’t expecting it. She wiggles what her mama (me) gave her often, and always to the beat of her own drum. And while the Lord dealt her stubbornness in spades, she’s even more blessed with wit. The kid is funny, man. She’s known, all along, when people are laughing with her and how to work the crowd. She has clown sauce running through her veins, and I’ll be the first to admit, it’s been her saving grace on more than a few occasions where her unwavering will met me at the end of long work day.

Her self-soothing strategy consists of rapidly moving her head back and forth, as if delivering repetitive flashes of a firm and insistent “no” to whoever looks on. A signal that she’ll soon be asleep, the ritual also results in the most matted, bird’s nest of a mane you’ve ever seen. I liken it to a ball of tangled Christmas lights, fresh out of the attic. But her, she’s declared it her signature look. “Leave it crazy, Mama,” she says. “You know, I like it when it’s wild.”







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