Well, Rachel seems to have put her toilet-stuffing phase behind her. Maybe we can just forget all those unhappy episodes, at least after Larry patches up the holes in the livingroom ceiling. The house is still habitable, after all; fortunately, my teenagers know where to find the shut-off valve for the upstairs toilet. I'm just glad we didn't have to call the plumber. It would have been hard to explain to him exactly why there were 3 large towels shoved into the toilet. As a matter of fact, we're having a hard time understanding it ourselves.
Unfortunately, Rachel has instead become obsessed with scissors. And, yes, we've hidden all of them, and, yes, I am watching her constantly. It's getting to the point where Larry dreads coming home from work, as he doesn't want to hear the latest Rachel exploit when what he really needs is a beer and some peace and quiet. I'm living some bad I Love Lucy episode - just picture Larry as , waving his alarm clock with the cord snipped in two and saying, "Looocy, you have some 'splainin' to do!" And I'm standing there, wringing my hands, and insisting, "I didn't take my eyes off her for a minute, Ricky!" Lately she's been laying off the electrical stuff in favor of what appears to be her true calling - amateur taxidermist. We've had to stow all the stuffed animals for safekeeping until Rachel stops decapitating them and mounting their heads on the wall as trophies. True, this seems to be a rather sophisticated prank for a 4-year-old; but our by now well-honed interrogation methods have exonerated both Brian and Theo. As for David, he was absolutely prostrate with grief over Froggy and Teddy Bear. He spent all of one evening sewing Teddy's head back on.
The scary part is, Rachel just will not stop. Every day, somewhere in the house, Larry or I will stumble upon mute witness to her obsession - nothing big, just a headless bear, say, with its arms sticking out as if to plead, "Help me!" And the head itself will be nowhere in sight. Because she hides them. Yes, that's right - she collects heads, so she can mount them later. Now, I've thumbed through many a child development book in my day; and I just don't recall seeing this sort of thing mentioned in "Your Child at Four" or "The Magic Years" or the like. She hasn't, of course, victimized her own animal, a very attractive white stuffed rabbit. So Larry, obviously feeling desperate, told her a few days ago that he would take Bunny away if he found another headless body. That's right, folks - "Stop it, or the rabbit gets it!" It probably would have been smarter for him to take Bunny hostage then and there; because the next day, there was another headless bear, and Bunny was nowhere to be found. Because Rachel hid it. Remember all the Bugs Bunny episodes where Elmer Fudd throws down his gun and jumps up and down with steam coming out of his ears as he says, "oooh, that wascally wabbit!"? That's what Larry looked like when he realized he'd been outsmarted by a 4-year-old. I must admit, I haven't laughed so hard in years.
We need to physically restrain Rachel, that's all. I would google "shackles (size small)," but I'm betting that the results would be as shocking as they were when I googled "slave costume" for Anna. Better yet, we could ship Rachel off to preschool; but I think the shackles would be cheaper than even one month's tuition. And I can only find half-day programs anyway.
Other children? Oh, yes, them....well, Anna still hates us. We're the worst parents ever. Compliment accepted. And let me point out that her father spent his weekend off painting her room the color she wants it. We should have painted it black. David has turned into a very helpful, competent young man; that is, when he isn't mourning yet another decapitated friend. Brian is 6 1/2 now, which can be an annoying age for little boys; but as anything he does pales in comparison with the deeds of his demonically-possessed 4-year-old sister, we still regard him as a positive addition to our family. Susie is enchanting, toddling around with her fat little legs and cute baby shoes. Of course, Rachel used to be enchanting, also. Theo used to be my right-hand man around here, but now he spends all his time taking pictures of Rachel's latest exploit or else trying to understand his Algebra text. Both our gardens are suffering monstrous neglect.
Well, it's time to get ready to celebrate Larry's birthday. He's 39 today; but, for some reason or other, he's been looking a lot older lately.