I had bath duty tonight, and I was splitting time between Miss O in one tub and Mr. Z in the other. I was helping the boy wash his hair when I heard Miss O shout, "DAD! COME HERE! EARWIG!!!" So I left Mr. Z with soap in his eyes and bolted to the other bathroom. I found Miss O at one end of the tub, gesturing toward the other. There, bobbing in the soapy sea was a little orange floaty thing with a nasty earwig afloat on top of it, hanging on for dear antennae. I grabbed a kleenex and plucked the mini-turdlet-with-legs from its perch, depositing it in the crapper. I was pretty creeped out, and would have definitely exited the earwiggy water immediately, but Miss O just went right back to playing.
I love that she's not one of those girly-girls who screams and throws her arms up when she sees a bug. She's an ass-kicker, this one. Which is a bit of a problem, of late, 'cuz she's kinda been kicking Mr. Z's ass a tad. He's not the most aggressive of lads and lately I hear a lot of, "Dad, Miss O just kicked me!" or "Dad, Miss O just pinched my arm!" I explain to her that we don't kick/pinch/slap in our family and that she needs to express herself with her words and then I usually tell Mr. Z to stop being such a narc. Hopefully it's just a phase and the beatings will begin to taper off.
But frankly, Mr. Z bosses her around so much, a little kick here and there from the girl isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world. I mean, it usually gets him to stop whatever the fuck he was doing that made her kick him in the first place and it seems to be more effective than me just saying, "Mr. Z, don't boss your sister around so much." So it's behavior mod, Miss O style -- instead of a little shock from a Skinner box lever, it's a mary jane to the shin. And if DCFS comes a-knockin', Miss O gets hauled away instead of me. It's really the perfect situation.
Actually, though, the two of them have been getting along incredible well, lately. It's really weird. The old lady and I have been able to sleep in a bit on the weekends because they can entertain each other until, like, 9:30 now. Shit, if we moved the breakfast cereal down to a lower shelf, they'd probably never wake us up. They have all these fucked up games they've made up where each one of them plays about 15 different characters, each one with a more annoying voice than the last, mind you. But I think it's all the weird, fucked up, childish shit that Mr. Z has to suppress all day at school for fear of being completely ostracized as an uber-nerdarino, that just explodes when he's safely at home with his 4 1/2 year old sister. He can just be his oddball self, a wiggy eight-year-old kid, instead of the under-control-fourth-grader he has to portray in public. It's really great that they have each other.
And maybe if I buy him some shin-guards, there'll be many more years of oddball games to come.