As children grow older parents start to notice things about them that came through nature or nurture. Sometimes you see that a son has mom's ears or your daughter has grandpa's nose. Sometimes your child loves baseball because dad is a baseball fan or your son wants to play the piano because his older sister takes piano lessons. Sometimes a child learns to steal because his older brother is a thief. Sometimes Aunt Suzy instills in yo --
Wait a minute. What did you just say?
Yep, you read that right. Apparently my beloved second child has turned to a life of crime too. Do you all remember my child the thief from a few months ago? Aaron stole a candy bar from a store a few months back. He has been a reformed criminal every since and led a mostly good life with the exception of some minor infractions like stealing his brother's toys, smacking a cat in the face and holding out a Cheerio like he is going to feed it to me and then popping it in his own mouth.
The theft incident, however, seems to have had a lasting effect on Jeff. Apparently he, too, has turned to a life of crime. A week ago Sunday we went to a street fair. There was a children's play area that had a bunch of toys on a mat. Derek and I took the kids out of their strollers so they could stretch their legs and play for a few minutes. Aaron took off like a bat out of hell. He didn't even look to see if I was following him. He darted out of the play area (which wasn't enclosed) and zipped through the legs of hundreds of people at the festival. I let him run for a while and then brought him back to the play area. Again he took off not caring whether or not Daddy was following him. He did this four or five times which I have now concluded was just a distraction to take my attention off of Jeff.
After chasing Aaron around the fair for a good 15 minutes I was ready to go. I got Aaron ready to leave and Derek put Jeff in his stroller. About two minutes after we left I noticed something white in Jeff's hands. I looked closer and it was a car. Yes, I can now say my child is a car thief. We went from stealing candy to Grand Theft Auto! (OK...to be more specific it was a toy car.)
Was this deviant life style from my genes? I don't think so. I have heard a great aunt of mine married someone who had ties to the mob but that's not in my genes. My mob ties are only through marriage.
Did the life of crime come from how we nurture the children? I don't think so. Derek and I are law abiding citizens. We wear our seatbelts, pay our taxes and don't even take too many pennies from a "leave a penny/take a penny" tray.
Did this criminal inclination come from the egg donor? I don't think so. She was a successful, advanced degree teacher who seemed like a perfectly lovely lady.
So where does that leave us?
I have to believe that the naughty behavior is coming from a group who tends to be lazy all day, rowdy at night, steal food whenever possible, has been known to break things, stalk anything that moves and gets into fights over territory: clearly I blame the cats.