Assessing our toddler’s moral fiber: an update

April 3, 2008

Parents can’t help but analyze everything their children do, hoping for a glimpse of the future. Will our kids be normal? Will they be talented? Will they be good, wholesome people?

The preliminary scouting report on Phil is that he is indeed normal in most respects, with a talent for climbing on play structures, furniture, human bodies, and anything else that gets in his way. His personal integrity is still very much in doubt, however.

Phil does show some signs of becoming a virtuous citizen. He enjoys sweeping the floor and does so without being asked. He puts trash (and bad art) in the wastebasket. He offers applause and “high fives” to celebrate life’s little accomplishments. And he’s affectionate toward animals — certainly dogs, anyway. Well, our dog, at least.

Yet there also are hints that he may be headed toward a life of depravity. Sometimes he smiles and cackles while ignoring his parents’ requests, as if taunting us with his rebelliousness. Even more ominously, we occasionally catch him rubbing his hands together, the universal gesture of villains plotting unspeakable horrors.

I suppose we’ll have our final answer in about 25 years, plus or minus 10. In the meantime, we’ll try to keep his hands on the broom.

The way you swept me off my feet...

...You know you could have been a broom...

(Thanks to Aunt Beverly for the first photo.)


  1. The sweeping phase will disappear just as he's big enough to really help. Oh well, he is redeemingly cute.

  2. He's a doll.In the second photo, his eyes are oozing mischief. I see trouble coming down the line!Meghan

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