Barbara's best friend told her that the Lord sent us Paul because, after Philip and Calvin, we thought we had all the answers on parenting. Nobody comes to the job of being a parent with experience. We found out how true that is. When we told Philip, "Don't touch that!" He didn't touch it. Calvin came along and he was every bit as compliant as his older brother. In rare cases we may have to spank the hand, but only once. They were sweet, obedient little boys. When Paul arrived we found ourselves to be novices again. When we said, "Don't touch that!", we found we were giving him the most compelling reason to touch it. I hope there is a statute of limitations for child abuse or the authorities may come after me for what I am about to disclose. When our third child turned up the volume on our hi-fi equipment for the third defiant time, I spanked Paul's little hand. Now it became a battle of the wills, and I spanked his hand repeatedly. His will was too strong because my fingers were turning blue from broken capillaries, and he was still twisting the radio knob.
We should have been warned by the way he behaved even before he was born. When this determined fetal brat was only 10 weeks along, he began to move. Barbara told the doctor, and he said it had to be only gas because a 10 week fetus is not yet active. But when he kicked the doctor's stethoscope, his eyes widened and he went to the calendar and pontifically declared that he must be a month in error on his calculations. But Paul's birthday proved him wrong.
Barbara swears that he bruised her internally. I am witness to his antics. I saw her abdomen stretching two directions at once, and I got this cartoonish image of our tiny baby straining with arms above his head and feet pushing the opposite direction, and the caption reads: "GET ME OUTA HERE!"
He deserved many swats as a child, and we discovered on one of those tragic occasions that he had prepared for the trauma by donning 6 pair of briefs under his bluejeans.
Then there was his brief career in the Air force. He deduced that he could ride his skateboard around base without saluting officers because he was on a mode of transportation. He even was caught drawing a mustache on the great picture of the base General.
His favorite game is to tweak the nose of authority.