Personalities, everybody has one. Some people have more than one, but that’s a conversation better left to a psychologist. Or is it psychiatrist? I always get them mixed up. The doctors. I always get the doctors mixed up, not my personalities. I don’t have multiple personalities. Wait, why is this suddenly about me? What were we talking about?

Oh right, personalities. I have four daughters and it amazes me how different each of their personalities are. You would think that the same people doing “sexy time” would result in at least somewhat similar offspring, but nay, I say. Let’s go on an adventure, shall we?

The wife and I were straight-up spoiled with our first child, Kaylee. She was so easy. She hardly cried. When she was hungry she would wake up and grunt at you. That’s about it. She slept more than a teenager on summer break and her dirty diapers weren’t overly aromatic. Her general demeanor was more of a polite roommate rather than a screaming, milk-hungry, anger potato. About six months into our first child’s life, I thought to myself, “This childcare thing is easy. What the hell does everyone keep complaining about?”

I’m pretty sure I may have verbally expressed this sentiment to at least some of our friends who were also parents. Now, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I know now that whenever I would brag about how easy our child was or how much she slept or how her dirty diapers didn’t smell like a hobo’s unwashed ass, our friends would silently pray to the god of child personalities for swiftly-metered justice meted upon us.

Well, friends, your prayers were answered. The best way I can explain our second child (Aimee) is this: someone decided to make a sticky gremlin with beautiful hair, an internal music system, and a nuclear reactor. When it came time to install the speed limiter and volume controls, the guy on the assembly line showed up drunk, broke off the handle, shit on the floor, and went home. For the first six months of her life our second child didn’t sleep more than half an hour, her dirty diapers were quickly confiscated and classified for weapons research, and the volume at which she cried has been described by NASA as “an effective way to drown out all that pesky rocket engine noise.”

Prior to having our second child, I cried twice during my life. Once when I dropped a case of beer and every bottle shattered, and again when our first child was born. Then I was introduced to our second child and developed a totally made-up condition called “Exhaustion Crying.” It’s a combination of mental breakdown, bleeding from the ears, and singed nose hairs. I would like to say that I, John Buford, being of sound mind and squishy body, do declare that I am sorry for bragging about how easy our first child was. Our second child showed me the light…and the noise…and the funk.

The anticipation for our third child, Lucy, was immense. I remember a conversation I had with my wife just after Lucy was delivered where we discussed which of the two previous girls’ personalities she would have. We were like two superstitious baseball players. We didn’t want to hope for anything too specific, because then it wouldn’t come true. However, internally, I was definitely hoping for Lucy to have more of the calm and gentle demeanor of Kaylee, rather than the Tasmanian She-Devil personality of Aimee.

After a few months, Lucy decided she was going to sample a little of each personality and intermingle them as needed. That, she thought, would keep shit real entertaining. Lucy developed into a bit of an enigma, calling forth bits and pieces of her older sisters’ dispositions depending on what her given situation required. If she was getting into trouble, I would get the sweet, loving little girl who I could no longer comfortably scold because look at those big eyes, she’s so cute, and look now she’s pouting, oh my god I’m such a mean father, let’s go get some ice cream. Other times, she called upon her inner-Aimee rage-strength to open a bag of chips we said she couldn’t have or knock one of her sisters over when they talk too much smack. Her personality is kind of like eating taco bell. Yeah, it’s awesome right now, but you’re probably not gonna be too happy with it later.

It’s hard to say what the new baby’s personality will be. She’s starting off a lot like Kaylee. She doesn’t cry that much and her diapers aren’t overbearing. She’s a week old now and she’s honestly been one of the easiest – Oh crap. I’m bragging again. Please, no, I didn’t mean it.