I think Demon Baby and I have moved to a new part of our relationship. I have a newfound appreciation for him.
You see, I always LOVED Demon Baby. He was very, very, very much wanted and loved the minute he was conceived and born. I would say 90% of the people I meet look at our kids--ages 17, 12, 10, and . . . Demon. And assume, given my age, and given he's obviously a late-in-life kid, that he was an "accident." Hell, my own pediatrician at the time, whom I'd known for 15 years, took one look at him on his two-week check-up and said, "I have to ask . . . was he a planned blessing?" And yes, he was.
But then came . . . the Demon Years. Well, I guess it's more like the Demon MONTHS, as he's not that old yet. But . . . at times, as a writer, home alone with him all day . . . all night . . . with very little back-up, trying to get things done . . . I have had moments when, frankly, his decision to fingerpaint on the walls with ketchup is less than endearing. His frankly BRILLIANT decision to fill his cheeks with orange juice and spit it at the windows--all of them--to watch it trickle down the glass and make all kinds of dribbly patterns--and his DELIGHT at this--is, in a word, wearying. There are days when I want to cry, running from disaster to disaster. It's like he intuits I am in the shower and sees what he can accomplish in five minutes. No long, hot showers for me.
But now, Demon's unbelievable intelligence is just blooming. Just like his siblings. And his power of conversation is amazing. His insights and observations. His moments of unadulterated joy at life. The way he just wakes up ready to embrace every second of every day. And, the way he now lies down next to me in bed and tells me things. How we communicate with one another--like we're becoming these wonderful pals in this journey together. I LIKE him. I like being around him. I find he makes me smile. Not just in the cute, "Aww, he's my kid" way, but in this . . . God, this kid's just neat to talk to. He's smart and funny. I really like him.
Which doesn't mean he's not a Demon. But does mean, maybe, that I am learning to appreciate his way of looking at the world. Either that, or I have gone to the Dark Side.