Friday, February 29, 2008


Even though I blog about Demon Baby here, this is really my "parenting" blog. And so today I want to write about my Oldest Son.

Oldest Son is a math genius (really!). He's good at chess and math and thinking obscure math thoughts. He also loves babies, sushi, and video games, along with Asian culture and Ninjitsu (which he studies). He is the kid I write about least, worry about least, because the kid has never given me a MOMENT of trouble his whole life. He's the one who comes in to hug me when I am working too hard, who watches his younger siblings without complaint, who empties the dishwasher and does chores without a word of whining.

He has his faults. Absent-minded in the extreme. A habit of sort of "tuning out." But he's basically . . . just perfect the way he is.

Except to his science teacher, whom I will call Evil Science Teacher (EST). EST has decided that my kid, who tests gifted, has not presented her, to her liking, enough "evidence" that he is, indeed, "bright." She actually WROTE me this. And then when I reacted, said she couldn't understand why I found that offensive. But I digress.

Today, my kid was getting ready for school. He has a band thing today, which means he has to wear this uniform exactly so or he gets a zero. Oldest Son went on and on about how the band teacher, a former military guy, wants things EXACTLY how he wants them. And in my head, I thought, "I bet he just wants to shave your head."

You see, Oldest Son's hair is longer than mine. It's curly and kind of rock star-like. It falls in his eyes. It's gorgeous. I love it. I love it long, but if he wanted to cut it, that's his choice. If he wanted it blue, that's his choice. Because having parented one 18-year-old already, I decided long ago to pick my battles. They may not be the battles my kids agree with--or other parents agree with. But I pick the ones that I think matter--like being kind to each other.

And I had this moment, there in the laundry room, as he went down the stairs, his hair curling just so. That I wonder . . . if Evil Science Teacher even "sees" my kid the way I do. Perfect in his own way. Or if she sees some long-haired kid with hair in his eyes and has decided that lurking under all that hair cannot be the bright, gifted kid the tests and other teachers see.

I have no idea. She could just be an ugly human being for the sake of it. She could be burned out. It could be a lot of things. But I have a kid just PERFECT the way he IS. And I couldn't be more proud of who he is as a person. And if anyone sees his hair . . . or sees anything external and makes a judgment call, they are missing out on knowing someone great.

And I wonder . . . why we get so hung up on appearances.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008


It was inevitable.

I curse. I would love to think I am peaceful all the time, but damn the stress . . . I'm not. So between me, and whatever else he overhears, Demon Baby has learned curse words. Bad ones.

The F-word.
Bitch. (Which he calls Bits. As in, "Mom, you are such a BITS.")

He gets yelled at. Threatened with time-out. Doesn't matter. He uses them. So, through the process of ignoring him, they are dying down.

Except for . . .

Holy crap.
You are full of crap.

Now, the use of crap was my own attempt to not curse aroudn my kids. I remember my mom used to say, "Aww . . . SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHugar!" when we were little. When now I know, man, she wants to say, "sh*t." So I attempted to do the same. In other words, instead of saying, "Holy sh*t!" I now say "Holy crap!"

But then . . . having a 3-year-old spouting off "HOLY CRAP!" about nearly everything . . . is both funny and ridiculous. And . . . wearying.

"The mailman is here."

"Eat your peas."
"They're CRAP!"

"Look at the cardinal in the tree."
"HOLY CRAP! Will you look at that?"

Each has slightly different inflection.

So I suppose I am grateful he only uses the F-word once in a while and instead is the All-Crap Channel, All the Time.

But . . . well . . . CRAP!

Monday, February 25, 2008


I said, "Happy Birthday! You're three today."

"No. I don't want to be old. I'm not three."

"Yes you are."

"No. I'm not!"

Well, I love you anyway. And you are three."

"You're full of crap."

Yes. That was his third birthday morning.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Battle of the Sexes

I grew up with two sisters. No brothers. BOYS are a mystery to me.

Here, in no particular order, are the things I have learned as mother of a MALE Demon Baby:

  • The penis is an effective and hilarious weapon/sword.
  • Farting is the funniest thing ever. It was INVENTED for Demon Babies to use as a weapon of smelly destruction.
  • Army men, pretend guns and swords, and any and all weapons . . . are far more fascinating than a mother babbling on about being a peacemaker.
  • Burping on command is an art form.
  • The word "sh*t," when said loudly and in the vicinity of very old women and churchgoing families is high amusing.
  • When all else fails, scream louder.
  • Peeing on things is akin to an art form.
  • Nudity is funny. Particularly during dinner parties.
  • Climbing out of the crib is like Demon Baby Bungee Jumping.
  • Drawing with markers on the carpet makes Jackson Pollack look like a talentless hack.

I could go on. But you get the idea.

They really are a different species.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Points for Cleverness

He's sharp.

What ONE phrase, when uttered by a two-year-old, will make ALL adults (even total strangers, waitresses, store clerks, ANYONE) within earshot FREAK OUT, run to help them, PAY ATTENTION to them, act like idiots?

Think about it and see if YOU are as clever as Demon Baby.

Wait for it.

Yes, the phrase is, "I think I'm gonna throw up." As well as all its variations--barf, hurl, puke, and vomit.

Demon Baby threw up a month or so ago for the first time ever. And of course, this entailed every person in the household fussing over him as if the King of Siam had taken ill. He found this amusing. And then he observed that when his sisters and brother ALSO got the stomach flu, they ALSO got a lot of attention.

So . . . he started running up to people--his teacher, waiters, me, family members, the lady on the checkout line--and saying, while clutching his stomach, "I think I'm gonna puke!" Then waiting for . . . and laughing at the reaction.

This is now his favorite pasttime.

At this point, I don't even look up. Which then means said store clerks and waitresses think I am an evil mother.

But I'm not. I am merely the mother of a clever Demon Baby.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Naked Rock Climbing


This Demon Baby . . . when I think he can deliver "shock and awe" no more . . . defies all expectations.

The scene: My downstairs bathroom. It is a half-bath. Hardwood floors. Marble sink. Toilet. Toilet paper holder. Framed art on the walls (photos of Buddha statues taken by Demon's father).

Demon, now potty trained, has been in the bathroom a little bit TOO long. As in . . . mischief must be afoot.

I try the door.

It is locked.

"Let me in, Demon Baby."


"Are you OK?"

"Go away."

I pick the lock. (A skill I have become quite good at with him being a master of locking himself in rooms the better to wreak havoc.)

And there is Demon Baby. Stark naked.

He has REMOVED the toilet paper and the little spring insert that fits inside the roll. Thus leaving two roll holders projecting out horizontally from the wall.

And Demon Baby has used his potty chair to CLIMB like a ROCK CLIMBER on top of the roll holders . . butt out (naked, so picture this), face pressed against the wall, one foot on each holder, hands reaching for a his next rock-climbing hold--MY ARTWORK!

Yes, my son was "rock-climbing" up the bathroom wall. Naked.

I am telling you, I may be a novelist, but I could not make this sh*t up.

Monday, February 18, 2008

When Demons Run the World

The kid is amazing. Dimple like a canyon. Smiling eyes. Hoarse, raspy voice that is somehow funny coming out of this tiny little guy, all of 27 pounds dripping wet--if that. And a mind like a Demon. Quick. Funny.

And pretty darn seductive. I have no doubt that when he is leading the world, he will have minions. Henchmen. Sidekicks. All to do his bidding.

How do I know?

We're at the circus yesterday--which of course he loved. And he was having a great time. And all of a sudden, in the midst of the noise and the commotion of a huge circus show, he slings his arm around my neck, like some high school senior getting ready to try to cop a feel on his date. And he leans in really close, and says in my ear, "You're beautiful, you know." EXACTLY like that.

Like WTF? Not like an average 2-year-old, with "I love you ,mommy." Or "I'm having a good time." But this swaggering kind of Frank Sinatra persona.

I fear when he runs the world. I really do.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

When Goats Fly

We have Canadian geese who sometimes take over the golf course. The pond. Sometimes so many of them fly, they blot out the sun. They honk. They crap everywhere. They are noisy. And I love them.

The owner of the golf course? Not so much. But nonetheless, here they are. Every day. The remind me of my grandfather who used to take me to feed the ducks--and geese. I love hearing them honking.

This morning, Demon Baby woke me by climbing in my bed and putting his cheek against mine.

"I love you, Mama."

"Love you, too, Demon Baby."

The geese began honking.

"The goats are here."


"They're flying. They're going to eat our house."

"They are not going to eat our house."

"Should I tell the goats to go away?"

"They're geese."


"No. Both are g-words. But those are GEESE. Not GOATS."

"They're goats."

When goats fly . . .

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I am taking Demon Baby to his first circus on Sunday.

He is very excited.

I have told him there will be clowns and elephants. Dogs. Horses. Trapeeze artists. Popcorn and Cracker Jack. Lions and tigers.

And if I wanted a more potent reminder of how fearlessly crazy this kid is, it was when we discussed the lions today.

"We will go into the ring and FIGHT the lions."

"No, Demon Baby, they have lion tamers for that." I held up my hands, leaned in close to his nose, and did a play roar. "ROOOARR!" And then I laughed.

He smiled and said, "No!!! WE FIGHT THEM! It will be fun! It will be great!" (He's very articulate for age 2. He says exactly what he thinks.)

The look of sheer glee at the prospect of fighting the lions was joyous.

And for the thousandth time in this toddler's life, I just shook my head and smiled at his Demon Baby ways.

So Sunday? I suppose we shall be fighting lions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Army Men

I grew up with two sisters. Barbies ruled the day. I wasn't a tomboy. I imagined Barbie lives of nearly unimaginable wealth and success and marriage to Ken, who always had a vague "job" where he made millions without having to do much but go off to work and then come home and have make-out sessions with Barbie.

I had a daughter first. By then I had become a staunch feminist and was against Barbie on principle. But Oldest Daughter liked Barbie, and so she got the Barbie yacht and pool and mansion. And tons of clothes. Considering Oldest Daughter is a major clothes horse . . . perhaps it was a mistake.

Along came Son #1. He wasn't that into cars. He liked puzzles and math things. Quieter toys. And Buzz Lightyear.

Baby #3 was a girl. She wasn't all that into Barbie. She liked watching old movies with me. She kind of emerged sophisticated, choosing watching GYPSY with Natalie Wood over cartoons--even as young as three.

And now . . . Demon Baby.

He got a gift of green plastic Army men. And he asked me to play "soldiers" with him. So I got down on my belly on the floor, and we set up 200 men. Then Demon Baby knocks them down. I scream out, "MEDIC! I need a MEDIC!!!!" And he laughs. Then stomps on more men.

Then, because this is ME we're talking about, I say, "Time for Peace Talks." We choose a city (Paris, most often). And I stand the Amry men up facing each other, and say, "Why can't we be friends. Let us unite in our loathing of a common enemy, the fascist leader . . . ." (and I fill in a name, most often the leader of the United States). We agree to shake on things and be friends. Demon Baby gives me a thumbs up on peace. I give him one. We high-five each other that the Peace Talks of Paris 2008 have been so successful. I suggest we toast each other with champagne and escargot.

Then Demon Baby stomps on the Peace Talks.

And I realize . . . well, he is just my special little Demon. And I adore him. And his little green Army Men.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Just when I think Demon Baby has hit the wall. Has thought of every, single michievious deed that can be done . . . he does something so astounding.

Today, it was telling me the boxes of Jello ASKED him (literally spoke to him) to "free" them from the pantry. And they ASKED to be dumped into the bathtub so they could take a bath with him.

I'll say this.

The kid is creative.