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.