Monday, March 31, 2008

Demon Confinement

I have now learned what the results are from keeping Demon Baby confined in the car for seven hours. It's akin to, once released, unleashing the power of splitting atoms.

Unable to do more than scream his displeasure for seven hours, restrained in a car seat, we arrived home.

In TEN minutes, and I am NOT exaggerating for effect . . . in the time it took me to haul in three suitcases and assorted crap, he:

  • Took one bath towel, put it in the upstairs sink, turned on the faucet and flooded the upstairs bathroom
  • Took off his pants and peed in the family room (THAT'S letting mom know you're mad!)
  • And . . . in a stroke of sheer demonic brilliance, even for him . . . took a full tube of toothpaste and squeezed it out on my jewelry

Ahh, the joys of travel.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Easter

Demon Baby decorated eggs in church preschool yesterday.

"I made you a dinosaur egg, Mom."

"Very lovely."

"I have to crack it to let the dinosaur out."

"Well, Demon Baby, that's not REALLY a dinosaur egg. It's an egg to eat."

"No, it's not."

"Okay. It's a dinosaur egg."

Demon Baby shakes the egg vigorously. "How come I don't hear anything?"

"Because it's an egg to eat."

"Maybe it's a bouncy ball."

"You mean like the kind that come out of the gumball machine?"

"Yeah." Shakes egg again.

"It won't bounce, Demon, honey. I promise you it won't bounce."

Sets egg on kitchen table. Sits down in chair. Stares at it.

"What are you doing?"

Stares more.

"What are you doing?"

"Waiting for my dinosaur to hatch."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


These are questions I ask as the mother of a Demon Baby:

  1. Why is our dog dumb enough to eat anything Demon Baby feeds him? I can understand chocolates, M&Ms, and cheese. But Zip-loc bags? Socks?
  2. What is Demon Baby's fascination with water? Not just the bathtub, but the toilet, mud puddles, and the dog's water dish?
  3. Why does he innately seem to know when someone is going to ring the doorbell and choose THAT time to strip naked so he's ready to answer the door that way, making me seem, for the thousandth time, like a really bad mother?
  4. Why do things that most humans seem to understand are food stuff . . . appeal to HIM as hair gel? That includes butter and pancake batter.
  5. Why is everything fair game as a hand grenade? Whether that be apples, stray golf balls he's found in the yard, or . . . my best Christmas ornaments?

These are the questions a Demon Baby's mother asks. Each day. Sometimes several times a day.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Last night, I watch Demon Baby sleep. It's just about the ONLY time he is still. He looks so serene. So wonderfully peaceful. So angelic.

And as I leaned over the crib, I remembered leaning over another crib. When he was first born. Because Demon Baby spent ten days in an incubator, he was intubated for a few days after he was born, and I wasn't allowed to hold him for a week. So all I could do was lean over and touch his little fingers and toes. And sob.

It's amazing, really, when I think about it. He came out and needed help, and now he's fearlessly racing his way through life.

And when I want to rip my hair out, when I have had about all I can take . . . I need only think back to the incubator, to the tubes, and remember when I just wanted to hold him. Just have him in my arms.

Of course, I couldn't have known then, from that teeny little baby, that today he would be putting cereal in the fish tank, and licking the dog on its nose, and deciding that nudity is the best way to go through life. Back then, he was just my little helpless guy.

Today I am grateful.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


When you are the mother of four children--children so utterly different from one another--you cannot help but marvel at their gifts. You cannot help to wonder where said gifts come from.

Oldest Daughter saw a violinist on PBS when she was not even THREE and said, "THAT'S what I am going to do with my life." She begged for violin lessons for a year. I finally caved. She leaves for college in August. To study? Violin.

Oldest Son at age 3 was doing 3rd-grade math in his head. He picked up the game of chess in an hour. An HOUR. As a first-grader or something equally ridiculous.

Baby Girl can make such beautiful art . . . it inspires. She had her work in a small show tonight.

And along comes Demon Baby. Yes, he has a gift for mayhem. But . . . he is also a born athlete. Yesterday, Demon Baby started soccer. (I conveniently didn't tell "Coach Ted" he was actually coaching a Demon and let Coach Ted believe Demon is a cute kid with dimples.) Demon Baby just turned 3 two weeks ago. Yesterday was his first soccer practice. He ran like the wind, he kicked, he scored. Ah, but it was more than that. He's THREE. On the field, as he waited for practice to start, he walked and tossed the ball in the air, catching it. Not concentrating. Just toss, catch, toss, catch, toss, catch, like breathing, this natural thing. Walking, talking, tossing, catching. I am lucky I can walk and chew gum at the same time, that's how athletic I am. When it came time to listen to the coach, he plopped his ball down and sat on it, looking, to all the world, like David Beckhan in miniature.

I love the NY Giants. I love the Yankees. I like a good game of volleyball. I like to play field hockey (haven't since high school). I like yoga. But I am not athlete. I signed up Demon Baby for soccer for one reason and one reason ONLY. To exhaust the hell out of him so he would go to bed on time.

But I marvel at his gifts. His natural talent. Soccer beats releasing the python, toilet papering the hallway, and tossing syrup at the walls any day of the week! I am now, officially, a Soccer Mom. Expect the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to ride through at any moment.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

It's All An Act

You know how when a serial killer is caught, all the neighbors say, "He was so quiet. He kept to himself." Or "He seemed so normal." Well . . . Demon Baby has his own version of that.

From the moment this child's eyes open, until he crashes in exhaustion at bedtime (he hasn't napped in a year!), he makes a LOT of noise. He talks, he chatters, he sings Rage Against the Machine (see a couple of posts ago). He smashes things, he plays the drums, he screams, he bangs pots. If it makes noise in some way, he's all for it.

But at preschool? And church? He never says ONE word. He can, quite literally, go an entire week without speaking. Not ONE word.

And so when I tell people about Demon Baby, when I regale them with my syrup-covered walls and my marker-covered carpets, with the time he PAINTED the bird with watercolors and the time he put CHEESE in the fishtank--LARGE chunks of cheese! And the time he stripped naked and covered himself in ice cream and sprinkles, and the time he threw roll afer roll of toilet paper over the second-floor landing to the first, effectively toilet papering my house, and the time he put all the family toothbrushes in the toilet, and the time, this week, when he was allowed to play in the sink with some plastic cups and splash, but he was left alone for a "moment" when the phone rang, and he stripped naked and covered himself in a generous layer of liquid dishwashing soap, effectively rendering himself as slippery as a fresh-caught bass . . . no one believes me.


It is part of his nefarious plot to fool them all so when I finally have my nervous breakdown, no one will understand.

My own baby is gaslighting me.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This Can Only Lead to Trouble

Oldest Boy has a python. We got Lydia the python when she was as thin as a pencil. Now, she is as thick as my arm, and maybe three feet long. She is a ball python--considered a good "first snake." Docile. Nonvenomous. Lydia came into this house largely because Oldest Boy never, ever asks for anything, unlike my girls who are both clothes horses and have very expensive taste. Oldest Boy is the quiet one, the one who is always helpful and cheerful. And he really, really wanted a snake. And, unfortunately, I could talk him into getting a tortoise instead. He's had her for three years, and in that time has proven himself to be a great pet-owner.

I, however, HATE Lydia. I hate her with a totally freaked-out, can't stand the sight of her, won't touch her neurosis. I hate her. If she pokes her head out of her rock cave when I am putting Oldest Boy's laundry in his drawers, I think she wants to eat me.

DEMON BABY . . . as anyone who reads this blog would expect, LOVES Lydia. And his new obsession is taking her out and "petting" her. The only thing stopping him (for the moment) is Lydia is kept on a high shelf, and there are two locks that fit onto the lid of her tank. But, if you read this blog, then you also know . . . it's just a matter of time, my friends.

Now let me explain further . . . .

Ball pythons are notorious hiders. They can go slither behind a bookshelf and disappear for months on end until they get VERY hungry. So if Lydia were to be "freed" by one Demon Baby . . . it's possible I would have to sell my house and move.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Two nights ago, I rocked Demon Baby to almost-sleep. This is one of my favorite things to do, because for a few minutes, he is STILL and quiet, and his eyes have that glazed, sleepy look, and he is . . . angelic.

I was singing, "Rock-a-Bye, Baby." He looked up at me and whispered lovingly, "I remember when I was a baby and you sang me that."

Which was sooooo cute, so I immediately said, full of those motherly warm-fuzzies, "I'll sing you another song." I wracked my brain . . . "Hmm, what did I used to sing to you when you were a tiny baby." My usual lullaby repertoire is actually "Amazing Grace" or "You Are My Sunshine." So I trotted out the latter.

"No," he said sleepily.

"Well, I'll take requests. What do you want to hear?"

"Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine."

I am NOT kidding. Oh, how I wish I was.

In case you are NOT into Rage Against the Machine, here's a sample of the lyrics:

Terror rains drenchin',
quenchin' tha thirst of
Tha power dons
That five sided fist-a-gon
Tha rotten sore
on the face of mother earth gets
Tha triggers cold empty ya purse
They rally round tha family
With pockets full of shells

I blame this on the fact that he plays Guitar Hero III with 18-year-old Oldest Sister.

"I don't know that lullaby."

"You know the song!" he protests.

In fact, I do. It is on my iPod.

"But I don't have it memorized."

"What about Ballroom Blitz?"

"Don't know it."

"How about The Clash, 'Should I Stay or Should I Go'?"

"Much as I am a fan of the late Joe Strummer, I will take a pass on that as a lullaby."

"How about Slow Ride by Foghat."

(And I insist to you, I am NOT making this conversation up. He's REALLY articulate. And really REALLY knows his music. Swear!)

"I know that one." And so, I did an interpretation of Foghat as a lullaby.

Which certainly beat Rage Against the Machine.

And all this is sure proof he is, indeed, a Demon Baby.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sprinkled Nudity

This will be a short one. Because really, what more is there to say?

It's Sunday.

I took a shower. I got dressed. I combed my hair. I got Child #2 and Child #3 up and they got ready for church. I dressed Demon Baby for church (jeans and a sweater) and settled him in with a video and some juice downstairs in the TV room, while I brushed my teeth and put on lipstick and a fast coat of mascara upstairs.

Note to self: Any time there is more than 3 feet between me and Demon Baby, trouble results.

The three of us (me, Child #2, and Child #3) went downstairs. I walked into the family room.

And there was the now-NAKED Demon Baby. And while I was in the bathroom, he took out a vanilla ice cream cup from the freezer, and found a full bottle of multicolored sprinkles.

And suffice it to say, he, his feet, his stomach, his hair, his face, and most importantly his penis . . . were all . . . covered in vanilla ice cream and sprinkles.

It is Sunday.

You can guess that ALL my prayers were for patience.

Because I am convinced even the mother of GOD would have gray hair from this Demon Baby.