Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thanking God

My mantra with Demon Baby is "Remember what's important."

Crayon on the walls. It's just a wall. He's little once. Remember what's important.

Deciding he's Greek and throwing plates to the bottom of the steps while screaming "Oopah!" (for the record, the kid is not Greek, he's Mexican-American). Remember what's important.

Five minutes after the housekeeper leaves on Tuesdays (while saying Amen she hasn't quit yet), ripping a newspaper into confetti and showering it all over the living room. Remember what's important.

Yesterday. Spits. Spits on his older sister's appointment book. For no reason but to be fresh. He gets put into time-out. (I drag his fresh little butt upstairs and he gets put in his crib, shades drawn in the room, door shut, and has to stay there and "think about" his naughtiness.)

He climbs out and opens the door. I put him back.

I come downstairs. I am sitting here. Working. He is crying. I can hear him getting MAD. He is screaming.

Then, me, my oldest son, and my mom look out the window of my office, and we see . . . OBJECTS . . . FALLING . . . FROM SECOND-STORY WINDOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I race upstairs, because at that moment, I literally didn't know if HE had decided to fling himself out the second-story window. I never leave the windows open precisely for that reason. But I had CRACKED the windows in the nice weather. Luckily, we have window locks, so even if I open the windows, I set them for a four-inch height only. He had then used his fingertips to open the screen, and was sliding everything and anything that could fit through a four-inch height out the windows. Stuffed animals. Boxes of art supplies. Games.

But not himself.

Remember what's important.

I literally thought I was going up to find my baby had thrown himself out a window, that I had somehow forgotten the window locks. I live in a state of hyper-vigilence with him anyway, but a tired mom can make a mistake, and I know that. But no. Window locks on. I had a mess to clean up in the yard. But he was there. Upstairs. Delighting in throwing things down "so the dogs could play with them" (our dogs are outside on nice days--we have a fenced yard).

I hugged him. Then all the windows got totally shut. Then he got another time-out.

But he was safe.

Remember what's important.

And for the record, yes, I think I had a minor heart attack yesterday.

And I have a sneaking suspicion with Demon Baby it won't be my last.

Remember what's important.


Suzanne Perazzini said...

How do your other children relate to Demon Baby? They must be a little spaced out by this newcomer.

Erica Orloff said...

We're ALL spaced out by him. But they take him in stride, love his moments of affection and sweetness and reprimand him as fiercely as a parent in his moments of Demonic Insanity.E

Suzanne Perazzini said...

He's lucky to have so many people who care that much. I still believe he'll turn out just fine - just a little unique, that's all.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Oh my! Oh my!

Choosing your battles and 'how important is it really'. And then the stuff falls out of the window. Oh my!

Keeping you on your toes, physically and emotionally.

I agree that all of our life experiences are lessons for us to learn if we're open to them. What an interesting, challenging set of lessons you've got there.

Erica Orloff said...

I started this day on my knees, praying for patience.

Embracing this child in all his wonderful Demon-ness has been the greatest challenge I have faced. He has reduced me to a sobbing mess more times than I care to admit, and also made my world light up like fireworks in the sky. He is creative and energetic and brilliant. And most days I feel inadequate.

I think what I am struggling with, too, is that he is the kind of child who really DEMANDS much more energy and time than I have (than most human beings have!)--he's child #4, I am (ahem) of a certain age (had him after 40) . . . and I have to work--albeit from home. When he and I have days when all we do it play army men on the floor and talk to each other, we have great days full of amazing conversations and lots of love. So what I am realizing is this "world"--all the sh*t I need to do that's part of raising a family and working--frustrates me. I wish I could just MOTHER him and challenge him all the time, but I can't.

Sarah Laurenson said...

There's never enough time. It's a hard lesson for anyone, especially a young child. And I know I would want to be able to spend as much time as possible with such an amazing little human.

My hat's off to you trying to balance it all and be there for all your children.

He sounds like he should be a writer. Quite a fascinating imagination there.

Aimless Writer said...

I think there may be a special place in heaven for you.

Why do I get the feeling that Demon baby will do something great someday? We can only hope he will use his powers for good...

Erica Orloff said...

Indeed. I don't go to the "guilty mom" place often, but I do wish I won the lottery and could just go off on adventures with my kids and show them the world and not have to worry about earning a living . . . .

Erica Orloff said...

As I often say, if he ever amasses a horde of minions, expect the Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse.


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Erica, heavens! Demon baby has amazing brain power for one so young. The inventive things he comes up with astound me. :D {{HUGS}}} he gives you some quiet time.

Hugs, Nancy

Erica Orloff said...

I am a writer. I make up stuff for a living. But I couldn't make up a kid like Demon Baby if I tried. No one would believe it.


Robin said...

I think I'm in love with Demon Baby. I'm going to recommend your blog to all the parents I know who are going bonko from their kids. (I'm a child shrink.) I absolutely love that you keep your sense of humor!
If it's any consolation (it probably won't be), my 15 year old mumbles, and is obnoxious and entitled, and I'm considering deep freezing him until I can stand him again. (Maybe in a week. That should do it.)
Visit my blog if you get a chance - You sound like a kindred spirit!

Erica Orloff said...

LOL! Thanks! Demon Baby has an 18 year old sister, a 12 year old brother, a 10 year old sister . . . and then . . . voila! I thought I'd never survive my daughter's adolescence. But you get through it.

I am consoled by people who tell me even Demon Babies grow up and become wonderful people who avoid the penal system.