Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lunch with a Demon

We went out for lunch today--the whole gang of us. Demon Baby was absolutely delightful and well-behaved. Though he, as usual, decided the waiter had to know WAY TOO MUCH information about our family.

What do I mean?

LAST TIME we went out for dinner, he stood up and told the waiter, in a voice loud enough to be heard over a jackhammer, "I just farted and it smells like peanut butter." THAT kind of Too Much Information. I pitied the poor waiter. Had some toddler said that to me when I was waiting tables, I would have dropped my tray.

Today's lunch, this was what the waiter had to hear:

Waiter: "Would you like a drink?"
DB: "I want cheese."
Waiter: "You want to DRINK cheese?"
DB: "Yes. I want cheese."
Mom: "He'll take a Sprite."
DB: "Tell him about the beetle that flew into your hair today."
Mom: "I'll have a Coke."
Waiter: "Everyone else's drinks?"
DB: "I want cheese. Mom, tell him." Looks at waiter. "Cheese. Just get me cheese."

You get the idea. BUT, he was well behaved. THEN they brought Wet-naps.

DB: "What's this?"
Mom: "You open it when your done with lunch and clean your hands."
DB: "COOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Open it."
Mom: "But you haven't eaten yet."
DB: "Please? I want to see."
Mom opens pack.

Once this miracle of modern man was revealed, he sat and dutifully ate lunch. No farting discussions. He was being SO good. We ALMOST made it out of lunch with no incidents.

And then . . . after he ate, he wiped his hands. And then proceeded to ball up the Wet-nap, toss it over his shoulder, where it landed in the middle of the table in back of our booth.

I apologized. PROFUSELY. And God bless the three women who laughed instead of got mad. Properly chastized, Demon Baby behaved, and we got through paying the bill.

I tip very well.

Now you know why.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Demon Baby, whose favorite song in the whole wide world is Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine . . . comes in to me yesterday and says "Let's sing songs."

"Okay. What do you want to sing" said I, expecting I'd have to bust out the lyrics to "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" or . . . "Train in Vain" by the Clash. I have them downloaded for our USUAL sing-alongs.

But his new favorite sing-along song?

The Christian "This little light of mine . . . ." You know how it goes. "I'm gonna let it shine . . . let it shine . . . let it shine . . . let it shine."

As he sang it yesterday at the TOP of HIS LUNGS. And I mean TOP. I mean I am sure the neighbors' windows were rattling. I started laughing. It went from just a little smile to a chuckle, to a laughing, tears streaming down my face howl. We sang it TEN times.

Don't get me wrong. There's NO, and I mean NO halo over his head.

And yet . . . his light really DOES shine. If ever there was a picture of exuberance. Energy. Living life at top-speed 24/7, it's the Demon Baby.

So maybe there's a little angel in there somewhere.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sleep Lust

My life has had a very obvious progression. Clive Owen used to be my major lust. I've seen all Clive's movies. I've even seen his BBC series before he was famous. I imagined one day I would run off with Clive Owen.

Somewhere along the way, I moved on. To Anthony Bourdain. Perhaps I realized that I didn't particulary suit someone as suave as Clive. No . . . I would be better off with a chef who can knock back a few shots after work, who can stay up all night. When you have four kids, staying up all night is a reality much of the time. If I'm not being awakened by Demon Baby or waiting for the sound of Oldest Daughter's car to come into the driveway after her part-time job at a restaurant . . . it's Baby Girl's nightmare or Oldest Boy's migraine. In short, it's always something. So Anthony became my new lust.
When sleep deprivation reached epic proportions, the assorted men on Demon Baby's favorite morning pre-school shows started to look good to me. Steve from Blues Clues started looking quite handsome in his green-striped shirt. But I soon settled on the Blue Wiggle as my lust and point of fascination. Even wearing his Blue Wiggle shirt, Anthony (another Anthony) looked quite handsome to me. In a suit, he's rather dreamy.

Now? Quite frankly, all I lust after is SLEEP. I would write a check for all the money in my checking account (admittedly not much) for ONE SOLID NIGHT'S SLEEP. No one waking me at two a.m. No Demon Baby nightmares or crying out for me. No Baby Girl climbing in my bed and kicking me (she is a first-class kicker). No Oldest Daughter stomping up the stairs late at night (she's not angry--just has a heavy footfall). I lust for a quiet room, maybe some soft classical music. And sleep.
Since Demon Baby's arrival three years ago . . . my priorities have entirely changed. I have Sleep Lust not Clive Lust.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Demon Baby and I are joined at the hip, pretty much. Like all my kids, I breast-fed him for two years. When you breastfeed that long, it means, frankly, that all total with four kids, I have spent eight YEARS with a kid latched onto me much of the time.

Once he was weaned . . . sure, he found his demon footing and was off to explore the world. But he is still pretty keyed in to me. I work from home. My office is in my dining room, with my desk and ME pretty accessible 24/7. I am in the thick of things in the house.

And lately, I think Demon Baby is starting (baby steps . . . just starting) to see that his Demon Baby ways are starting to send me to the nuthouse. I mean . . . what is the "happy face" reaction to waking up at 5:00 a.m. to a child who is sitting on you and demanding orange juice, and when you don't move fast enough, he decides to pinch you. Hard. There's just no "Gee, I love these mom moments" way about it. The kid has worn me out.

Of course, I adore him, too. And we laugh and giggle and wrestle. But it's not an "easy" childhood.

Lately, though, he comes to me, rests his head on my arm and looks up at me with BIG BROWN innocent eyes, and says, "I just spilled my juice all over the dog. Are you HAPPY, Mom?"

"No. Spilling juice on the dog isn't a nice thing to do. I am not happy."

"Well, I want you to be happy. I'm sorry."

He spends much of the day now, measuring whether things make ME happy or not. I am not sure if that is good or bad, but I take it as a gratifying sign he actually HAS a conscience. We were once so attached at the hip that I knew what he needed before he ever cried. Now we're feeling our way. Separate but symbiotic on some level.

It's not easy. But yes, most of the time, I am happy.

Except those 5:00 a.m. wake-up episodes. I am a LOT happier when I have had sleep.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Oh my God . . . the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have arrived.

Demon Baby is in a full-court press for . . .

. . . wait for it . . .

a baby brother. As in he WANTS one. BAD. And feels the need to ask me for one every five minutes.

I know it's a ploy.

He doesn't really want a baby brother. He wants a minion.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cooking Demon Style

Demon Baby has a new passion. He likes to "help" cook.

The thing is, it really, really makes him happy. You have never SEEN a child so filled with utter JOY as when he gets to help cook or bake.

His father is a foodie and a former chef, so I suppose it makes sense. But to give you an idea . . . he woke at 6:30 today and ran shrieking through the house singing "The Pancake Song" because he was going to get to make pancakes. The Pancake Song pretty much consists of screaming out, "I'M MAKING PANCAKES" in a sing-song way. Five hundred times in a row.

After mixing the batter, he got to stand and watch for the "bubbles" that signaled it was time to flip them. But he doesn't, even though you are standing there right next to him, say, "It's time to flip." No . . . instead, he screams it, he shouts it, he cannot contain his exuberance at the miracle of the pancake griddle.

We made grape Jello two days ago. You would have thought we cooked a 12-course French meal.

But . . . you know no story of Demon Baby is complete with . . . well, DEMON BABY. So yes, in general, cooking with him is a disaster. He thinks it's funny to put the spatula IN the batter. As in bury it in the bowl so it's a gloopy mess.

He "aims" for the bowl when pouring in ingredients.

He makes it about half the time.

At least when he cooks, the dogs feast.

Oh, and one more thing. Demon Baby doesn't think he needs me to cook. So his new "thing" is taking strange ingredients and combining them to make soup. Thus, yesterday, I gave him a bowl of Life cereal (no milk) for a snack. I came in to write in my office. He found a half-full can of Diet Coke left on a table by his sister and added that to the Life cereal. Then he went into the kitchen and took leftover rice and added that to it. Then he decorated generously with M&Ms. Then he stirred. A lot.

The results?

Positively frightening.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Life with Demon Baby is like a reality show.

Imagine . . . you are in the shower, naked, soaped up, shampoo in your hair. You hear someone trying to break down the bathroom door with an axe. What do you do?

You don't even rinse, you run, dripping wet (trying not to slip and kill yourself) and open the door to find . . . not an axe murderer, but Demon Baby, using a heavy book as a hammer and trying to break down the door so he can . . . "keep you company."

How fast can you race up a flight of stairs before he hurls a container of yogurt over the balcony landing?

Can you rescue the dog with irritable bowel before Demon Baby feeds him M&Ms and corn?

I can imagine the show, the challenges. It's not for the faint of heart.

And that is why babysitters and family members don't "watch" Demon Baby. They "survive" him.

Our babysitter "survived" on Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Realistically speaking, when you have a Demon Baby, you don't torture some poor, unsuspecting babysitter with him. Realistically speaking, few people in the universe can handle him. RELATIVES who are supposed to LOVE him can barely handle him.

But today, just this once, Demon Baby is having a babysitter because the choice was either a) hire a babysitter, or b) find me a strait jacket, because Oldest Daughter graduates high school today and there is NO WAY he is sitting through a multi-hour ceremony downtown.

I pay my babysitters REALLY well. Above the going rate. I call it the Demon Surcharge.

Pray for my babysitter today.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More Vocabulary

Besides having an "astounding" vocabulary (because he uses that word), Demon Baby is creative in ways that never cease to amuse me.

He even makes up words to suit his Demon Purposes.

First, he called his Grandma a "Meany-pants."

All right, so that's not horribly original. Saying it to your GRANDMA. Yeah. That's a little original for a three-year-old.

But the one I love is when he thinks I am being too hard on him (such as for CALLING his Grandma a Meany-pants). Then he has a made-up word.

"You're being such a FREAKIMUS!"

Yes. A freakimus.

I choose to think it's a combination for "freakin' genius."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Big Bubbles, Big Words

Demon Baby wanted a bath today.

"With or without?" (For those not familiar with Demon Baby bath lingo, I was asking him with bubbles or without.)


"With bubbles." (I am in the habit of repeating things to be sure, since he can change his mind, like most toddlers, in the space of seconds or from one thought to the next.)

"Big bubbles!" He extended his hands up into the air.

"Big. Gotcha."

"No. HUGE bubbles."

"You got it."

"HUMONGOUS! I want humongous bubbles!"

And I started thinking about it. About his vocabulary. He's 3, and he doesn't use any baby words. He's very articulate.

"You're a great kid, Demon Baby."

"I'm extraordinary, when you think about it, Mom."

Yes. Humongously extraordinary, Demon Baby.

Just humongous.