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.