Friday, January 30, 2009

Three Hours

I give up.

I do.

Okay, so Demon Baby "sensed" I had a deadline today. I begged him to behave, but he got my vibe. I was tense and tired and working 14 hours. It's a blessing to work from home as a writer. But it has its downside occasionally.

So Demon decided today was a naked day. Even in front of the mailman and the neighbor.

OK. I can deal with that.

Today was also a day to find Baby Girl's stash of markers and color his body from head to toe.

I've reached a point where, you know, you want your penis colored purple, go ahead.

But today was the day I got a new vacuum. I LOVE my new vacuum.

And today, he dumped an ENTIRE, industrial size, have it for Superbowl TUB of CHEETOS on Oldest Son's carpet (Oldest Son had brought it up to eat some). I am talking a BARREL of it. BARREL! Costco barrel.

And then Demon Baby danced on them. Pulverized them into the carpet.

And then added a tube of toothpaste.

This while Baby Girl was in the bathroom and doing homework. And Oldest Son was . . . well, I guess watching TV.

And Oldest Son, knowing I was on deadline, decided he would be the man of the house and vacuum it up with the new vacuum cleaner. Only he didn't think to first PICK UP all the balls of Cheetos. Instead, he was going to vacuum them up. A BARREL of them. A whole barrel.

Eureka vacuums aren't intended to do this.

It's destroyed.

I cried.

Demon was chastised.

Three hours.

The new vacuum cleaner didn't last THREE hours against him.


Robin said...

I almost cried reading this. Can you declare war on your own son? Maybe an imaginary evil Ninja Mom who does things to drive HIM crazy?

Erica Orloff said...

OK, you're a child shrink. I actually saw that he was so . . . naughty that he didn't care who he hurt, and that alarmed me. So in November, I started allowing him to fall asleep in my bed. The change in his was dramatic. It was like he was bonding, more peaceful, and generally was behaving, so I thought, "OK, we're moving past this . . . we're working on it." No yelling. Trying to be peaceful with him. It was Zen Mothering 101. He was a lot more affectionate. Not mellow, but . . . not THIS.

This was great until this week. And now this has been the worst week he's had in six months. So clearly . . . my Zen thing . . . um, not so much.

I did break down and cry. Then I said I was packing my bags and going to a hotel. Of course, I didn't. But I cried. In this economy, a new vacuum's like a luxury. (Woo-HOO!)


In the words of whatever idiot said it, "This too shall pass."

In the morning light, OK, so my Oldest Son's room is a mass of Cheeto dust . . . but . . . if I survive this child, I will have GREAT stories to tell my gandkids one day about how naught he was. Provided he's not in the state pen by then.

Cheryl Kauffman said...

Try telling him the next time he makes a mess, his ninja superpowers will be taken away, as well as his imaginary friend's.

pita-woman said...

Oh Demon-momma, I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh, even though my heart was breaking for your new Eureka.
Any chance the vacuum is under warranty and you can return it or get it fixed?
While I do enjoy your stories of Demon-baby, I do worry about where his behavior is headed (as I'm sure you do too). Is he too young for counseling?
If all else fails, cast the parents curse upon him... that he'll someday have children that act just like him, then sit back and wait for your revenge to start. ;)

spyscribbler said...

Awwww, that sucks! A brand new vacuum? That's awful! And on deadline day? I swear, if there's a day that's going to fall apart, it's that one. ALWAYS. And what a great son. (I think you ought to take a page from Baby Girl's book and work in the bathroom!)

You have to admit, though... a Zen streak since November? That's three months! That's an ETERNITY in little demon time. Zen mothering must be doing something wonderful!

You're doing great. In a few months, this'll be just a tiny blip. :-)

Erica Orloff said...

I like that!

Sometimes, when I make threats (such as my saying I was packing my bags and going to a hotel--it was a moment of sheer exhaustion), it makes it worse. He just shrieks that he will lock all the doors and windows and use superpowers to make sure I not leave his side. I really don't want to frighten him--in some ways, believe it or not, there's a fragility to him. But threatening the SUPERPOWERS. I like that.

Erica Orloff said...

pita-woman . . .

I somehow don't feel like I could go to Eureka and say, "Well, gosh darn it, your vacuum is not Demon Baby proof enough." LOL!

And in reality . . . all kidding aside, the GOOD stories make the blog. We can have whole weeks where he is a sheer, cuddly, wonderful joy. I have no doubt that come kindergarten there will be attempts to label him. However . . . his three siblings are very, very high gifted--one goes to a special school, one has been playing classical violin since age 3 and is at a music college, one counts prime numbers to a million to fall asleep . . . so you get the idea. But they are all physically mellow. His vocabulary and problem solving is more advanced than even the smartest of his siblings at that age. So I am of the hunch that he is very, very gifted, coupled with more physicality than his siblings, and a lower threshold for frustration. When I don't have deadlines, he is a joy. So I can clearly see it's "Well, she doesn't have time to read to me . . . we'll see about that." Believe me when I say I pray for this child. A lot. But I think compared to six months ago, he is better. That's if you take the nakedness and so on as eccentricity, which I do. I realize other people may just find it outside the box to an extreme . . . but I kind of feel like with him, he gets that wider berth for . . . who he is. A super bright little . . . terror.

Erica Orloff said...

Thanks. I have given my parenting techniques with him a lot of thought. Letting him sleep near me has made a big difference in mellowing him out. I also try to set aside times when he can just sit on my lap for a half hour and "be." And surprisingly, he is quite content to do that first thing in the morning. So we're finding a rhtyhm, he and I. They don't come with instruction manuals.:-) Wish they did, sometimes.

And Oldest Daughter is VERY zen. She always reminds me, "Mom . . . really . . . it's Cheetos. Are you REALLY going to CRY over Cheetos?" It's not death. It's not illness. It's not my kid is in pain. So . . . really, who am I to complain?

As for Oldest Son, I really hurt his feelings. I was just STARING at the Eureka vacuum hose with like 5,000 cheese balls in it. And I burst into tears. But then we hugged later and bonded and I told him that I really appreciated how much he tried. And that Demon Baby doesn't come with an instruction manual so sometimes . . . we're just going to have events like this. And then I reminded him, "Next time there are 5,000 cheeseballs on your carpet? Let me know BEFORE you vacuum."

Robin said...

Erica, you're such a lovely mom. Your kids are lucky. From what I hear, you're right on with your Demon Baby theories. He just sounds really smart and a bit hyper and mischevious. He's so smart that he knows how to tweek everyone's buttons.

Could you do something like make 4-5 every day a Ninja/Demon Baby wreak havoc time, where you both go around doing horrible things like making gross milkshakes and urging your husband to drink them? But it's a circumscribed amount of time, and he doesn't get it if he does stuff outside the time. No drawing on anything but paper, destroying, blah, blah,(list of horrible stuff he likes to do).

Dude, he's going to rule the world one day. Will he give my kids jobs? When my kids go for a DB Enterprises interview, I'll instruct them to say, "My mom was internet friends with your mom. I think you should hire me even though I'm kind of dumb and use bad language."

Anonymous said...

Awwww, I'm sorry. That really sucks. Some days it's not so cute. :(

Though the color your penis purple line was funny.

Anonymous said...

Demon Baby is very lucky that he got you as a mom. I would have committed infanticide long before he reached 2 and half. I don't have any advice, but I'm sending you lots of courage and hugs.

Erica Orloff said...

You made me cry (in a good way). A woman last night basically said I was a horrible mother--in front of a bunch of people--because I "clearly" don't supervise my child. Short of duct-taping him to me, that is impossible--there is no 24/7 Demon-proofing. I was so . . . hurt. Really. But this is someone who says cutting things any time I have run into her. She's not a friend but a very vague acquaintance.

I intuit who this kid is . . . and it's not always easy, but I do feel he has extraordinary potential and I am trying to channel it. I really, REALLY like your idea.

Erica Orloff said...

I am cool with a purple one. ;-)

Erica Orloff said...

Thanks, FF!!!


laughingwolf said...

ok... i'm all out of ideas

but i heard or read somewhere, there are those who eat their young! :O lol


Erica Orloff said...

laughing wolf:
That made me laugh. Yes . . . I had considered the thought. :-) Then I considered selling him to the highest bidder. And then I decided to just smother him with kisses. He is something, all right.

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, I'm glad you have Robin to give such wonderful advice. I'm storing it away for the future.

And is it wrong that part of me wanted to see a picture of this?

Erica Orloff said...

I have a picture of something else. Today's post. Hope I can figure out how to transfer it (iPhone picture).

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