Yesterday, I took Baby Girl to see my friend's horse. We groomed the horse for two hours in the heat, and had an amazing time. Demon Baby was left in the care and feeding of Oldest Son (age 14).
When I came home, Baby Girl and Oldest Son went to the movies. Demon Baby was happily amused with watching Diego on TV, eating a peanut butter sandwich. I had an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. I went to the bay window in the living room, stretched out on the couch, intending to read. Big mistake.
I woke up, panicked. I couldn't have napped long, but I KNEW with every fiber in my being . . . that his seeing me asleep set off some Pavlovian urge to totally destroy the house. My first instinct was to smell the air. Nothing was burning.
I went from room to room. Clean.
And then . . . .
The TV room.
He had gone into his sister's closet searching for "weapons" (for the record, we own no guns nor keep any weapons, but . . . this is a kid who is constantly battling dragons, so . . .). He removed EVERY (and I mean every) plastic hanger from the closet and set intricate traps arouund the family room for the mutant dragons who were chasing him.
And to be certain he could finish the job, he concocted a "potion."
An ENTIRE (and I mean entire) box of salt, mixed with lemonade into a paste. Smeared on every surface.
I said nothing. I started collecting the hangers.
"But they're my weapons. They are protecting you!"
I started to say it. I started to say, "Demon Baby, these are just hangers . . . "
And I stopped myself.
For the thousandth time I was aware I could crush his spirit and bend him to my will or give him some space to be him. [As Oldest Daughter says, "Mom, you can let people label him, or you can just find the space to be cool with having an eccentric four-year-old." God, I have a wise adult daughter.]
"You know, these weapons need to be stored in the nuclear facility in the downstairs armament center."
He was okay with that.
As for the potion.
"You know, Demon Baby, I don't think Billy May would like seeing the room this way."
[For those who are not long-time readers . . . . Here is my Billy May post.]
"Yeah. I think Billy would want this cleaned up."
So together we cleaned.
"What about the dragons?"
"Let's blow some soap bubbles around the perimeter of the house. Everyone knows dragons are scared of soap bubbles."
A relatively happy ending. But I will never nap again.