Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?

For a long time, when I asked Demon Baby what I did for a living, he replied, "The Computer."

After a while, I tried to explain that Mommy is a novelist. She writes books. I would open jacket flaps and show him my picture. I don't think he understands.

And he most definitely doesn't understand this week. This week, as my three older children know and understand, is Deadline H*ll.

This means Mommy doesn't cook. She doesn't clean. She doesn't do laundry. And if you know what's good for you, stay away from her.

It also means . . . the man above and I are having a torrid affair on speed dial.

Demon Baby is a very fussy eater. He is also underweight. He eats four things at the moment: macaroni with butter and salt, Mexican rice from a local joint (also on speed dial), bananas, and Papa John's cheese pizza. This is a good thing, since I am on a first-name basis with the delivery driver this week. Yesterday, we had pizza for lunch and macaroni and cheese for dinner (plain macaroni for Demon Baby).

In this day and age, I don't think Demon Baby understands that not very many mommies get to work from home full-time. I don't think he understands what a deadline week really is.

He only knows that, despite the mountain of dishes in the sink, that this is his lucky week. The Papa is coming--multiple times. Pizza boxes are stacked out by the garbage.

We're living like a frat house.

And Demon Baby loves it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Demon Baby: A Photo Essay on the Essence of My Child

With him, pictures speak louder than all the words on this blog. These photos were literally taken in a row, less than 3 seconds apart from one another on my camera. He is nothing if not expressive.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Demon Baby Is a Trendsetter

This appeared in the NY Times and also on today:

And here are my thoughts.

Demon Baby, from the moment he turned two, definitely preferred not wearing clothes. In fact, I began to assume he had a sensitivity disorder because even before he could fully articulate his feelings, he would shriek when I dressed him and pull at the elastic and buttons as if they were hot coals burning his flesh. Once he was old enough to talk, he expressed a preference--no elastic (hence he NEVER wears underwear even if he has sweatpants of some sort on), no buttons, all cotton, all fleece.

I always assumed one day he would outgrow this. And then . . . I stopped caring. He is who he is, free spirit and all.

Now that he is four, he understands that outside the house, there are some social parameters. He will not wear shoes in public most of the time--he goes to church barefoot for example. He will not wear underwear. But he will put on a pair of fleece sweats and a T-shirt (no buttons and very loose).

When we have company, if it's someone he knows very well, he will be naked around them. If it's a newer friend . . . he will wear clothes. He understands that the world has some rules about clothing, even if he thinks we should ALL be naked.

When I read the article, I felt sorry for some of these kids. I really did. I understand that the adults are just being honest--they feel girls need more decorum. Whatever. But in actuality, as a mom of four kids, I realize you spend so much of their lives poignantly realizing EVERYTHING about them is fleeting.

My oldest kids can't have their heartbreaks cured by cookies and a Band-aid (or even a box of Band-aids).

You realize your child will only be utterly AMAZED by fireflies for a short time (though I confess I still feel my heart beat faster with joy when summer comes and I see them).

You realize the world has a lot of ugliness. That the people in it are sometimes very good, but oftentimes . . . cruel.

And so my feeling about my Naked Demon Baby is the world and its wolves are right there waiting. They are waiting to tell him to sit in his seat, and to stop singing, and to put on shoes and to walk a certain way and use an inside voice. They are waiting to tell him to stop giggling in class, and that he "can't" do this or that because it's really not realistic to think you can have a career as a dragon-slayer. They just don't HAVE that category on job applications.

It all comes to an end. The innocence and joy. The world is waiting to steal it from him. To crush it out of him.

And so for me . . . this mom . . . my house . . . he can stay this way for as long as he wants.

There's time for all the rest of it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An Eye for the Ladies

Demon Baby has an eye for the ladies.

But, in typical Demon Baby fashion, it is NOT the eye of the average four-year-old. Hence, this conversation at the pool with his 14-year-old brother.

"Older Brother . . . look . . . check out that girl."

Older Brother looks toward the baby pool and spies a cute little four-year-old-looking girl in a pink bathing suit with Dora the Explorer on the front.

"Her? She very cute."

"NO! Not her. Over there. Look."

Older Brother turns head and spies a 20-something hottie in a navy blue barely-there bikini.

"Her?!" he asked incredulously.

"Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about, Brother. I have a good eye!" said Demon Baby.

I fear for the world when he is a teenager. I really do.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wise Old Soul

Sometimes I think Demon Baby is an old soul in a fresh new Demon Baby body. These pictures confirm it to me. His eyes . . . I just don't think he's a kid.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Recipe for a Happy Child

Recipe for a Happy Child

One part acceptance
One part affection
One part belief in him
One part unconditional love DESPITE the worms as housepets, dogs fed Play-do, and the whole fascination with peeing on the lawn

Mix well. Pray. A lot. Bite tongue sometimes. Thank God. A lot. Admire him when sleeping to remind yourself that he can be still . . . sometimes (just not when you ask him to). Surround him with people who love him. Kiss boo-boos. Show him the world can be a better place if we each just try by bringing him to the food bank and dropping off groceries. Count to ten. A LOT. Try that praying thing some more. Appreciate him just the way he is.