The devil wears Carters.

It’s not that often that I bring untitledson to my office. Lest I want him to shove whiteboard pens up his nose and paint his fingernails with White-Out, I am wise to keep him a few football fields away from this place. Why, I myself must play at least three games of Free Cell every afternoon to stave off the brain-numbing effects of my work environment. You can imagine the number it does on he who cannot tolerate a 30-second tv commerical thanks to the brain-altering device better known as TIVO.With no other alternative, I took him in to work yesterday. I had to run in for 30 minutes to answer some emails and gather my papers (so I could work from our hotel room while untitledson recovered from his quarterly case of pink eye). What’s that? Don’t you have remote email access like the rest of the world, untitled? Don’t you work for a company of 7,000 people? As a matter of fact, I do, and I do. But our security procedure is so goddamn rigid, I cannot log in. You have to enter two user names, two passwords, plus the Latin translation – unabridged – of “The Satanic Verses” for the mere privelege of kneeling at the feet of those in IT. But I do sleep well at night knowing that if some hacker tries to access my e-mails debating the proper usage of the em dash and en dash, he or she will be shut down. I must say, this whole security procedure is flattering. But let’s get real. No one wants to read my e-mail. Even I don’t want to read my e-mail.

So there we were, untitledson and myself, at my office. In my efforts to mitigate a Chernobyl meltdown, I gave him the pep talk, which amounted to “Be a good boy or Mommy will lose her job and be forced to sell handjobs on the corner, just to pay for your organic milk and the Kashi bars you love so dearly.” That kept him in line for about, oh, two minutes. Then the torrent began. “I want gum. I have to poop. Why is that person brown? What do these two wires do?” And on and on and on. Now the next part of this story is one big blur for me (post-traumatic stress response), but the ordeal ended with untitledson whipping his green Crocs over my cubicle wall and me slinging him over my shoulder as he pummelled me with his fists, pulled my hair and screamed, “You’re not the boss of me!” Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my co-workers looking on in horror. Tomorrow, they would tell me that they’d all been there, and that I handled the situation the only way I could. But when I wasn’t around, they’d clasp their rosaries and say their novenas, for on that fateful day, they had looked into the eyes of the beast.

Never before had I been so mad at untitledson. How could he humiliate me like that? But I guess that’s what kids are for — to break us down until this ruse we call control disinegrates and dissappears — not unlike those crusty raisins that untitledson is storing in the crevices of his booster seat.

Parents of the year.

I know it’s not normal to find your child’s tantrums entertaining. It may even be a bit cruel. But untitledhusband and I simply could not control ourselves.

The other night, an over-tired untitledson decided that he wanted to take his shirt off himself before hopping into the bathtub. I let him work on it for about 10 minutes (it was a tricky shirt) before I started helping. And oh my god, was THAT ever the wrong thing to do. I would’ve held back, but we were starting to cut into my “Project Runway” and “American Idol” time. And that simply cannot be tolerated, people.

My good intentions sent him tailspinning into a world of fury, body flails and donkey kicks unlike anything I’ve ever seen. He even busted out a move I had never seen him do before (wherein one lies on his side while propelling around in a circle, using only his feet). It seemed fairly reminiscent of Pete Townshend, and had I handed him his red plastic Wiggles guitar, I am convinced he would’ve ripped out a few chords of “Teenage Wasteland.” Oh, and did I mention that he was buck-ass naked at the time? Well, he was. And I’m here to report that his face isn’t the only thing that gets all red and shriveled when he’s mad. I’m thinking it’s a self-defense mechanism. “Retreat, boys. RETREAT!”

untitledhusband broke lose from the tethers of his freelance work long enough to come upstairs to see what all the ruckus was about. Once he appeared, we both started laughing uncontrollably at the site before us. Not wanting to throw a molatav cocktail into this barn burner, we closed ourselves into the bathroom. We commenced to laughing so forcefully, it made no sound at all, aside from a few snorts, gasps, and some involuntary glottal clicks usually only spoken by young Masai warriors.

Once untitledson realized that no one was witnessing his antics, he began battering the door with his little butterball foot. I would’ve let him in, but I was afraid I’d find him chucking crucifixes around like ninja throwing stars or something.

Eventually, I did open the door. But I’ll have you know that he screamed through his bubble bath. He screamed through putting on his jammies. He even screamed through “Olivia,” which he did not deserve to hear. But this seemed like an Olivia moment to me – untitledson throwing a hissy over an article of clothing. I can only imagine how he is going to react when I want to dress him in onesies when he is 16.