Showing posts with label children and pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children and pets. Show all posts

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 237th Birthday, America!

Happy Independence Day, everyone!  It's July 4th and everywhere I turn there are pool parties, barbecues and bevericues (parties with hosts who love to get shnockered and hate to ruin a good drunken stupor by providing food for their guests' stomachs).

I wonder if our forefathers did the same thing each year.  Did they celebrate their freedom from the laws of another country by hanging out near the closest swimming hole (did rich people have some kind of swimming structure back then?), tossing back a few mugs of moonshine and torching up a bonfire to cook some sort of burger (venison?) and corn for everyone to eat?  

That last question made me realize that I did not pay enough attention in history class because I have no clue what colonial life was like beyond covered wagons and corsets.  I know they had corn though because there was that whole thing with the Native Americans teaching them about maize and stuff before the greedier settlers stole the land and murdered some of them.

Moving on....

This marks the end of my fifth year with no holidays.  Whoo hoo!  Next month I start my sixth year of business and I think I might be a rebel and actually take some holidays off.  Holidays are business booming events for people like me, but I really do miss having Thanksgiving dinner without thinking "I should've blocked off more than three hours to driver here, celebrate, eat and get back to work out there."

Last winter I officially became disgruntled when my daughter had to wait until I got home at 11am to open her Christmas gifts.  That's when I stomped my foot (after I cried like a big baby) and said, "NO MORE!"  I'm missing events that I can never relive.... because I'm working?

I'm not looking for a pity party here, so you can put your tiny little violins back in their cases. For the previous four years I really didn't mind working on holidays at all.  But once Allie started to participate in them, I loathed going to work on those days.  Suddenly things aren't as "routine" as they used to be.  I get to see the magic in the holidays all over again.  Before Allie, the magic was a little more "rabbit in a hat" and less "saw the lady in half and see her move around while her top half was away from her bottom half."

However, this Independence Day I was a-OK with working.  

Why, you ask?  (just pretend that you asked)

Because I live in a town where they "celebrate" July 4th on the Saturday BEFORE the holiday.  My town doesn't let the rest of the United States boss it around!  It celebrates when it's convenient and it's damn well ready to get its independence on!  Back off USA.

Seriously, we have our little celebration the Saturday prior to the actual holiday. The whole week before that, the firemen have a carnival and then on that Saturday they give us a lovely fireworks display to conclude the week long celebration.

Why they don't do it the same week of the 4th, I cannot say.  These are the people who will save my family and pets while putting out a fire if it happens in my house, so they can do whatever they want on whatever day they want and I will be very compliant and cheerful about it.  

My home is a 5 minute walk from the park where they have the carnival and fireworks display, which works out quite nicely. Every year  I make Justin drag lawn chairs out on the lawn by our patio, light citronella candles, grab a drink and we plop our asses down to enjoy the show.  My parents live across the street and usually come over to watch with us, too.

This year we waited on the damn lawn for about a half hour until the firemen decided that there was an appropriate amount of darkness to bust out their lighters and get things going.  About 5 minutes before that, my mother looked at us and asked the question that you frequently ask and/or hear when you have a two year old.  "Did she poop?  I smell something."

How appropriate!  Perfect timing to push out a pooper!  I'll chalk it up to the excitement of anticipation.

I leaned over and took a whiff and said, "No.  I don't smell anything.  Allie, did you poop?"

"No," she answered, straight faced lying to me.  And I was feeling lazy so I believed a two year old over my mother who has the sniffer of a bloodhound.

This is a conversation I never imagined having on an every day basis before I had kids.  It just wasn't something I considered when the topic of having children popped in my head.  "I'd like to have kids someday.  I wonder how much time I'll spend discussing poop when that happens?"

The answer to that question is A FREAKIN' LOT.  Anyway....

About 2 minutes before the show began, the smell hit me like a ton of bricks.  Allie was sitting right next to me and you would've thought she was standing on the chair with her butt pushed up against my head.  Yowzers.

There was no denying that someone had pooped and that person was 3 feet tall and insisting that she had a clean diaper.   Knowing that time was limited, I jumped up and whisked her out of the seat and ran for the house, with her yelling, "Mommy where we going???  Why you running inside????"

I think I freaked her out by moving so briskly.  She thought she was in trouble and was on the verge of tears.  But I had a mission.  Shoes off.  Pants down. One diaper tape ripped off.


"Mommy!!!!  It started!!!"

I have never changed a diaper so fast in my life.  Even Sadie, who is terrified of fireworks and was hiding in the bathroom with her head behind the toilet, peeked out to see what the commotion was all about.  Diaper off, wipe, new diaper, fasten tape, pants on, shoes on, whip child up in my arms, run back through house, toss diaper into garbage with NBA-like precision as I pass by, out the door without smacking into the screen, thru the patio, to the lawn chairs, plop her on Mom's lap... and then I sat down, gasping and panting.  Cuz fireworks are big doin's, you know!
The festivities begin
The best part of it was that Allie spent over half of the time that the fireworks were going on telling my mother, "I almost missed fireworks cuz I pooped!  I almost missed it!"  She announced this about every ten seconds, very loudly.  Loud enough that my neighbors could hear it over and over again too...and then tell me about it the next day.  Yay.

Mom and Allie watching the fireworks.  This have been one of her announcement moments since her  mouth is open....either that or she was in awe of the show.

Justin and I spent the second half of the show cracking ourselves up with our weirdo imaginations.  People used to tell me that I "see in cartoon" and I kind of think there's some truth in that.  I take situations and imagine funny outcomes.  One of the reasons why I married Justin is that he can take those dreamed up outcomes and run like a mudder flucker with it.

This particular situation was a pause in fireworks.

Justin leans over, "What's going on?  That's not it, is it?  Cuz that's a shitty display if that's it."

Me: "No.  That's not it.  They do a finale.  We haven't had that yet."

Justin: "So, what are we waiting for."

Pause as I start seeing in cartoon and begin giggling.

Me: "What's happening is that there are two guys back there fighting over who is going to light the next one cuz they both think it's their turn."

Justin (deadpan): "I'm sure you're right."

More giggling.

Justin: "What now?"

Me: "I was just thinking that if that was you and me we'd be back there yelling at each other and blowing each other's flame out:

  • "It's my turn! (blow)" 
  • "No, it's not! You just did the last one! (blow)" 
  • "I did not!  That was YOU!  (blow)" 
  • "Oh my gawd!  What are you fucking smoking?? (blow)" 
  • "YOU are the one with the shitty memory here! (blow)" 
  • "If you blow out my lighter one more time I'm going to bitch slap you."
  •  pause. 
  • "(blow) Now what, BITCH?!"
(for the record, that would be me starting the fight and then finishing it by calling him a bitch)

Justin: "And then we start pushing each other, throw down the lighters, drop to the ground and start beating the crap out of each other."

Me: "MMA fighting on the lawn at the park."

Justin: "Rolling down the hill into the crowd."

Allie, from two chairs away: "I almost missed the fireworks cuz I pooped!"

We giggle.  The fireworks start up again.

Me: "I'd totally kick your ass."

Justin: "Nice.  Beat up a cripple.  Very nice."

On that happy note, I will leave you with a photo from earlier that day.  This is one of my favorites.  Allie loves her "little Sadie"stuffed animal, and when we let Sadie near it, she gently cleans it like it's her puppy.  It's adorable.

We were on the pack porch when our neighbor lit a bottle rocket. I'm surprised there wasn't a Sadie-shaped hole in the screen door right after this.  Two minutes later, however, Sadie could be found in the bathroom trying to fit behind the toilet.  She's 80 pounds.  Our toilet isn't that big.

I hope you all had a fun-filled, safe 4th of July!

(A little something for those of you who didn't know how old our country's okay....THESE people were WAY OFF *click here*.  Feel better now?)


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Friday, March 29, 2013

Kids and Pets.... BFFs With (Learning) Benefits

These are my two favorite girls.  If you ask Allie who Sadie is, she will tell you, " friend whole world!"  Sadie, I imagine, does not share the same views, but she's a dog so there's no knowing for sure.  If I were to guess, I would say that Sadie's response would be, "Allie....small human who scares the crap out of me but the big humans praise me big time for tolerating her so I do."

Sadie is our large border collie that Justin and I adopted 4 months after we started dating.  We traveled to North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY during rush hour on a friday to find her because my beloved dog, Shiminute, who had passed away sent a message to me to go there to find my next dog.  I know, I all sounds a little kooky, but it's a true story.  Shim gave me Sadie.

Sadie was 6 months old, had been returned to a shelter three times, and was at risk of losing her life if she didn't find her forever home.  She wasn't even "on display".  (Note: if you can ever go to the main location, GO!  Its an amazing experience and so impressive how they help you find the pet that's right for you, while making sure that YOU are right for the pet.)  After spending time with a number of great dogs, I got this feeling that what I was looking for was hidden.  I asked one of the girls if they had "a long haired, bigger dog" somewhere.  They did.  She had been spayed earlier that day and was in recovery.  I asked to see her and when they brought her out, I just cried while I petted her as she leaned against me.  FOUND HER!

They wanted us to come back to get her another day and I told them there was no chance I was making that trek back there and I wasn't leaving without her.  They gave us literature to read about why some people SHOULDN'T own a border collie.  Then they called references at 8pm to make sure we were worthy.  It was a big to-do, I tell ya.  But we survived and left with Sprinkles a/k/a Sadie.    Our first girl.  She had pneumonia and she was fearful, but she was perfect.  Everyone sees how special she is.  Especially Allie!

Here's my thing.  Im an animal person.  I have 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot and a rabbit.  I work with animals all day.  I've been fortunate enough to know people who have shared valuable information with me in regards to behavior and animal care.  And I know that no animal should be trusted 100% with a child.  NONE.

If you think you have the exception to this rule in your life, I ask that you just pretend like you dont.  Animals are unpredictable.  They have adjusted to our world and we so rarely take the time to learn about theirs.  Poking fingers, close little faces, tail pulling and high pitched screams scare animals.  They want to flee from this.  If they don't, they are tolerating it for some other reason.  It's not bcause they love it.  I have a number of reasons why I say that they are tolerating it instead of running from it, but rather than ramble on about that in this posting, if you ask me I will happily share.

Sadie issues a low growl when Allie is getting to be too much.  I tell Justin all of the time how lucky we are that she warns us.  A lot of dogs would just react.  We teach Allie that if a dog growls, it's warning you to back off or there will be repercussions.  We teach her that a lot of dogs wont growl so there is certain behavior that is not permissible around animals.  She pushes  her limits sometimes, so we know that we need to be completely aware and focused when she's around dogs.

Notice that I say "we" followed by action words.  It's OUR  responsibility to know our children and how they will behave around animals.  It's OUR responsibility to be on red alert when there are animals near our children.  Unless you or your child is attacked by an animal without interacting with it first, the outcome is all on us as parents.  (Notice I didn't use the word provoked.... what you consider provoking is what YOU think it is) Your child is too young to be held accountable but not too young to learn.  The animal is an instinctual being and will react accordingly.  If we can remember these things, I think it will be helpful in creating a great bond between children and our pets.