Monday, April 20, 2015

Let's Go Play!

One of the problems with having a young, active dog is that I always feel compelled to bring him to the park with us. Which is nice, but it means I can't play on the playground equipment with Maeve the way I used to. He doesn't put up with being tied up and I don't trust him not to gnaw on his lead, so I just hold it, but that means I can't swing on the swings, go down the slide, or really help Maeve climb a tree.

So I left Patches home with Dad yesterday afternoon, after a long morning for me at church, and took Maeve to the park, just the two of us.

She loved it, and kept hollering at me, COME ON, MOM! LET'S GO PLAY!

We got some serious swinging in, and we did that kid thing where you just go down the same slide over and over, which the Denver Museum of Nature and Science informs me is really good for young children's neural pathways. We climbed all the monkeybars and the climbing wall, and picked plenty of dandelions.

When we got home, I was pleasantly exhausted, and I was really glad that we took a little break from the dog to go have fun just the two of us.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Please See Her

Earlier this week, I watched Maeve play with a group of kids from the same Kindergarten class.

It was hard for her, because the kids were playing Bad Guys and Jail, which is something Maeve pretty much objects to on every grounds imaginable. As she tells me, people aren't "all the way bad" in real life, and jail is only for adults.

It was a group of boys playing with one girl, and this girl was all girl. Long, waist length hair, sparkly cowboy boots, the whole deal. And she positively glowed with pleasure as the boys dragged her around the playground, imprisoning her in different areas.

Maeve was very thrown by this. Why wouldn't the girl play with HER? Why was she letting boys put her in pretend jail? Why didn't she just get up and leave and do something FUN?

And as I watched it all go down, I felt an awful mix of feelings. Proud of my girl for not being willing to be kidnapped by boys, but realizing that kindergarten is going to bring a lot of kinds of play that she's not going to like, and not going to want to be a part of. I worried that she'll be playing by herself a lot next year, that she won't find a playground soul mate who'll play Dinosaur Veterinarian with her.

But I'm the one who taught her to be aggressively herself, to not change herself to please others, to value her individuality and her imagination. And so I sort of set her on this course, I guess. But I think even without that encouragement, she would have been that kind of kid.

I hope, I hope so much, that she finds some friends next year; friends who see who she is, and love it. Please. Please.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Close to the Flames

You know what's particularly difficult to do, as a parent?

Have, say, major work done on your teeth, which causes you pain for days and days, and yet still try to portray dentist visits as fun, lighthearted events to be enjoyed.

I had a root canal and two crowns put on this week, and two days later, I am still only chewing the softer foods. Maeve  doesn't really understand why I got to claim the last packet of oatmeal, but I tried to tell her nicely (in my before-coffee cranky voice) that my teeth still hurt from Tuesday. She's pretty confused about why my teeth could possibly STILL be hurting after two days, but I don't want to explain in great scientific detail exactly what hell my dentist put me through this week.

It was hard enough getting myself to calm down from the hysterical crying that happened between leaving the dentist's office and picking Maeve up at my friend's house. One of those days you're very grateful for sunglasses. Even picking up my husband on the way didn't help, because I got hysterical again trying to tell him what happened.

And yet, so far, she seems not to have figured out that some dentist visits are as close as we will ever get to the flames of hell. Maybe she figures that's a grownup problem. And thankfully, for her, that seems to be true.

There was still plenty of time for silly dress-up yesterday

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Climbing High

Sorry for the lag between blogs, it's been either too eventful or too stressful lately, and sometimes I just run out of inspiration.

But today I am thinking about how brave my girl is.

Yet again, she climbed up on a bunch of things yesterday, all the while telling me she's afraid of heights. So I stayed close at first, wanting her to know I was right there. But once she'd climbed the thing once, she didn't need me at all, and kept hopping up and doing it on her own before I'd even noticed.

Yesterday she climbed a cement dragon and several trees, and I got some great shots of her up there.

This morning she reported to me that she had some scary dreams, but that she didn't mind that they were scary. She told me about fighting off tiny spirits and big skeletons, but in a lighthearted air, as she had triumphed over them so easily. This girl. She is so brave, even in her dreams.

I love that about her.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Year With Patches

Adopting a puppy was so much darned work, it really was. I told Daddy yesterday that unless a baby puppy shows up on our doorstep needing help, I don't want to get a puppy again.

Housetraining was not fun. Teaching him to walk on a leash was not fun. Trying to teach him not to destroy everything was also not at all fun. And having our things destroyed... well, I'm over it, let's just say.

But a year and ten days ago, this scared little puppy found his forever home. When I put him in this clothes basket, he was so afraid of everything. 

This was his first outing to the park, which was during the first week we had him. I had to carry him most of the way, and when I set him in the wood chips, he just stayed right there!

Aww, he was so little! Patches has always loved chewing on things. For example, he chewed most of the couch cushion he's sitting on in this picture. 

 Oooh that nose! This was on the day of his first snow at our house, and he loved it so much!

This is what I was thinking about this morning. We had just taken Patches to his first vet visit, and he really didn't like it. We hadn't quite gotten the bars to the right height to prevent his escape, so he jumped into the back seat and sat on Maeve's lap the rest of the way home. I figured he really needed the snuggle!

And this is our handsome boy now, just about a year later. He's finally calmed down some, not that you could tell by how he sprang out of bed at 5 this morning. But I'm still so glad we adopted him, every day. He's a great companion to Maeve and I, and even Daddy. Total sweetness.