Monday, November 18, 2013

Late Nights Ain't What They Used to Be

Around 11 last night, my husband and I were about to feed the baby for the last time and head to bed. Our simple nightly wind-down was interrupted when a little 4-year-old head peeked out of the boys’ room and said, ‘I’m thirsty.” 

Our children are generally good sleepers, and even when they aren't, they still stay in their beds. Little man had an adventurous weekend, though, attending his first wedding, staying up late and going two days without naps. Last night, he was tucked in and out cold at 6 p.m.

So at 11, he came out for some chit chat and something to drink. Due to the early bedtime, we obliged, snuggled for a few minutes and sent him back to bed. Thirty minutes later, he was still awake. I checked on him one last time, and he announced, “I’m hungry.” Sigh. Normally I would not cave, but given the oddities of the weekend, I told him to come out quietly so we didn't wake up his brother in the bunk above.

E proudly walked back to our bedroom and announced to my husband that he was hungry and was ready for breakfast. We kindly explained the actual time and told him it wasn't time for breakfast. I asked what he would like to eat, and again I got, “I’m just ready for breakfast.” Around and around we went, until I again caved and gave him a breakfasty food, of which he took two bites and announced that he wasn't REALLY hungry for that breakfast.

Meanwhile, we had turned down the lights and settled in to feed the baby. A time when she normally winds down and drifts right off to sleep was interrupted by breakfast talk at midnight. Guess who else was ready to party?

So Greg carted the little man back to bed with the promise of checking on him every five minutes until he fell asleep, and I was left with a squealing, laughing 5-month-old who was ready for anything but sleep.  At 1 a.m. we heard the last happy shriek and giggle and finally settled in for some much needed sleep…which ended too soon at 6 a.m. Thank goodness I have such a fabulous partner to laugh with and with whom I sleepily stumble through this adventure called parenting.

Just for laughs and to make us sleepy, struggling parents feel a teensy bit better...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Life With a Lab

Meet Wilson.

He’s our super sweet, lovable Lab capable of whirling dervish-sized trouble and mishaps. These 90 pounds of love find trouble in every corner and can’t be trusted unsupervised - even at age 3.

I work from home two days a week and during this child-free time, Wilson has freedom to roam without getting all riled up by his favorite little humans. Even then, much of my time is spent calling to locate him and removing the most coveted of my sons’ bed buddies from his jaws. This usually involves him slinking past me, head hung low and big brown eyes looking up as if to say, “I wonder if she sees me?” Meanwhile, a toy that’s not his own is draping from his jowls. To his credit, I did find one of the limbs of his own monkey in my son’s bed. How kind that he left E something in place of his favorite stuffed tiger.

Here is an hour’s worth of the toys removed from said jowls. It’s my daily record that I share with my husband. “Only five today! We’re making progress!”

The other factor to Wilson’s freedom being limited is his inability to refrain from terrorizing the cats. Truly, he just wants to play, but he can make Marley go from this:

To kung fu cat:

in a flash. (Wilson's the only one who can bring out this alter ego, and for the record, this is the BEST shot I have ever taken.) They really have a pretty good relationship and tolerate each other well, until Marley taunts and Wilson responds. In fact, a few weeks back, they spent a couple of unexpected hours together in Wilson’s crate (eeek!) and neither had a scratch on ‘em when Greg realized it. Oops!

Maddox (whose face could at times earn him the title of Grumpy Cat II) is an entirely different story. There is no love in this relationship. Maddox goes from this:

to growling like a pit bull and hissing like a feral cat whenever Wilson comes within ten feet of  him. 

(And at random intervals at the gate to his room just because he can.) 

I must admit that Wilson’s antics can be helpful at times, though, like last week when he found E’s missing slippers and how he manages to continuously teach me that I have never picked up as well as I think I have. (Company coming? Release the dog and see how well we cleaned up!) And additionally, that while I may play with him for what seems like ages to me, his mischief and energy tank are never empty.

Life’s not complete without a dog, and I dearly love mine. I mean, how could I not? My day wouldn't be full without him looking up at the high cabinet over and over where his treats are kept, asking for his daily bone.

And it certainly wouldn’t be the same without him dropping a tennis ball on my foot, carrying it to the back door, then looking at me expectantly.

Sometimes you just need to drop everything and play ball with your dog. Wilson keeps my hectic life in perspective.