Thursday, March 31, 2016

Big Steps

I didn't write about Easter because I was too busy cleaning up puppy poop. It seems like it should be scientifically impossible for a small creature to have significantly more output than input, but that does seem to be the case. Direct quote from my husband: "All I do is clean up poop and pee now."  Also: "I can't believe we paid money to go through this."

Puppies do have a way of turning one's life upside down.  It's been 18 years since we had a puppy of our own. We have fostered puppies over the years, of course.  They sure wore out their welcome, cute though they were. Most weren't quite as young as Grover is, though. Plus, it's different when it's your own, I think.

We are trying to get into a routine.  When I get up in the morning, my first job is to let the little hellion outside. I take him out into the backyard (which is fenced) and carry him to the far end of the yard. He races back to the door as fast as his little legs will carry him. After all, he needs to get back inside so he can poop! I usually repeat this three or four times before giving up and letting him back inside. At this point, it's more of an accident or coincidence if he does happen to pee or poop outside. When he does, I clap happily and yell, "GOOD BOY, GROVER! GOOD BOY GOES POTTY OUTSIDE!"  He looks at me as if to say, "You know you're in your pajamas, right?"

After that, I have to get breakfast for all three dogs (each of whom is on a different food), somehow get my own breakfast while the puppy is trying to swing from the German Shepherd's tail, drag throw rugs around, gnaw on the dining room chairs, etc. Sometimes I put Grover in his crate for a moment so that I can get something done. He has little patience for that kind of imprisonment.

When my daughter and husband get up, I hand him off to one of them.  My daughter has been sleeping with the puppy at night.  We crate our dogs during the day when we are not home, but not at night. So, we were hesitant to crate Grover at night when he will never be in a crate overnight. Plus, I think we just don't want to hear him screaming all night. Anyway, she has been sleeping on the floor.  I think sometimes she lets him out at night and sometimes not. When I went into her room to get him yesterday morning, there was a turd just a few feet from my child's head. When I say she is a heavy sleeper, I am not kidding around.

I will say that the kid has been pretty helpful in general, at least as far as the puppy goes. I fear that the novelty will wear off, though I hope it doesn't.  Another sign of growth and maturity:  she decided to stop going to daycare and wants to bike to school instead. I haven't fully given up her spot at daycare, just in case, but so far it is going pretty well. I printed a checklist for her that lists stuff she needs to do before she leaves (like locking doors and such) and stuff she needs to do when she gets home (like doing homework before playing Minecraft). It takes her about ten minutes to bike to school. We bought her a lock for her bike, then made her practice locking/unlocking it and also locking/unlocking the front door.

So yeah, my baby is growing up. For Easter this year, she didn't get a lot of candy in her basket. She got tween-y stuff like lip gloss and flip-flops. The Easter Bunny (AKA moi) also bought her a maxi dress she'd been eyeing at Kohl's. I asked her if she wanted to hunt for eggs and she said she did. You have never seen a more half-hearted Easter egg hunt in your whole life. She found a few (we use plastic ones with candy in them) and then announced that she'd found them all.  I scanned the house and saw multiple eggs almost right at eye-level. "Goober, did you even bother to look?"  I'm sort of thinking we might skip it next year. The thrill is gone, I guess. I let her dye eggs, too, even though she doesn't like eggs and I don't eat eggs at all. I give her fewer eggs every year until I assume that little tradition will peter out, too. I'll make sure she gets an Easter basket every year until she's married or whatever, though.

On Easter Sunday, we went to church and then went out for brunch. We stopped going to those fancy Easter brunches that charge $18.99 a person. We started realizing that we were paying all that money for about $.50 of food. When you don't eat meat, it's hard to get your money's worth at those things.  So, we just went to a regular diner and had brunch. I smuggled in my own butter (Earth Balance) because I'm cool like that. That way I could have toast like a normal person.

That was our Easter this year.  We spent the rest of the day chasing the puppy.  Watch for a gazillion more blog posts with the general theme of "What were we thinking?"



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