Showing posts from April, 2012

My First Auction

Our city held an auction today. The auction featured over 400 bikes and a bunch of household stuff like VCRs (those went for a whole dollar each), rusty chains, and a snowman decoration for the lawn. It's all property that has been held by the police department for the past year. I'm not sure of any details beyond that. I'm guessing a lot of it is stolen property that was never claimed. I went to the auction more out of curiosity than anything else. P didn't ask for a bike, and hasn't indicated any interest whatsoever in owning a bike, but my goal (naturally!) was to get him a bike. I headed to our local fairgrounds and registered for the auction at 8 a.m.. It was something like 40 degrees and the auction was held inside an uninsulated metal building with all of the overhead doors left open. Suddenly, my cute floral flats were starting to seem like a pretty bad idea. I was given bidding number 128.  I dug a pen out of my purse and started writing down the numbers

Missing Child

Etan Patz. He was the first missing child to be featured on a milk carton. He was just six and a half when he disappeared, after walking two blocks by himself. Etan's story is fresh in my mind because it has been in the news lately, after authorities re-opened the case to pursue some leads regarding the child's remains. Etan disappeared in 1979 after walking two blocks to the bus stop by himself. It was only two blocks, after all, and he had begged his mother to give in. I can picture this scenario perfectly, in as much as I live with a six-year-old myself. My daughter is yearning for a little bit of independence. We gave her a little taste of it on Saturday and quickly regretted it. After yoga class on Saturday, I had a bunch of errands to run and took the kid with me. She conned me into buying her a shortbread cookie and an orange soda along the way. When we got back home, her dad told her that two of her friends had come by to see if she could play. She asked if she coul

Sweet dreams, Fritz

My former foster dog, Fritz , died yesterday. He was 12 1/4, which is about as long a life as most Boxers can expect. I had secretly hoped he might be immortal, but alas . . . I have fostered a gazillion dogs, give or take a few, but Fritz has remained close to my heart since his adoption. He lived in our home for nearly one year. As tempting as it was to pull him off the market and just keep him with me for the rest of his days, I stuck firmly with my belief that someone out there would give him a home of his own. I have been wrong about so many things in my life, but I was right this time. There was someone out there, and she gave him that forever home. As an added bonus, I gained a wonderful friend in the bargain. I called Sue yesterday to see how she was doing. She told me that Fritz had died peacefully, surrounded by Sue, her sister, and her best friend. Her Buddhist beliefs have given her a unique perspective on Fritz's death. Sue is comforted in the knowledge that she ha

Mah Dogs iz Crazy

I think it's time the world knew that . . . my dogs ain't right, man. At every meal, Gideon leaps vertically into the air while Gretchen spins in circles. I have worried about Gideon, in particular, because I'm convinced he's going to smack his chin on the counter one of these days. Or maybe he'll come down wrong and blow his cruciate (a common injury in Boxers). I wonder what my two knuckleheads think will happen if they don't repeat their respective rituals?  Like maybe one of these days I'll just cut them off and tell them, "No maniacal jumping? No freakish spinning? No food for you!" This video also reminds me: I need to stop eating ASAP. Seriously. 

How to raise a grateful child?

A source of frustration around our house lately . . . nothing's ever good enough, soon enough, or awesome enough for our shortest resident. I'm hoping it's just a phase, but the phase is wearing out its welcome. From what I've read, my daughter's behavior is normal for her age. Kids are biologically programmed to think mostly about themselves until around the age of eight or so, when they start developing the ability to empathize with others. I'm looking forward to the day when my daughter's cognitive development reaches this stage. The whining and the complaining and the eye-rolling - egads. Also, she has added a syllable to the word "Daddy." When he doesn't give her what she wants, she yells, "Dad-eeeeee-uh!" This is not to say she is not a good kid. She's a great kid - smart, outgoing, affectionate, and funny. However, we seem to be falling into a trap common in families with just one child. Despite our best intentions and ef

Can People Change - REALLY Change?

I've pondered this heady question for a couple decades now. I'm sure I should really leave the question (and the answer) to psychologists and other mental health professionals, but that doesn't stop me from wondering. Can people change in fundamental ways, or only in small, incremental ones? One of my new guilty pleasures is watching the show "Tabatha Takes Over." I am simultaneously fascinated by and frightened of Tabatha. If you haven't watched the show (or are unfamiliar with Tabatha Coffey), she's a hard-edged Australian chick with a background in the salon industry. She is typically dressed all in black, right down to her impossibly high heels. Initially, the show focused on salon take-overs, where Tabatha would come in, point out to the business owner and staff what they were doing wrong, and whip everyone into shape. She doesn't mince words and although some people find her abrasive, she seems to be very effective in what she does. She has a p

Au Revoir, Valentino

I took Valentino to his new home last night. A lot of people ask me questions like, "Isn't it so hard to leave them?" and "How do you do it?" Well, after a dozen years as a rescue volunteer, it's certainly gotten easier. Valentino just needed a good home. He didn't need anything that only I could provide. I helped him to regain his health; my job was done. That is not to say I don't love him and I won't miss him - I do and I will. Valentino was adopted by a couple with four other dogs. They are both physicians (she is a pediatrician and he is an ENT), which is not really relevant to their ability to care for a dog, of course, but I suppose it's nice to know that they have the means to address any health issues that may arise. Prior to adopting Valentino, their canine family included two male Boxers and two mixed breed dogs. One of their Boxers developed a tumor in his jaw a couple years ago, so they took him to a specialist and had part of

A's Letter to her Birthmom

The kid has been asking a lot of questions about her birthmom lately. Now, you might think these would be hard-hitting queries related to adoption and very difficult decisions and the like. But, you would be wrong. Here is a sample question (I am not making this up): "Mom, does J . . . use shampoo?" "Um, yes," I replied. "I think she is as concerned about her personal hygiene as, you know, most people are." She nodded. "And does she play an instrument?" She went on to ask if J has any pets and what colors she likes. I explained that although I can give her basic info about her birthmom (such as: she's pretty, she's generous, etc.), I do not have a lot of details about her ability to play an instrument and other such trivia.  I suggested she write a letter and ask her questions. This evening, she did so. In pink ink. So, J, if you are reading this . . . there is a letter from a curious six-year-old headed your way via snail mail.

Winding Down

We're headed home this evening, so yesterday was our last full day of vacation. My sister's two older kids are now on spring break, and they left yesterday morning to visit their father up in Pennsylvania. I decided to give my sister a little break from motherhood and offered to take the baby for the day (I took my own child as well, of course). It's been a while since I've had a baby in my care, but I figured maybe it's akin to the old adage about riding a bike. The thing about my nephew is . . . aside from being so adorable that women at the mall have a minor cardiac event when he smiles at them, he's also a very happy, easygoing kid. I know babies sometimes go through fear stages where they don't want anyone but mom or dad to hold them, but at this point I think my nephew would hang out with Charles Manson as long as he was properly stocked with bottles and diapers. So, off we went. I did forget how long everything takes with a five-month-old baby in to