Thursday, August 30, 2007

Return of the Snail Buddy

Generally, I like it when @ makes new friends. And I like that he loves to be outside and is curious about the plants and critters that populate the yard. But, everything has its limits.

Take this morning, for instance. The wee boy opted to use the blissful nine minutes between right-handed alarm clock snooze-button bashing to leap on to the bed and steal one of my pillows. OK, fine. I skipped my morning push-up, crunch, etc. ritual, so I should have been up anyway, but stealing my pillow while I'm groggy can be dangerous.

After we sorted out that the pillow thief was relatively benign, we agreed that said thief would snuggle up with said pillow in my bed while I took my shower. A hunch told me that he would not indeed be in the same spot in which I left him upon my emergence from the shower. However... when the dog barged in and the wee boy knocked on the shower door with "Mama, look what I got" I really wasn't expecting to see a snail. But, that's indeed what was attempting to stare through the textured glass. "I got a snail buddy!"

After a brief but meaningful chat about not going outside without me, he graciously took his buddy outside to the porch, but apparently didn't give him enough of a head start to the garden (preferably the neighbor's garden, really), so snail buddy crossed the threshold to return to the house at least two more times. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to teach snail buddies to fly (see previous "snail" posts).

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Beatles

This morning, @ was looking at CDs in the rack and pulled out two Beatles anthologies, asking what the music was. I told him that it was the Beatles.

"Oh," he says. "The ones from the car show."

Fuddled, muddled, and suddenly astounded. "You're right, the band from the car show we went to with Grampa Doug."

A YEAR AGO, a (very good) Beatles tribute band played at the annual car show where my dad lives. A YEAR AGO. @ was two and a half then and the band probably played for two hours max during a long, hot, chaotic day filled with cars, trailers, engines, people, dogs, music, hot dogs, playgrounds, motorcycles, and such.

So, of course, we listened to the Beatles this morning.

At the moment, he's measuring the porch. I bought him his very own tape measure this afternoon. I measured the porch to build a deck a couple of weeks ago and ever since, tape measures are suddenly something more than the ever-present boxes on his daddy's hip pocket.

The other day X was here and @ said he wanted to be a carpenter. There was an immediate chorus of, "No way, you're going to college" in perfect unison. (X is a carpenter and we're definitely on the same page in terms of parenting, despite the end of the marriage.)

Earlier today, @ was explaining very carefully how he was rebuilding the dog house by removing all of the old wood, replacing it with new wood, and nailing everything in. The dog house is molded plastic, but... he was very detailed and careful in the placement of nails. He'd hold one, tap it twice with the hammer, then move it over and tap it again. He likes watch the progress on Jeff's house down the street, then test it out what he's seen on the dog house here.

A year ago. The Beatles. Dang. Maybe he knows where my mom put her keys in 1982.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Two Dog Night

Luke is having a slumber party. His bestest buddy Butch is here. Butch belongs to Jeff and Katie down the street. He and Luke can chase each other, wrassle, and otherwise convince the uninitiated that there's about to be bloodshed. If I open my front door, Luke tries to bolt to Butch's house. If Jeff and Katie open theirs, Butch bolts over here. I swear they have cell phones; it's as if they can hear the respective doors open three houses away.

I'm trying to decide whether the two knuckleheads can both sleep in the house tonight. They're alternately chilling and then remembering that they're nuts. Luke is nosing a chair across the dining room and Butch is trying to figure out why. It's like watching a cartoon, at least until one attempts to mount the other. Then it's more like Animal Planet.

It's good to get insight into your friends' lives. Unfortunately, I now have insight into Jeff's knee. Butch is here because Jeff and Katie are at the hospital. I was home this afternoon and heard Jeff shout. Then I heard him again. He's spending the summer adding on to his house, doing much of the work himself. When I got down the street, I asked if he was pissed off or hurt. Then he showed me his leg. Something happened with a saw. That's as graphic as I'm going to get. Katie was on the way, so I sat with him to try to keep him calm and make sure he didn't go into shock or pass out.

He's at the hospital, they've started the antibiotics, and at last report they were waiting to go into radiology to identify how much damage there is and what to do next.

I stayed calm when I was with him, with his in-laws, and with Katie. And then I came home and lost it. I've seen other injuries. I've seen a soccer teammate's head when it needed nearly 100 stitches to close. But three hours later, I'm still shaky.

Maybe it's because it was just him and me sitting on the porch.
Maybe it's because he and Katie are my friends.
Maybe it's because he talked about never playing volleyball again and I know what it's like to lose something like that (soccer).
Maybe it's because everything we went through with @ makes things like this so much more real.

But I also know I'm fortunate to have people who watch out for me. I called X, and because he lives near the hospital he went check on Jeff, then called me with details. I sent an "I gotta get this into words and outta my system" e-mail to a friend from school and he called to make sure I was OK and just talk to me for a bit (he knows I always say I'm OK, he knows that sometimes I'm completely full of sh**).

And now I have these two moronic canines slowly considering settling down, which gives me something to watch and to wish that, perhaps for a few hours, I could be as ignorant and happy as they are.

Here's to having good friends and dumb dogs.