Saturday, July 7, 2012

Of Dogs, Children and Expectations

I have two dogs... one, the older male is nervous, cautious, jumpy and easily chastened.   The other, the younger female, is a mess.  She's a total spaz, crazy, oozes mucus from her nose incessantly, and despite her beauty, rambles along clumsy, nutty, silly, snotting up our house and our clothes and, like a storm, rips through life oblivious to the destruction she's left behind.

They say our dogs begin to resemble their owners, or is it the other way around?  Well, in this house... they resemble my children.  Completely.  I realized that the other day as I watched Elizabeth.  She is Ellie, our young female lab.  She's a mess.  At everything.  When she cries mucus, tears and saliva pour out of her at an alarming rate.  She always wants me to hold her, but I have to change my shirt afterward.  Seriously.  I'm soaked.  When she eats, I now put a bib on her AND a huge dish towel over the rest of her in an attempt to somehow keep from filling my washing machine in the number of outfits she can dirty in a day.  Our local park has a water feature and unlike the other little girls playing tidy little games like "cooking" or building a castle, she treats it like her own personal mud-bath at the spa.  I pack extra clothes and it takes DAYS to remove the mud from her hair and ears.  Days.

So many people congratulated me when they learned we were having a girl.  They assume, as a woman, I wanted a little doll to dress up.  I think they envisioned a sweet, little, darling... sugar and spice and you know the rest.  I got all spice, baby, and she's nuts.  I knew I was in for trouble with a girl.  I was not your average little girl.  But I'll admit, I'm NOTHING compared to this little freak.  Everything I did, she does.  But amplified.  By 100.

When I eat, Mike compares me to Cookie Monster.  I'm messy.  She's like Cookie Monster too, but bred with the Incredible Hulk.  In fact, she informed me she'd like to be Hulk for Halloween.  So she can "smash".  Oooooof course.  I have a tendency to be easily distracted and clumsy.  She's like a newborn foal attempting to walk in stilettos.  Walls jump out at her at an alarming rate.  The floor often seems to snag her ankles.  I had (well, still have) a huge imagination.  My mom had to scream my name a million times because I was off in my own world.  My world was always much better than the real world and I hated to snap into reality.  I now find myself shouting, as my mother once did, "what am I talking to... a brick wall?!!"  I call and call and call and finally with a tap to her head and an "E-LIZ-A-BETH!!!!!" she snaps back and looks at me innocently and says, "what mom... I was just...".  Everything with her is "I was just".

"Elizabeth, get out of there! It's not a pool, it's disgusting." I shout about a bowl type feature full of revolting, muddy water at the playground.
Missing my anger and command, she says calmly as though explaining to the simple-minded, "Oh no, mommy... I was just soaking my feet".

"Elizabeth, " I shout as she grabs dixie cups, tooth brushes, old floss and anything within reach in the bathroom, "STOP touching everything!  I just want you to wash your hands."
"I just want to SEE," she says.  Trouble is, she always looks with her hands.  And feet.  And mouth.

She spits chocolate milk out at the table and cracks up.  She stuffs her fingers up her nose, farts on her father, chews up her food and then opens up her mouth to her brother, licks the sliding glass doors (oh yeah, the ones that the dogs snot all over), crushes food in her fingers and smears it on the table and announces loudly, "I farted!" or "I have to POOP!".   She chatters, sings and thrashes around in her bed until she falls asleep.  She prefers to be barefoot.  She prefers to be nude.   She's NOT a lady.  She's my daughter.  She's me... but better.  Worse?  Whatever.

She, like our lab, is a crazy, messy, ball of destruction.  I couldn't be more proud. :D

1 comment:

  1. She and our OT seem to have a lot in common. :)