In the late afternoon today I took the kids to the park. While Hazel played in the playground I sat under a tree to play with the babies in the shade. There were a couple of women nearby on a blanket, and I realized as I was setting the twins on the grass that what I’d taken out of the corner of my eye to be a stuffed animal was actually a small dog, specifically a teacup poodle. It had a black head and white body, and its name was Oreo.
Oreo was delighted, in the wire-sprung-legged pink-licky-tongued way of puppies, to play with the babies. He licked them all over their astonished faces. They were entirely unsure what to think of that. Eventually Joanna had enough and started to cry, so I relocated her outside of his range (he was tied to a tree).
Hazel came over and was equally delighted with Oreo. One of the women asked, of course, if Hazel had any pets.
“Yes, I have a cat. I used to have two cats, but Satchmo died.”
It comes up all the time. It will continue to. I keep wondering where he is. Then I think of him in the earth and struggle some more. But there’s only one way to deal with this, and that is to go through it. Having kids has certainly added to my motivation to attempt to process stuff cleanly.
I bought a copy of “Positive Discipline” on my brother’s recommendation (he is a father and a school teacher). I have been feeling myself sliding into power struggles with Hazel lately, and I want to get out of that pattern. I’ve read only a couple of tiny snippets thus far, between cello practicing sessions. What has already come up for me is that there is truly a side of me which doesn’t want to put the effort into creative problem solving with Hazel, but just wants her to obey me. Do it because I said so, and be quiet about it already. And in times of stress particularly, that side surfaces and sometimes I allow it to take over. Nonetheless, that is not how I want to live or how I want to parent. I don’t want to be a micro-manager, and I do want to delegate. I am looking forward to reading the whole book and finding some practical ways in which to implement the philosophy.
At the park today we saw a Madsen with an electric-assist. I can’t wait to get one, and then to chug up a steep hill, giggling all the way.