Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Wah! Baby growing up alert! 

It's happened again.

Mike is busting out with more evidence of maturity. Yesterday I had to go to town to mail packages and go to the store. He usually likes to ride along, but instead, he suggested he RIDE HIS BIKE TO TOWN and meet me there!

I pointed out that the meeting part wouldn't work out, cars being faster and all. But the independence bug had already bit.

Although Mike is 12, he's only been actually riding (as in pedaling and keeping his balance) for a few months. It hasn't even been THAT long (a year, two at the most) that he's felt comfortable with looking around the toy section at Wal-mart by himself while we shop. So on the one hand, I wanted to encourage his branching out. But on the other hand OMG NO! MY BABY! ACK!!!!

The two big pluses are that Mike could give lessons in finding your way around to homing pigeons, and he is also highly paranoid in regards to safety rules. So I gritted my teeth, reviewed the road rules, and sent him off.

This was at 4pm. I was home from my errands by 5. No Mike. I read some mail. 5:15, no Mike. Made a salad for dinner. Told myself repeatedly not to be an idiot, a drama queen, etc. Went outside every time the dogs made a sound and scanned the distant roadway....

Finally at quarter to six, he came in. "Oh, there you are," I said casually. "Ready for dinner?"

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Weather, man! 

It has been blessedly though uncharacteristically raining here in Colorado for a week now. That gave an extra frisson to attending "Day After Tomorrow" at the movie theater last night.

As you may recall, one of Mike's passions is weather. We have attended the Storm Spotter training (twice!) and he sometimes watches The Weather Channel for hours on end. When we saw the trailer for DAT a few months back, well, they as good as had his $6 admission in their pocket!

I tried to warn him it might be too scary for him, and my sweet little bud SCOFFED at me. "I am a BIG boy now," he said. "I am not a little BABY anymore. I won't be 'fraid!"

I had my doubts, but you have to give kids a chance to challenge themselves. And Mike was right. He LOVED it. Only halfway through he started talking about buying the DVD when it comes out!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Cuteness alert! 

One of the things Mike likes to do is snuggle. Before he became a lanky, bony boy as tall as I am, this was more literal. It was a way we could have playtime together back before I had the remission of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Tickling and such was much more doable for me if we were both reclining on my bed.

Nowadays, snuggling still means we repair to the bedroom, but Mike usually sits near me on the bed while I put my feet up, and he tells me stories. Still a very cozy bit of personal time for us.

Today he wanted to bring Climber the dog in too. I rather think he meant it as a problem solving attempt, which is something we like to see. As you may recall, Climber had to become a solely inside dog, because for some reason Appy, another of our dogs decided she HATES her, precioussss, and now she tries to tear Climber's throat out anytime she can get her teeth near it. Problem.

While school was in, all was well because Climber accepts me as High Authority and behaves her little spotted self.



But as you can see, she is a Border Collie/Australian Cattledog mix. Both intelligent, high energy working breeds who need to be DOING something. AND being herders, they are 'mouthy' breeds which tend to nip as a method of communication....

Mike loves to play and wrestle with her, but unfortunately Climber does NOT see Mike as a higher ranked pack member. Plus I think she might have been removed from her litter too soon, before she learned the rules of give and take in rough-housing from her siblings. So I often have to break things up by crating her, and explaining AGAIN to Mike why he MUST NOT let her bite and growl to control HIM.

Little by little, though, they are both getting it. So a while ago we three went in to snuggle. I got to demonstrate to Mike HOW to assert control without being harsh (and it did only take about five minutes before she settled down and kept her mouth to herself).

But Mike showed me his own idea too. He started making up a song to sing to her while he petted her.

"Caaaalm down, Climber,
Doooon't be wild,
Climber, be a nice dog
You got to get yourself in controooool."

Sorry, Mom moment, but I thought it was adorable.

Our path 

A few weeks ago, Mike and I made this path:



The rocks come from the huge stash of sandstone blocks I bought at an auction years ago, which used to be part of the walls of the community ballfield. A weed fire slivered some of them into convenient paving stone widths.

This area, and the lawn to the left, used to be all nice thick Bermuda grass. (Note the weeds, many of which I have now Yanked.) I seeded all around the path, covered it with some old rugs and blankets, and faithfully watered it twice a day. The baby grass is coming up like gangbusters now, I'm happy to say. Nice to have SOME garden success, as quite a few of my bedding plants have croaked off. :/

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