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Welcome to the BOMB.

The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

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My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my thirteen year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my two year old gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Mommy Curse

I thought I dodged the bullet. The Mommy Curse bullet. You know the one—Mothers all over the world  bestow this curse on ungrateful, eye-rolling, attitude throwing, ego-centric teens in fits of frustrated desperation—usually after said teen has behaved outrageously. The curse goes something like this:  “I hope you have kids just like you when you grow up!”  Variations on the theme may include a specific number of  just like you kids. An example might be, “I hope you have thirteen kids just like you when you grow up!”
Since I never gave birth to children of my own, I naively thought I had dodged the curse. 
Until I adopted an 18 month-old boy.   

I soon realized 18 month-olds can be a handful—and mine was no exception. He could get into more trouble than I thought possible.  Certainly more trouble than I ever remembered getting into. 

Just before his second birthday, I was at my wits end.  I thought I had made a horrible mistake in adopting him.  A friend told me about a new "therapy" she had heard of that reportedly held a lot of promise.  It was a class where you bonded while mastering obstacles together.  It sounded an awful lot like a ROPES course. ROPES courses teach communication skills, foster a greater sense of trust, and enhance team building. They are great, but you have to give up some degree of control, and I didn't think that would be my cup of tea.  However, I finally became desperate enough to be willing to try anything—even an obstacle course.  I signed us up.

Surprisingly, we both enjoyed the class and it seemed to be doing the trick. I learned my communication style was rather ambiguous which resulted in my sending mixed signals. Once I learned to give clearer directions, he responded appropriately. We were bonding, learning to trust each other more,  and because of the physical nature of the class,  we were sleeping through the night.  Everything seemed to be working great—with one small exception.

He really didn’t like one of the obstacles.  This particular obstacle, the chute, gave everyone a bit of a scare at first. It was the scariest obstacle on the course. It required a new, deeper level of trust. It entailed going into a  chute whose far end was collapsed and dark.  The most similar obstacle is the tunnel, which has two open ends and, except when curved, you can see the light at the other end. After his  initial introduction to the tunnel it presented no further problems, even when the tunnel was curved diffusing the light.

The chute was a whole different animal. He wanted nothing to do with it. The opening collapsed , cutting off his sight line and all light. In order to navigate it, he would have to push against it blindly with his head, while crawling through. It would require a lot of trust. Even with me instructing him, guiding him with my voice, and encouraging him, it appeared he had met  his match. During one class, he almost got stuck in the chute; but, he finally figured out, he could turn around and get out of it. At first I excused  his lack of progress because he was obviously scared of it. Then I noticed one by one his classmates were getting the hang of it. I tend to be a little bit competitive, and I wanted to progress on to the next class, but in order to do so we had to pass all the obstacles during the skills test, so I started pushing him a little harder as we kept practicing. Now  I realize I should have stopped pushing so hard that it was no longer fun. But I didn't. I was determined we would pass to the next level. Then if we decided it was no longer fun, we would quit. But we would not quit as failures.

The last night of class, we arrived early to practice the chute for the last time. After a few tries something clicked. I don't know what it was. Maybe the fact that we were fresh and not frustrated. Whatever the reason, he trusted me and everything came together.  We briefly went over the remaining obstacles and  by the time class started we were rocking. 

During our test, the chute was our very first obstacle. That might be a bit daunting to most people;  however, I’m not most people. When I started my Master’s Degree, I asked that the first two classes be the classes I thought I would have the most difficult time with. My advisor cautioned me about taking those two classes together and first. I told him if I was going to fail out, I would much rather fail out the first semester—before I invested a lot of time and money in the program. Facing the chute first thing was right up my alley. I only hoped my boy would face the chute with the same attitude, and that he would persevere and be successful, just as I had.  Facing the chute, I took a deep breath, whispered a quick prayer, and gave the command. It was our moment of truth.

I should not have worried. He executed it perfectly!   I beamed. I was one proud Mama.  Even he started prancing and strutting around. He knew he had done well and his confidence was high.  We were both flying as our classmates cheered us on. There was no way we weren't on our way to the Next Level.

We came to the final obstacle and it was his favorite:  a simple jump. Barely even a hop. I instructed him to jump knowing we had this in the bag. Only, he decided he didn’t want to jump. And just like a  belligerent teenager, my 2-year old, threw a silent hissy fit—right there in the middle of the class.  He, who does not like to get dirty, actually sat in the dirt! He did not fall out and flail his arms and legs. He did not rant and rave, in fact he did not utter a sound; however, the belligerent look in his eyes spoke volumes:  His eyes said, “No!  I’m not going to, and you can’t make me!” 

I tried coaxing him over the jump. He sat ridged.

I reminded him we needed to do this jump so we could advance to the next class. He actually looked down his nose at me with haughty eyes. 

I appealed to his love of jumping. He looked away.

I bribed him with an inexpensive treat. He refused to even look and consider what could be his if he only did what I knew he loved to do.
It was clear to everyone in the class:  He had worked hard on the chute before class. He had executed the course run through flawlessly up to this point. But. He. Was. Done. 

Like a bolt of lightning,  realization jolted me:  the Mommy Curse had finally come to fruition—my 2 year old was acting  just like the teenager he really was—on this, the last day of Dog Agility Class.

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