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Small Things 11-10-13

1.  I’m pretty sure that the comparison of cats to human sociopaths is one that has been made before.  So I won’t belabor the point.

Well, yeah I will.  After 48 hours of sporadically putting the cat into a locked dining room with a wounded chipmunk (my least favorite rodents, by the by) in a sort of cage match to the death, she was still no closer to actually ending that poor wounded thing than she was 2 days ago.

(And in all fairness to the human, non-sociopaths (I promise!) who live here, the rodent was in a vent for most of that time, couldn’t be located/retrieved.  It’s not like we were just cheering on messy rodenticide and selling popcorn.)

When it got to the point that the chipmunk crawled out of the vent, went nose-to-nose with the intrigued but not murderous cat, like it was saying, “come on, you bastard, just end it already”, we had enough and The Valiant Boy (nevermore to be known as effete easterner/city Boy) donned heavy gloves & went in to grab the chipmunk to throw his sorry little rodent butt outside.

Where he still might die, but honestly, it was just too much for me to witness.

And just now?  Not 2 hours after the end of the chipmunk saga? The cat just brought a paraplegic mouse to me.  Seriously?  Just kill it, Mattie.  It’s the size of your paw.  Just smack it.  The torture has to stop.  What’s gonna happen if these mice gang up & grab you one of these days?  You think I’ll be able to get you back with all your whiskers intact?  Yeah.  I don’t think so.

2.  Battles of willpower.


Ok, both The (Valiant) Boy and I are rather, um, stubborn.  Ok, we’re extremely stubborn, and we’re ok with that.  And we figured that our kid would likely inherit a good bit of that stubbornness.  What we weren’t prepared for was the sheer stupidity of arguing with a stubborn kid who makes us look easy-to-get-along with and go-with-the-flow.

We all got into some bad habits during The Summer of the Elbow, chief among them was a return to hand feeding the kiddo.  At first it made sense because everything hurt and didn’t work and the awkwardness of sitting at a table properly, OMG!  But for a month or so now, he’s managed just fine if it’s say, a dish of ice cream or a plate of cut-up steak.  But if it’s soup, or mac & cheese, or really anything that isn’t super-duper fun to eat, he’s begging to be fed.  By hand.  My hand.

Once it became obvious he was just being lazy/enjoying the Little Emperor routine, I made him wait til I was done with my meal, figuring he’d get bored & eat.  No go.  Dinner’s tough, because it’s hardest on me if he’s awake at night with hunger, so I’ve been giving in more than I should and just shoveling some food into him at the last minute.

Well, tonight he happily ate tons of bread he dipped in his chicken stew (one of his favorite meals) and then sat back and asked to be fed the stew.  We told him it was time he fed himself, and offered a compromise–one bite from his own spoon, one from mine.  No go.  Absolutely not, no way, nuh-uh.


So I told him he could feed himself and have a piece of his Halloween candy, or I would be happy to feed him, but there would be no dessert.

The world ended.  He worked himself into the most amazing dither, because he didn’t like either option, damnit (which is what I wanted, to be honest.)  There were tears.  There was agonized self-debate.  And then he fed himself.


He is not an independent kid.  Never has been.  He’d be just as happy to have me get him dressed for the rest of his life, I think.  He’d love to spend every mealtime on my lap.  Being spoonfed.  He still falls asleep for naps on my shoulder (though he falls asleep in his bed for his daddy.)  He’s a mamma’s boy, and since he’s 3, it’s delightful, but it’s also my job to teach him to be a big boy, and that’s really hard for him since it’s nothing he really wants yet.

So we’re compromising.  Making him do it himself where it affects other people (feeding himself) but letting him ‘be a baby’ where it’s not affecting anyone else (being held at naptime.)  Adding bribery for the breathing treatments worked wonders, so we’ll probably throw in the promise of an extra garbage truck vid or two if it makes this easier.

Because right now it’s not easier.  It’s really really hard.  And for whatever reason, he’s taking this really really hard, which is difficult for me to be a part of.  But yeah, needs to happen.

3.  On kind of an unrelated note, letting him take his time with the non-critical potty training has resulted in mess-free naps for 4 days straight now.  He basically decided last week that he was done with diapers during his naps, and he’s maintained that iron bladder control he’s got through some seriously long naps this week.  Go Hen!

4.  The writing is going well.  I located some outtakes that I’ve been hunting for (sporadically) for years and I’m delighted to be able to reinsert them where I wanted them.  Also–having a personal writing computer that goes back in one form or another to the mid nineties?  Wow, is there ever a lot of junk on this computer.  Some gems, but an awful lot of junk too.  Ah well.  Remember the good old days before computers?

Yeah, that sucked.  Love my magic writing pad.

5.  It’s my birthday, and besides the scads of FB & phone calls wishing me a happy birthday–which are always awesome, I’ll admit–I got to talk to a few old friends I haven’t spoken to in decades, and that was pretty special.  Made me grateful for every twist and turn along the way, that I’ve ended up where I am, safe and mostly sound.  I’m one amazingly lucky (old) lady.

And my son greeted me when I hauled my late-sleeping self downstairs this morning with the sweetest smile and “Happy birthday, Mommy!” that I’ve ever heard.  He proceeded to ‘give’ me every one of his favorite trucks in turn, each wrapped up in (imaginary) ‘pretty paper’ and told me, “these are a surprise for you.  you can play with them with me, if you like.”

How could I resist?  Best birthday gift ever.

Plus seed catalogs started arriving–about 2 months earlier than expected (woohoo!)  Hard to dwell overmuch on growing old (old!  older than the hills) when there are seed catalogs to pore over.

So it was, in fact, a day of utter, pretty-much-perfect contentment.  A day I hope I remember for the rest of my life.  A very happy birthday indeed.


8 comments to Small Things 11-10-13

  • Cat

    Happy birthday!

    If it helps at all, my son was very dependent at that age, too, and refused to do lots of things that he was perfectly capable of doing. One thing we did was to forbid him (or his sisters) from saying, “I can’t” and instead they could say, “I will try” and then actually try. Then, when he did the things, we praised him to the moon and back. He’d be very proud of himself and smile from ear to ear.

  • Brooke

    That is a great idea, Cat! I will have to encourage my boys with “I will try”, we hear way too much “I can’t” in my house.

  • Brooke

    What are the companies you order seeds from? I would love to get into some heritage planting, I have always done it the lazy way and just gotten seeds or plants from my local hardware store, but I know that Burpee is not the best way to go, so some insight would be great :)

    Susan Reply:

    I love Territorial Seeds. I also buy from Johnny’s, Totally Tomatoes, and Pinetree. I bought sweet corn (WAY hybridized!) from Park this year and had great results. When I lived in the SW, I bought from Seeds of Change a lot, but their catalog seems a bit slicker these days with fewer cool stuff to try. For amazing browsing, try Baker Creek Heirlooms. Oh, and none of these folks have awesome websites. I always order a hard copy catalog & use it to decide, then go in & just order with order numbers. Much less annoying! Have fun!

  • I would die to have a near-dead chipmunk locked inside my house living out a version of the hunger games with a cat. Ugh.

    Hoping this birthday year is filled with delights.

    Am sure you are loving this date, 11-12-13.

    Susan Reply:

    It was pretty awful. I’ll confess to a sneaking fondness for sneaky little mice (though I dislike them–intensely!–when I find them in my kitchen, but chipmunks? Hate ’em I does. *shudder*

  • Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you are having loads of fun these days. Of both the good and less good kind. :-) Well, at least you are ot bored, are you? :-)