The Curse

I'm not sure if anyone else's mother placed "The Curse" on them...but mine did. I was somewhat strong-willed as a child/teenager, (shocker, huh?!) and Mom and I had mannnny territory skirmishes along the way.

At one particularly volatile point, my mom told me that she had been cursed by my grandmother. My grandmother had told her, "You don't pay for your own raisin' til you raise one of your own." Mom said that she was definitely paying for all she had put Grandma through by raising me. She told me that I would see what she meant when I had kids of my own. And THEN! that mean, hateful woman said, "I hope you have one just like you."

At the time, I didn't care that I was being a brat to Mom. All I knew was that she made it sound like a Bad Thing to be like me. And I got pissed. Because I was a realllllllly good kid -- all things considered.

I didn't realize that being "good" didn't mean much if you were a pain in the butt to get along with.

However. I was smart enough to realize that I should be afraid. Verrrry. Verrry. Afraid.

That fear is what has made me okay with the fact that, until now, I've not actually given birth to any children of my own. I thought I was escaping The Curse by not having my own kids.

I was wrong.

Over the past couple of years, I've come to realize that I'm "payin' for my raisin' " every single day that I deal with the children in my classroom. And my ups & downs with Buggy have driven this point home to the Nth degree.

So I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I adopted Freddy.

I was wrong.

Yesterday was one long battle for control. The highlights:

6 a.m.: I woke up to Kickin' Puppy Breath. He had decided somewhere during the night that I wasn't so bad, and he climbed onto my pillow to sleep. Verrrry verrry cute. But oh so stinky.

Mid-morning: He wanders into his crate to eat and falls asleep in there. He wakes up to the cell door slamming shut as I leave to go run errands.

Lunchtime: He's happy to see me free him from captivity, but not so happy that I then proceed to attempt to drown him in a watery, vanilla-scented, oatmeal shampoo hell. Upon deliverance from that hell, he's swaddled up and held down to have his teeth brushed. (Although the peanut butter-flavored toothpaste is pretty tasty!) He then spends the next hour on the leash, close by my side, as I unpack the kitchen. Follow the leader, anyone?

Mid-afternoon: I let him off the leash, and he alternates between wandering through the open cabinets and napping on the couch. At one point, he left a rather large present in the front entryway....letting me know that he wasn't happy about my checking email because there was no comfy place to nap in there. (I remedied that before coming in here this morning....and he's now sleeping on an old comforter here in the office floor.)

Evening: We spend some time relaxing....and when it's time to go to bed, his crate gets moved into my room. We go outside to do the bizness....then he goes into the crate for night-time. I then have 20 blessed minutes of silence while his little pea-sized brain is trying to process the fact that he's incarcerated..AGAIN....then all holy hell breaks loose.

From the bedroom, I hear....
low-grade whining.....
high-pitched squeaking .....
and then....
full-out barking.....

I knew it would be a long and painful night, but I didn't give in. I climbed into my bed and left the bathroom light on so he could see I was there....and then spent the rest of the night getting woken up every 50 minutes or so by the whine-squeak-bark cycle. I did take him out of the crate a time or two to go outside and potty....but plopped his little butt right back in the crate when we got back.

He was OVERJOYED to get paroled this morning.

I think he thinks he's won.

Little does he realize that he's sleepin' in the crate again tonight.

Because I've realized that the 6 years I spent working in college housing were not for nothing. The hard-won ability to sleep through anything but the phone and the fire alarm is a that lies dormant upon return to a "real job"...but one that resurfaces when you're faced with the challenge of desperately needing sleep while you're "paying for your raisin'" with your new puppy.

Get ready, have NO idea what awaits you!!