The Kidling and The Pup

The Family recently grew by one member. No, I did not produce any more precocious progeny; this time, I bought it. The progeny. Of a dog.

We got a dog.

This was an ongoing conversation in our home, with The Kidling actively involved. We looked at old dogs, puppies, and middle-aged dogs. Rescues and breeder pups. Near and far. When I finally found a pup I was genuinely enamored of, I showed The Kidling a picture.

She flipped.

Cries of When can we get her?! and How many days is that?!?!? filled every waking moment at Our House. I deferred and deflected while working out a plan, then I did something new.

I lied.

“I am working with the woman who has her, Kidling. I think we can get her sometime next week,” I assured her.

The covetous response was overwhelming. More pleading, this time with Can we get her as early as possible next week? and How many days is that? erupting from her 6 year-old mouth with angst befitting a child 7 years her senior. I explained the approximate amount of time that would be, stressing that it was really just an estimate, as we were still figuring out the details.

Pants on fire, Mama. Pants on fire.

I had a plan. Damn genius, if you ask me. You see, The Kidling was spending the weekend with The Grandma, and I made plans to get that sweet little bundle of fur the day before The Kidling returned to Our Town. I would drive to the agreed-upon location to pick The Kidling up, she would be so so so happy to see me, then TA-DA the pooch would prance up accompanied by squeals of glee, lick The Kidling’s sweet face, and we would all live happily ever after (yes, I am ignoring the teen years in this scenario. Sue me.)

The cutest dog in the entire world lives in Our House. Coincidentally, so does the cutest (and smartest) child.

The cutest dog in the entire world lives in Our House. Coincidentally, so does the cutest (and smartest) child.

The big day arrived. There was a minor kink in the form of a freaking monsoon that made its way across the Middle U.S. that afternoon, but otherwise, the plan went off without a hitch. Her face registered shock and delight in that beautiful moment where she first laid eyes on The Pup. Joy radiated from every tiny kidling pore as we loaded up the car and drove back toward Our Town.

I basked in The Kidling’s reaction, watching and feeling and hearing evidence of her bliss. “Do you like her?” I asked knowingly, as the car rolled down the rain-soaked highway.

I like her even better in person—I mean—in animal!”

Yes, The Kidling has met her new best friend.


on death and life and planning ahead

The Family’s tiny yard is fairly heavily planted: shrubs, flowers, vegetables, and trees crowd our little piece of ground. Now that I have gotten over the fear of our garden, I can honestly say that I would have it no other way.You have all probably caught on by this point that The Kidling is no fool. That said, she does occasionally require a reminder of which things in the yard are consumable (raspberries, arugula) and which are not (basically everything else).

Last week, Alice was picking the berries from one of our shrubs. I think it was a honeysuckle, but the truth is once the flowers are spent, I don’t remember what is what. When I admonished her to keep her mitts off the berries, she gave me “the look.” “The look” says, ‘Duh Mom. What, do you think I’m three? I know better than to eat these berries. Sheesh!” Upon translating the look into the previous sentence, I decided more detail was required.

“But Alice, they could make Margot* sick,” I reminded her. She thought for approximately 0.7 seconds before responding, “We’ll just let her throw it up, and then we’ll clean the puke up, okay?”

Ummmm, no. No it is not okay.

So I went the next logical step. I scared the bejeezers out of her. Or, should I say, I tried: “Alice, if those berries are poisonous, then Margot might die.” I congratulated myself on successful execution of the exaggeration-for-the-purpose-of-compliance move and thought we were done.


After thinking for three seconds, The Kidling responded, “Well, that’s okay because… if she does we’ll just… put her where Esti** is.”

“Sweetie,” I replied, “let’s just not pick the berries so we can be certain Margot doesn’t eat them and die.”

Ever the planner, Alice declared, “Well, let’s just hope she’ll never be dead, but if she does, we’ll just do that. Okay?”

Sigh. Okay.


* Margot is this adorable dog:

Peek-a-pup, aka Margot.

** Esti is this beautiful girl, who passed away last year after 10 ridiculously silly years:

Holy adorable. What else is there to say, really?

great hair

After spending the third quarter of the Super Bowl turning her giant toy cocker spaniel and giant-er T. Rex into super heroes, Alice finally added the finishing touch. Putting a yellow pom pon on her enormous T. Rex’s head, she declared, “If he’s a super hero, then he must have great hair!

Those are high standards, Kiddo… but I’m sure Clark Kent would approve of this criterion.