Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TRULY Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Personally, I don't think the facial hair does anything to make this dude look older. He just looks like a baby with facial hair. Who is he trying to kid?



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Lady Mondegreen

Thinking about misheard lyrics tonight, for some reason. Earlier, the Oldest Child and I were rocking out while singing together that Tears for Fears song "Showing the Zebra Love". We particularly like where it goes really high and says "Showin' the ZEEEEBRA lo-ove, we're show-in' the Zeeb". Oldest thinks they are on pretty familiar terms with the zebra, if they're allowed to call him "the Zeeb". Yo, wazzup, Zeeb!

Additionally, my sister is getting some kittens. (Yes, I did say some kittens, because she's getting two, which makes me shudder, but she doesn't have any kids living with her, so she has a different view point.) BUT I digress. Anyway, one of the kittens is currently named Albi, and she's changing it, because it reminds her of Albee, a playwright she does not like. Fair enough. It reminds me, though, of my Middle Child, at 4, singing along with Edwin McCain:

"ALLLLBEEE, the greatest man in your life!"

I said "What's that song about, Honey?" and she said, "You know, Mom, it's about Albee, the greatest man in her life."

Ah, yes, of course.

But for me, the best one she ever sang, in her own inimitable way. was the one by Sugar Ray... you can sing it with me if you know it...

"Every morning there's a hello hanging from the corner of my fonce enforcer's bed
I know it's not mine but I'll see if I can use it for a weekend or a one like that
Try and understand- wonh wonh wonh(because when you're 4, instrumental parts are part of the lyrics) how to work it out
Once again, it's redicted, left my broken all open and you ripped it out."

I had to ask. "So how about that one, Sweetie, what's that one about?"

"It's about a guy who leaves his comic books out and his little sister tears them up."

Hmmm. Well, I guess our interpretation of lyrics comes from personal experience, right?

{{sigh}}


She was SO cute.


Monday, August 25, 2008

You can never be too careful!

I took my Small One to a local indoor playground today... one of those places with all the different bouncy houses and slides. There was a torrential downpour going on, and she was running around the house like a madwoman, jumping on furniture and yelling at the pets, so I thought a bouncy house might do her some good.

And anyway, she had a blast in the one she visited on the Fourth of July, with her Daddy:

But today? No dice. She was all excited about it on the way, all dressed in her piggy shirt and shoes with flowers "MY poggies! MY Fwowers! Ride car! Bounce!" And she was quite charming as the woman was checking us in and taking my money. In fact, when we walked in the door she tried to climb into the first bouncy thing she saw, with her shoes still on.

I sat down with her and took off her shoes, and fully expected her to go tearing into a bouncy house, but...no. I picked her up and put her in one. She pushed past me to jump back out. I tried to climb into a bouncy house with her (at the suggestion of the staff)...no way, Jose. She got a little frantic, yelling "No bounce! No bounce!"

I was stymied. I put her down, and she ran over to the toys that were scattered about, and started playing with them, but let's be honest, folks- I'm not paying five bucks so my kid can play with toys! She has toys at home, actually. I got down on her level, and said "What is it? Why don't you want to bounce?" and she looked at me very seriously, pointed, and said "Mouth."

I looked where she was pointing, and sure enough, there was a mouth. A great big caterpillar shaped bouncy house, with a big, red, gaping mouth, and children were climbing through and disappearing. (It was a slide, and it led into a tunnel that emptied out behind the other houses, so it did appear they weren't coming out again.)

It looked something like this:


Of course, you'll realize that indoors and quite large, that thing is a little intimidating. Still, I tried to reason with her. I carried her towards it, she attempted to climb over my back and get away.

I said "It's not a real mouth, though, it's just pretend!"

She looked at me skeptically, and said, rather matter of factly, "Eyes."

Have I mentioned she is, by far, the most analytical of my children? Can't really blame her for not wanting to climb into the caterpillar's gaping maw, now can I?

At least the staff was kind enough to refund my money.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Too fast

Small One sat on my lap today and ate popcorn. She really really likes popcorn, and starts yelling for it the instant someone takes it out of the microwave, and on this occasion I was more than happy to share, because I'd made it for that purpose. But the funny part was, she'd pop a handful of popcorn in her mouth, chew, swallow, then open her mouth and look at me. My job was to then fish the "dud" kernels out of her mouth. (This is very similar to another favorite game, called "Guess what I just put in my mouth?")

It probably should have grossed me out, but looking at that solemn little face, with those little teeth, and smelling the sweet baby breath as I pulled out slimy popcorn kernels, I got a little mushy. Because it wasn't all that long ago that she would've choked on the popcorn, and even though she's still my little bitty girl, it's going so fast!

And I was looking at pictures of her, and because I see her every day, I guess I don't notice, really, but she's just changing at a really rapid pace!

One year ago:

Christmas:

Last month:

I just really can't believe my little baby is turning 2 next month! I really wish I could just slow things down, keep her in this sweet phase for just a little while longer.

Not the Middle Child, though...she's welcome to speed on ahead to the next phase, wherein she's a human with whom I can have a conversation without all the eye rolling.

My Friday, the Old and the Small of it


So Thursday was hectic, to put it mildly, and I didn't fall into bed until 3:30am. When I had to get up at 6:30 to make sure the big kids were up, well...that was pretty darned early. And were they up? Not so much. Oldest was in the shower, but Middle Child was still firmly tucked into her bed, and when Oldest emerged as I was coming out of M.C.'s room, he snarled at me that he DID wake her up, she just didn't listen to him. (Which may have been true.)

I would've stayed up to help them get out the door, but they were basically surly, snarling, vicious creatures, and I was not too interested in losing a finger to one of them. I retreated back to my room, where the Small One was calling for molebats. (Or something.) I did stick around long enough to be chastised for not waking them up earlier, as now M.C. wouldn't get a shower and Oldest wouldn't finish his lab.

Tried in vain to get the Small One to sleep in, but alas and alack, off we went into our day. Midway through the morning, I got a phone call from the high school, that went something like this:

Man: Mrs. Momtype? This is Dean Importantguy at the high school, and I have your Oldest here in my office.

Me: Mmm hmm?

Man: Yes, well, we are WELL into second period, and he has not been in class, and a teacher found him in the bathroom working on something.

Me: (silence in which you can hear crickets chirping, because I'm not sure I WANT to know what he was working on in the bathroom)

Man: Er... I think it was some kind of homework. (speaks to my child, away from phone) What was it, son? Uh huh. And when was it due? Uh huh. (back to me) It was a lab, and he says he left his book at school and couldn't finish it, and it was due second period. And that's THIS period. But we're WELL into the period and he hasn't been to class.

(And yes, he did mention to me SEVERAL times about which period it was and the fact that he hadn't been to class.)

Me: Mmm hmm, well, I know he was concerned about. So what happens now?

Man: Well, I'm going to have to give him a detention. Because (say it with me, folks) it's well into second period and he hasn't been to class.

Me: So... what does that mean? I have to pick him up late from school?

Man: No, no, it'll be Tuesday, and you'll have to pick him up an hour and a 1/2 late.

Now, at this point I got tickled. Because while I do appreciate being kept in the loop, my son most assuredly would have come home and told me what was going on, because he would've needed a ride on Tuesday. So really, not that important to call me right now, and anyway... what a HORRIBLE offense, right? Doing homework in the bathroom at school- what's next? You know, that's how it starts, and pretty soon they're doing schoolwork at home, and science projects on the bus, and where does it all end, I ask you? Hooligans! So I giggled.

Me: Well, I guess there's really not much chance of getting through high school without ever receiving a detention, huh?

Man: (taken slightly aback) Erm, well, actually, I was surprised to learn he was a senior, because I've never seen him before, and so I thought he might be a transfer student, but he tells me he's been here all four years. (said a bit incredulously, as if the kid had probably just transferred in and was trying to pull one over on the dean)

Me: Yeah, I guess that's because he's usually a pretty good kid. But thanks for keeping me informed.

I hung up, and got a text message from my Oldest about five minutes later that read:

"Yeah, so that pretty much sucked."

Meanwhile, back in toddlerville, my sister-in-law had invited me to come paint handprint tiles with them at a local pottery place. Though I typically think that taking a toddler into a pottery place is about as much fun as taking a fork to my eyeballs, I agreed, because a)it was for the in-laws,b) Small One loves her cousins, and c)I had some things I needed to bring to my sister-in-law, and the pottery place is closer than her house. It was determined that we would meet in the afternoon, after Small's nap.

Only napping was not in the plan for my youngest child. I got her to sleep, and five minutes later she was running through the house, yelling at me in a loud voice. After about an hour of trying to get her back to sleep, I stuck her in her crib (aka "baby cage") so that I might shower, and after 45 minutes of her calling to me from her crib, I took her back out and stayed with her on my bed until she finally dozed off. Of course, this meant that once again I had to break the rules and wake a sleeping baby, but I waited until the last possible moment (and actually beyond the last possible, as I was 30 minutes late) and then fed her lunch in the car.

The pottery adventure? Bit of a nightmare. Have you ever heard the expression "bull in a china shop"? "Toddler in a pottery shop" is, in my opinion, at least that stressful. And not because she's not a good girl, because really, she is, but she did want to take all the breakable things off the shelf, and she didn't want to put her painted hand on the tile in a flat way, but insisted on making it into more of a squid shape, so that it was VERY tricky to get more than her fingertips on the tile. By the time we left that place, I was wiped out. So of course, afterward, we went to a toy store. With two 2 year olds and a 4 year old. Because we are gluttons for punishment.

On the upside, she did demonstrate her rather remarkable intellect in ways that tickled me, both on the drive over, and in the toy store. On the way over, she was playing with various toys, and doing what I call "toddler conjugation". She'd pick something up and say, for instance, "Zebra. Baby's zebra. MY zebra!" and then nod and smile, and move onto the next item. In the toy store, she picked up a cow puppet and said "Oh, wow- a COW! Moooooo, cow! Mommy, cow." and at that last "cow", she did the sign for cow. LOVE her. And when it was time to go, I anticipated a fight, but no, I just suggested that she tell the toys goodbye and she did... individually.

"Bye bye cow! Bye bye, kitty cat! Bye bye monkey! Bye bye, cars! Night night, balls!" (Why the balls got a "night night" instead of a goodbye is anyone's guess.)

And since I mentioned the signing, I'll leave this rather long narrative with the video of my Small One signing, in case anyone on the planet earth has not yet seen it.



video

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My first Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things that made me giggle today:
  1. This video
  2. Kim's blog
  3. The Asian dude I saw outside Starbucks with a shirt that said "Made in Ireland"
  4. Some of the clothes at homeschool registration day. Ummm... 1983 called, and they would like their clothes back.
  5. My Small One hiding in a cubby
  6. When I pointed to the sky and said "Look, Baby, we have to go because the sky is dark and it's going to rain", and the same Small One said "NO bye bye, Mommy! Sky BLUE!"
  7. The SAME Small Creature trying to tell me she couldn't take a bath because the sky was blue
  8. Keelin telling us she microwaved her pizza for 12 minutes on a metal plate, as Kim and I laughed until we cried over the dark scenario that might have occurred... (Kim's kitchen a black ruin in her flaming house, the firefighters kindly dropping her off at the mental hospital on their way back to the fire station)
  9. Two rather muscly black men with longish hair, doing some sort of modern/jazz routine in the coffee aisle at Kroger- (clearly they did NOT need to purchase any further stimulant!)
  10. Me, jumping up and down trying to reach the last Godiva chocolate coffee on clearance at Kroger, waaaaaayyyy on the back of the top shelf
  11. Small One, coated in lollipop from the bank, chasing the cat through the bushes until she looked more like a dirt and debris laden topiary than a toddler, all the while yelling, "Come back, kitty! Helllllooooooo!" with great exasperation
  12. Middle Child telling me, with great shock, that ALL the other kids in the writing club are "emo". "Can you BELIEVE that, mom?" Uh... yeah, I really can.
  13. Kim lamenting the fact that she might not get the chickens she was hoping to raise, and Michael asking "Honey, did you count your chickens before they hatched?"

Can anyone tell I spent the evening with the lovely Pray family? What a fun bunch!

And may I just mention that today was a rather stressful day, so the fact that I still found at least 13 things to laugh about makes me realize how blessed I truly am? And there were more, but I'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Delighted to Announce

I am relieved almost to the point of euphoria to announce:

Sputnik the hamster has been found!

Yes folks, after almost 5 days of wandering around the Oldest's room, Sputnik has returned to his cozy little cage. None too soon, either, as I was rather afraid the cats were going to find him first, and I really wasn't in the mood for a gruesome discovery. (Though really, when that's the case, I should probably just steer clear of Oldest's room in general!)

My favorite part, though, was the part where I discovered Sputnik was missing. Oh yeah, you'll like this too. Oldest missed the bus (a fact about which Middle Child did a little too much gloating, but that's another story) and I had to drive him to school. When I asked why he was late he said, rather nonchalantly, "Well, Sputnik's been missing for 3 days, and I saw him, so I wasted a bunch of time trying to catch him."

Wha?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Why is the mom the last to know this? Ay ay ay.

Anyway Sputnik is home, all hail the returning rodent and all that. I wonder if he was hanging out with the molebats?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mole Bats and Advice

My previously discussed Middle Child has only in the past 2 years or so become a rather difficult person; prior to that she was basically the human incarnation of Disney's Tigger. Bounding through life with unbridled natural exuberance, more or less oblivious to any destruction she might be leaving in her wake... wait, I think maybe she's still Tigger, just the dark version. Darth Tigger, if you will. But for the first twelve or so years of her life, she pretty much looked like this:
Man, I miss that kid! Hopefully, she'll be back in a few years.

My Oldest, though, my one and only boy child, has always been more of an Eeyore. A good guy, hilariously funny, actually, and sensitive and kind, but always a worrier. Hiding behind his hair from the moment he had a say in the matter, fretting over things in a way to which it's difficult for me to relate. (I'm more of a cockeyed optimist, I think.) This is him, with the little sister he adores, on his mom's birthday:
See what I mean?

I'm not sure how the Small One will turn out, of course, but I do know she is a girl with a purpose. Always with an agenda, that one, and pretty insistent upon it's execution. A funny thing about her lately, though- she's gotten lazy with some pronunciation. I mean, she's not quite two, so she requires a bit of translation anyway, but there are a few things she used to say VERY clearly, clearly enough for complete strangers to understand, that she's starting to slur a little, just because she knows we know what she means. The biggest example of this is the way she asks to nurse. We're still breastfeeding, but typically we prefer to nurse on the bed, because I'm not one for nursing a toddler in front of people. (Well- with a few exceptions.) When she wants milk, she does the sign for milk and says, usually very loudly, "MILK BED MOMMY, PLEASE!!!!!" But recently, she shortened this to "MILK BED PLEASE" and now she's begun to say "MILKBED!" as one word, but she's started slurring it, so it sounds more like "MOLEBAT!" than anything else.

We pretend not to understand her. We say "Molebats? Where? We don't want any molebats around here!" And then she slows down and pronounces it, but it makes her mad, I can tell. What is a molebat, anyway? I don't think I want to meet one!

But I digress, because I wanted to talk about my eldest. He has a new favorite phrase, which he tosses at me any time I attempt to make a suggestion about his life. The phrase? "ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?" As in "Hey, maybe you should go jogging!" "ARE YOU CRAZY? It's too hot." "I think you should take Spanish over the summer." "ARE YOU CRAZY? I don't want to spend my summer doing school!" (And yes, he took the class, and made a high A, so perhaps I am not as crazy as previously suggested, eh?)

Over the weekend, we had a bit of a falling out. He signed up for football, went to one practice, wants to quit. I think that's not the best of plans, and maybe he should try to tough it out for a little while longer and see if he can do it. "ARE YOU CRAZY? If I stay in football I'll either have to quit my night job or fail my classes!" So I suggest he quit his night job (because he has a seasonal weekend job as well) and he, of course, asks if I am crazy, because if he quits his night job, then when the seasonal job ends he'll have NO job.

So I did what any self respecting mom would do. I gave one final piece of advice: "Call your father." Because really, what do I care about football? I don't even LIKE football. But his dad just put $200 into football equipment, so he may wish to have a say.

Today, Oldest Child comes in after school and says "What should I do about school and work and football?" Not being in the mood today to have my sanity questioned, I say "I don't know, Honey." He gets this really hurt look on his face and says "You always do that! You refuse to give me advice!"

I was rather stunned by this particular criticism, and looked at him askance. He said "It's TRUE! You either tell me to do whatever I want, or you tell me what I'm doing is the wrong thing, or you tell me you don't know!?!?!?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that called "giving advice"?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pants on Fire

Some time ago, I spent a few years giving birth to these creatures:

Aren't they cute? Cuddly, even. I have some very fond memories of those creatures. Sadly, they grew up to be these creatures:Look how MAD they look! On EASTER, for crying out loud! How does that even happen? How do sweet babies become angry teens? Actually, I have a theory- I think God makes babies cute and sweet so you don't throw them out when they wake you in the middle of the night, and then he causes teenagers to be surly and difficult so it will be easier to let them go off and have lives of their own. And the reward for not killing them is that they complete the cycle and bring you cute and cuddly grandchildren. See? Not a bad plan, actually.

My Middle Child is a beautiful, brilliant girl who has recently reached the stage my aunt and uncle lovingly call "Mean-ager". A fitting moniker, I think. Anyway, the Man and I have made a decision to confiscate an article of clothing every time this child is disrespectful, and make her earn the clothes back via some mundane task she'll hate. (I think the hatred of the task is an important part of this plan!)

Yesterday was the first time we implemented this new punishment. She mouthed off to her stepdad, he went into her room and removed her new black jeans from her closet, and we informed her that she could get them back by writing an essay on what it means to respect your parents. Her response? How shall I explain it? Remember that part of the story "Rumpelstiltskin", where he finds out the queen knows his name, and he throws such a big fit he ends up stomping through the floor and never being seen or heard from again? It was sort of like that, but with a less satisfactory result, because I can still see her.

I'll spare you most of the gory details, but I will say that by the time it was time to go to bed, she had not written the essay. She had voiced her opinions on people who take other people's clothes rather loudly, and she'd even written a delightful poem entitled "Ode to My Pants", which ended with the line "I WILL avenge you!", but she was still maintaining that an essay on respect was too harsh a task. She came back to my room and we had the following conversation:

Middle Child- I'm going to need those pants for church in the morning.

Me- Well, then, you should hurry up and do your essay.

MC- I'll do it tomorrow. I need my pants NOW.

Me- Well, then, you should hurry up and do your essay.

MC- That's really stupid. (here she begins explaining it to me as though I'm not bright enough to understand her position, and that's the problem) I'm SUPPOSED to wear black pants for our dance troupe performance tomorrow morning. Do YOU have any black pants you can loan me? No you do not. So you need to give me back my pants.

Me- Well, then, you should hurry up and do your essay. (Remember that scene in Dangerous Liaisons? Where John Malkovich kept repeating the same thing over and over, and Michelle Pfeiffer went nuts? That's what I was going for.)

MC- It's IMPOSSIBLE! I CAN'T WRITE IT! IT'S TOO HARD! I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO WRITE IT!

Me- I guess you're never getting your pants back, then. In fact, one more word out of your mouth and I think I may set fire to those pants.

MC- This isn't FAIR! Those are MY PANTS!

At this point... can you guess? Yes, I picked up the pants, went into the bathroom, threw them in the sink, and got out the matches. Lit a match and held it dangerously close to the fabric, at which point she became a LOT more cooperative.

She wrote a lovely essay, by the way. And no pants were actually harmed in the writing of this blog.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Off with their heads!

Ok, so I admit it, I'm an ebayholic. That's the first step, right? Admitting you have a problem? I've been known to get VERY competitive in the world of Ebay, which is odd, because I'm not competitive in real life at all! But man, bring it to the last 45 seconds of an auction for some Naartjie baby clothes, and I'm vicious! Take THAT, sunnyhappymomof4! It's mine now, bi-atch.

Yeah, not so nice. But on the upside, most of what I purchase on Ebay is practically free, which is how I'm able to support my habit even when resources are slim.

But anyhoo, my most recent find is a practically free princess dress for the small one. it arrived in the mail yesterday, just as we were leaving for a walk, and I opened the package to let her see what it was. She instantly started shrieking "DRESS! DRESS!", so I went ahead and changed her into it, right there in the street, and we continued our walk in a more regal fashion.

(A neighbor I encountered on the walk asked if I was taking my giant pink flower for a stroll.)

We walked down to a small garden at the end of the block, and took some more picturesque shots (with my cell phone, so please excuse the quality!):


I don't know if you can tell, in these photos of my beautiful princess, but she's ripping the heads off the flowers. It was like a mission for her. I kept sitting down on the little bench with her, talking about beautiful flowers and butterflies, but she was really intent on the task of demolishing the garden, so I decided it was time to go.

Interestingly, she had a different plan, which involved walking down the street barefoot and in a princess dress, pushing her own stroller, so we had a minor altercation, which of course I won (second rule of life- "mom always wins"), and ended our walk with me pushing a stroller up a hill while saying "SIT ON YOUR BOTTOM" through my teeth, to a beeyootiful princess.

Ahh, motherhood!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Welcome to My World

It's been suggested that I start blogging, and this morning seems as good a time as any to open a window to our world and allow a glimpse. I should start, I suppose, by introducing myself... wife, mom to three kids and multiple pets, terrible assistant to a virtual tour mogul (who happens to be my dear cousin), member of the home school community, all around random human...but it will give you a better idea if I just jump into this morning's narrative, I think.

Actually, in order to explain this morning, I have to go back to yesterday, but to explain yesterday requires an understanding of the whole week. Do you see why I haven't blogged before? Too complex. Let's jump right in, shall we?

  • Monday- first day of school. No outside commitments! Whee! Only one little child at home! Yippee for me! Small one refuses to nap until time for bigs to get home, day is not so easy, middle child misses bus home, I make her take public transit because really, I'm not so much going to wake up the baby to pick up someone who can't be bothered to walk out to the free transportation parked at the curb. Bigs come home totaled from school, I end up running errands on their behalf until 9pm, dinner is atrociously late.
  • Tuesday- Hooray! No commitments! Whee! End up watching my niece and nephew all morning, nap time ends up pushed back until bigs get home, still MORE unexpected errands to run, dinner is atrociously late.
  • Wednesday- the Man's birthday. Whee! Big plans include a craft project with small one, a run to my friend's house for supplies, and an elaborate Indian dinner. (Made from scratch, of course!) Day goes off in a ditch, late to friend's house, lose track of time there watching our littles play together, bigs end up locked out of the house and surly. Naptime never occurs. Dinner is atrociously late. (Do you see a pattern?)
  • Thursday- no commitments? (Cautious whee?) EXTREMELY productive morning. Small one and I have a whole preschool kind of a day, with science and art and singing and puzzles. Go, me! I'm so pleased with myself that I decide to nap when small one does. Afternoon falls completely to pieces, with big kids needy and less than thrilling, dinner is (say it with me) atrociously late, despite being "eat what you can find night". The night ends with middle child performing some sort of perverse fashion show until almost midnight, desperately searching for an outfit that makes her look neither weird nor emo.
Which of course brings us to the originally scheduled narrative: this morning. After having been up from 5-6am with the small one, whose schedule has been thrown hideously off this week, I check to make sure the bigs are up, and then go back to sleep. Sadly, middle child misses the bus, and since the Man is running late, it falls to me to drive her. I pick up the sleeping toddler (which breaks my number one life rule "never wake a small sleeping child") find my keys, stagger out to the car... notice the garbage hasn't gone out to the curb, insist middle child (who is being quite surly) help me drag it out, race off to the high school. Drop her off 1/2 hour late, make my way back home.

Did you read any mention of coffee in all that? No? That's because no one made coffee, causing me to have to drive to the high school and back without the benefit of caffeine. Isn't that against the law?

Get home to find the dog basically crossing his legs and jumping up and down by the back door, so I thank him for not peeing in the hallway, let him out, and head to the kitchen to make coffee. No sooner have I thrown away the old filter than I hear the dog barking at the top of the driveway!!! I mutter a not so nice word (you'll learn this is a major flaw of mine), snatch small one up and run up to the top of our quite lengthy driveway, nervous that I'm going to have to go all the way down the block, toddler on hip. As I do so, the INDOOR ONLY cat runs out, because he is an ass. (see, there I go again) Dog is at the top of the driveway, blessedly, and when I snarl at him to get inside, he becomes instantly apologetic, bowing and scraping and showing me his belly. ("Yes, you're right, I AM a bad dog! Many apologies! Can't tell you how VERY sorry I am")

On the way back down the long driveway, I manage to scoop the big fluffy cat under my arm, and as I am heading inside, wriggling feline in one arm, squirmy toddler in the other, dog VERY anxious to make amends by constantly flopping at my feet to show me his oh-so-submissive belly, I think...

...yeah, ok, I'll write a blog.