Monday, April 12, 2010

Here Comes Trouble

This picture cracks me up.
It is so Lilly.
You never know what she is up to.
But you can pretty much be assured that it is trouble.

This picture also makes me laugh because it reminds me of a story involving my dog, Bunny, and my Mom.
Bunny was my dog. I wanted my own dog desperately. My parents agreed with the caveat that my dog would be my responsibility. That meant I saved up for her shots and getting her fixed. I helped pay for her food and I had to pick up her poop. I agreed to all this because I really wanted my own dog.

I didn't know how NOT FUN it is to pick up dog poop in our half acre back yard on a hot day. Or how NOT FUN it is to go out to the dog run at 5 am to let Bunny out so she wouldn't bark and wake up the neighbor who said he'd call the pound if we didn't shut her up. I didn't know about worrying every night when the coyotes howled that they'd get my dog. I didn't know about her chewing everything up. She ate wood. Really. Nothing was safe.

All I knew was that I wanted my own dog. I was a tad romantic at 12 and had a very romanticized idea of what it would be like have my own dog.

So when friends called to tell us their dog was going to have puppies, I was ecstatic. She was a pure bred Golden Retriever who had been "visited" by an unwelcome visitor. He was a German Shepard. They were giving the puppies away.

I brought my puppy home on Easter Sunday. She had big paws and just bounced around like a little bunny. So that is what I named her.

Bunny was a good dog. She really was. She was really sweet and loving. She was fun. But she was also trouble. She knew how to climb a wire fence and loved to escape. She liked to dig holes under the garden fence when the water was running so she could play in the mud. She hated being penned or tied and she would bark without ceasing until you let her free. She dug enormous holes in our back yard chasing gophers. Most of the time she caught them.
One time she caught our tortoise and was running around the yard with it in her mouth. He was shut up in his shell tight as a drum and probably scared to death. Bunny thought it was the greatest game of chase ever and would not let the turtle go. Finally, my dad pelted her with a few oranges and she dropped the turtle to chase the oranges.
She just didn't get it.

She was a big dog. She was solid, like a tank. And she was strong. When I took her for a walk she pulled hard. She wanted to run. To chase down every intoxicating scent along the road. It took a bit of know how to take her for a walk.

One day, my Mom decided to walk Bunny. This was not a regular occurrence. My Dad and I must have been gone and Mom decided Bunny needed a walk. So they set off.
We lived at the top of a steep hill. And Bunny liked to run down it. And my Mom is not really steady on her feet.
So, right at the bottom of the hill, my Mom fell down flat on her back.
And as she lay there, right in the middle of the road, Bunny, all 70 pounds of her, climbed on top of Mom.
Bunny stood there, surveying her territory, the conqueror.
My mom said she just laid there laughing.

Look at that picture of Lilly. Doesn't it remind you of that?

Lilly is such a sweet heart. But she is also trouble. She gets into a lot of mischief. She makes mischief. She scales walls, opens the fridge, climbs the bunk bed, turns on the stove and has temper tantrums.
She is like no child I've ever had.

I love her fiery spirit. If she has decided she is going to do something, then by golly, she is going to do it! She is brave--fearless even. She is fun and spunky and is a thrill seeker. She already likes a good joke. And she knows how to tease.

The problem with that fiery spirit is, she fiery. And that determination that will take her far in life is a real hassle when she is not even 2 and completely unable to reason.

Today we were at the house of some friends. They just had their first baby and we were delivering dinner. Remember the way your house was when you had a new born? All quiet and calm with hours at your disposal to just hold your baby and admire him.
I have to admit, I miss those days. It was the honeymoon.

Then I show up with my 3 kids.
Lilly was screaming because she couldn't have the chocolate pretzels I brought for our friends. She was furious the whole time we were there.
The boys were fighting with their pretend light sabers right next to the very large and expensive TV.
It was beyond embarrassing.

As I got back into the car, I remembered those romantic days of no kids, or 1 kid. The days when I had everything under control. Before kids, I knew how my kids would behave. Not like those sorry specimens I saw today. When I had 1, all I had to do was give him my boob and all was well. James never even had a tantrum until he was 3. And it lasted all of 2 seconds.
Things were easier then.

I have found that the more kids I have, the less I have "control". I have to let go of a lot of things, including my pride. Sometimes I feel just like my mom, laying there in the middle of the road with a big dog standing on top of her. I am trapped.
There are only 2 things to do--cry or laugh.
Sometimes I do both.
But mostly, I am going to try to keep laughing.


katie said...

This cracks me up. I just wrote two blogs similar to what you wrote. I'll post them soon. You'll laugh because you can relate to life with 3 kids and to having a feisty one!Your Lilly sounds like she'd get along just fine with our Charlie!

Life with Littles said...

Oh Greta! I always love this story. I miss Bunny and actually got a little sad while reading about her. I guess it's just because she is a reminder of those precious years that we spent so much time with you guys.
I am totally having that control freak issue with my kids. It's so hard to let go! The Lord continues to put things in my life, such as a broken rib and a sling, to keep me from myself.

I always say that I am thankful that we have four kids because if we had stopped at one Grace would be seriously messed up. She's always been so easy to control so I thought I was a really good parent. Then along came Jonah and Lily...ugh! Now we're back to sweet little compliant Jackson. Just another demonstration of God's mercy.
I love your Lily! I love her fire! We always call our Lily Fiesty. There is no other way to explain her. Whatever she does it is done whole heartedly, whether it is whining or showing compassion or even growling at the guy at Costco who told her to be careful. I feel like when I drop her off somewhere I need to pin a disclaimer to her shirt and apologize for every dirty look she will give them. oh she keeps me humble.

Lillian said...

Laugh, I thought I'd die. I don't remember what that line is from, but it fits right here. Starting with the perfect picture of our Lilly. What you don't know is that she very much a throw back to her great grandmother Simon, and then her granny Lillian. I don't know what my mother was like as a child, but I know she was a pistol as a woman. I don't know if I was the same kind of fiery as Lilly. I just know I was more than a hand full. It is a gene passed on. I have to say that you were easy Greta, like James. Your brother Ben was my Lilly. I love you. Thank you for writing this blog.