Tuesday, March 31, 2009

W.W. is a smarty-pants

So, this is not quality video by any stretch of the imagination here. The room was a bit too dark and the person (who will remain anonymous) in charge of video taping, well... you'll see.

W.W. does pretty well with his alphabet, both singing and recognizing the letters, up until "R"; that's when things start to get a bit hairy. W.W. can count his numbers correctly up to "12" (he goes up to "15", but 13, 14 & 15 all sound like the same number to the untrained ear). He recognizes his numbers up to "10". He loves his flash cards! My favorite is when he takes the flash cards and quizzes me. Right now it's precious. Eleven years from now when he's testing me with his Physics flash cards, it'll probably be a little embarrassing.

I think he is brilliant. But, for all I know this is totally typical of every child his age. If it is typical, don't tell me. I like the world I live in.

Kids just don't get any better than this one right here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Battle of Wills

I have a border-collie/boxer mix. She'll be one-year on April 1st. Yes, April 1st as in April Fool's Day. Yes, I bought a dog that was born on April Fool's Day. Yes, that should have been a warning to me. The cruel joke continues to this day.

Training Lola has turned into a war. As the fighting continues, the General (me) is tired, the Troops (A.W. and W.W.) feel defeated. Lola has been winning the majority of the battles. If I were keeping score, I'd say we're at: Lola 31 - A.Q. 6. But, I've added some new weapons to my arsenal and I'm not giving up! Purchasing Power; that's my one-up on Lola. Today is a new day and I have armed myself with a pinch-collar, a Halti, a leather leash (in hopes of relieving the burns on my hands), special dog treats, and a special bag to hold those very special dog treats. I will not be defeated!! I can do this.

For those of you who have any dog-training knowledge that you'd like to share or for those of you that take a sick thrill in other people's pain and agony, continue to read:

Ms. Lola is a feisty one for sure. She's active, she talks back, she's stubborn and she's smart. On more than one occasion after we got her we considered finding her a new home. A two-year old boy and a crazy-ass puppy does not equal a happy/calm home. Three things stopped me from finding a new home for our Lola. 1 - W.W. adores her, 2 - She adores W.W., 3 - I am more stubborn than she is (or at least I think I am).

In retrospect I should have started taking Lola to obedience classes sooner. Hindsight is 20/20... Needless to say, I just began taking Lola to obedience classes at the beginning of March. We've attended three classes so far. Each class has left me feeling a bit more deflated and defeated. It has been one of the more frustrating experiences of my life.

A little Lola history: Lola is a conundrum. Lola is a wimp. She's afraid of noises and expects me to check on them and protect her. She has absolutely no interest in guarding us from any outsiders. She cowers. She's submissive to a fault. She piddles when she gets excited. She's an absolute wreck. At the same time, however, she's bossy, she talks back and she tries to wrestle us when we try to control her.

Well, her bossiness and her talking-back (barking & growling) have given her a bad wrap at obedience school. People seem to be afraid of her. She's been wrongly accused of trying to start a fight with another dog. I've been asked if I'm afraid she's going to bite me. It's humiliating and frustrating. It's humiliating because I've never been one to want to stand out in class. I do not want to be the teacher's pet nor do I want any negative attention. I want to go in, quietly learn and walk right back out with minimal interaction. So, the negative attention Lola is attracting is horribly embarrassing for me. Frustrating because these people are not getting my dog and/or my problems with my dog.

This past Monday's class was a slight improvement. I received some much-needed one on one help and the trainer finally acknowledged that Lola is actually very sweet, but indeed very bossy. I walked out of class still feeling pretty horrible, but feeling a bit emboldened too. Thus today's shopping extravaganza.

My mantra: Lola will not beat me! I will not be defeated by a dog! I will conquer! I will buy stock in a vineyard ~ because my wine consumption is not slowing down! I will buy myself a bottle of wine after each obedience class! I will drink it! Because I deserve it dammit! Here my mighty roar!

Cheers and F' you, Lola!!!

Update: Tried the Halti last night - too big. Will return, buy a smaller one and try again tonight. Tried the pinch collar - Lola hated it. After three attempts to leave the house without getting into a fist fight (I swear that's what she's trying to do) we were able to take a walk. She still pulled and fought the pinch collar for quite some time, but at least to outsiders it didn't look like she was trying to maul me. I'm not real confident in the pinch collar. Hoping a smaller Halti will be my savior. Again: Lola will not beat me! I will not be defeated by a dog! I will conquer!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Ever Elusive Song

Though often heard in it's natural environment, the magical sing-song stylings of W.W. continues to elude the cameras.

I know. You're in awe of my patience. It's a gift, really.

Monday, March 16, 2009

And it begins...

My son is a little over two now. Shortly after he was born and I had returned to work, I discovered that having a glass or two of wine after putting him to bed was something I really, really enjoyed. My fiance at the time was working nights so I was home alone in the evenings. After a glass of wine or two or three, I found that I had a lot to say and no one to say it to. So, in a wine-induced moment of creativity (and boredom) I decided I would write a book; I had so much to say about being a new mom. Upon waking the next day I realized that absolutely no one wants to read about my boring life experiences and without a slight buzz, turns out I really don't have that much to write about. Needless to say, the book idea went south.

I (much like every other mother) think that my son is the best and the funniest and the cutest and blah, blah, blah. So, I began writing e-mails to family and friends when the writing bug bit me and/or whenever my son did something extra cute. Basically, I was forcing my son's adorableness down my loved one's necks. It recently occurred to me that maybe they don't really want to hear all these stories. Thus, this blog.

I will post my stories up here. If you're interested, you can read them. If you're not, you no longer have to feel obligated to read my incredibly long e-mails about how great my kid is. It's a win-win; I still get to brag about my son, you don't necessarily have to read about it.