Monday, January 10, 2011

The Dachshund Pocketbook Incident

I mentioned this here before, but thought you may enjoy reading the full story.  

When I was 5 years-old I got a black and tan Dachshund (a.k.a. Weiner Dog for my visual readers... visual readers, wait, is that an oxymoron.  What? Huh?  Where am I?  Er.... Anyways) that spent most of her time growling at people and running away from me.   I swore that I was gonna love her, and hug her, and call her George Biscuit.   And I did.  

Biscuit, despite her persnickety personality and desire to run, was a really good dog.   And you may not know this if you have never personally owned a Dachshund, but when you do people have a tendency to give you Dachshund themed gifts.   I got stuffed Dachshunds, Dachshund brooches (what child doesn't love a gold plated brooch of her favorite dog?),  shirts with Dachshunds on them, books about Dachshunds, even little figurine Dachshunds.   I could have easily opened a gift shop from my bedroom.

Out of all my mementos honoring my favorite pooch was actually one I chose myself.   While at the beach the summer before starting high school I found the perfect accessory that just screamed to me to be the perfect mix of "sophisticated 9th grader" meets "fun, funky, and carefree".  

That accessory was a Dachshund shaped pocketbook. 

I could hear the acclimates now.

How cool, LeeAnn!

That thing is the bomb!  It's a dog!  It's a purse!  It's a dog-purse!

LeeAnn, you are so awesome.   Let's hang out with our stuffed animal handbags. 

Oh yeah!  That baby was going to be my icebreaker into the world of high school.  

I can still remember my first day of high school it like it was yesterday.   I got up and excitedly got my stuff ready.   The outfit was an ankle lenght skirt that was blue tie-dyed with a matching tie-dyed short-sleeved button-up blouse (get all that?).  To really send it over the top, it was all made of a nylon type material.   To round out the outfit, I had on one of my first pair of cork, wedge heeled shoes.  

My hair was pulled back into a (very) tight ponytail and hair sprayed down to ensure not a hair was sticking up.   I hadn't really gotten into make-up much yet, but I think I remember something about a red lipstick.  

I grabbed my new pocketbook and gave myself one last look in our hallway bathroom.  I knew I was ready to meet my destiny. 

I go to first period.  Things go well.  I'm rockn' cork wedges and the purse.   I whip my hair back and forth.  I'm ready for second period.

Now, for those who are not familiar with Gibbs High School, I probably need to set this up a bit.   Between my first class which was nursing downstairs underneath the Home Ec rooms and my second period class which was in the science hall there are two long hallways.   Connecting those two long hallways is connector hallway where it was traditional for the senior boys to gather between classes.   And that connector hallway has a ramp.   A ramp with a handle.  

And that ramp with the handle is where I met that destiny I envisioned just hours earlier.   I don't know if it was my anxiety of getting to my class on time, or my natural grace, or the cork heels, or perhaps it was the trifecta that caused the following to happen.  

But, right as I began up the ramp, my Dachshund Pocketbook got caught on the handrail resulting in me hurling through the air landing with me in a heap on the ground.   Miraculously, I believe that all 850 students who attended Gibbs High School were standing in that small connector hallway during that very moment.   I think I remember someone whispering "Is that a Basset hound purse?"

The rest of the day was a blur, but I do remember going home and putting my pocketbook with my Dachshund brooch to never been seen again.  

Thank you and Amen.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

He is Ready for a Change

One of the best things about having a 4 year-old is that they totally march to the beat of their own drum.

The best thing about having a 4 year-old little boy?  The tempo of that beat tends to be in the fashion of techno music.

And the best thing about my 4 year-old little boy?   He encourages everyone around him to dance to that beat with him and it is impossible to refuse.  

I have said it before , but I love Bub's personality and hope it never, ever changes.   Today was a reminder that even if his personality doesn't change, he is still growing up a little bit each day.

I have finally figured out to prevent frustration on both our ends I need to give Bub as much time as possible to get dressed.  Unfortunately, the warmness of the bed held me captive an extra 30 minutes this morning.  So, I was running around like the Girls when the neighbors dog pays a visit.

In the mist of the chaos that is my home, Bub came and asked me a question I was not quiet prepared to answer.  

You may be thinking he asked me "the baby" question?  Um... no. 

Or some deep, meaningful question about the depths of my love for him?   Not that either...  

Or even a question about the omniscience of God?   Naw.

Bub:  "Hey mom, I need to ask you something." 

Me:  "Make it fast, Baby.   Momma gotta put on her compression garments clothes."

Bub:  "Well, uh, you see.   I wanted to know if I could wear my underwear the right way now because I'm growing up."  

Me:   Speechless, near tears.  

If you are scratching your head, thinking, "Say what?" I probably should explain.   You see, I have never asked Bub to wear his underwear backwards. 

Heck, I'm just glad on the days he actually remembers to put them on.  

But, shortly after Bub became potty trained he decided that his preferred style was to wear them with the picture in front.  His rational?  If the picture is in the back he can't see it.  

Perfect sense, right?  


Next thing I know, he will decide that he is too big to try to bite his own toenails.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Who are You Going to Be??

Do you ever think back to what type of play you enjoyed as a child?  What, given all the choices in the world, you would choose to do?  

Did you enjoy pretending that you were an architect building huge structures with blocks or Lego's?   Or did you prefer to play outside that you were on an expedition looking for dinosaur bones?   Or did you favor making your own library where you were the librarian?  

As a child I had two primary types of pretend play I enjoyed.   The first was that I was a mommy.  At one point I remembering deciding that I wanted to be the mommy to 8 babies.   My friend Shelly quickly shot that idea down telling me that she sometimes pretended she had 10 babies, but then days would go by without thinking about one of them and that was just wrong to forget about your children.  Her rational made sense at the time. 

And today as the mother to two, who lucky has not forgotten about either of her babies, I realize Shelly had a good point.  I do not think I could adequately keep up with eight.

The second type of pretend play I enjoyed was playing school.  I would have a classroom bedroom full of Cabbage Patches and Barbies ready to learn.   

Reflecting back, it is odd that I chose this second type of play because I did very poorly in elementary school (related to a diagnosed learning disability).  Middle and high schools were better academically, however, socially it was a negative experience for me throughout.  

Remember this picture:

I pretty much looked like that all through school.   Not exactly the coolest girl on the block.  And add to that a heaping helping of quietness

What is even more odd is that regardless of that negative experience I had in school I went on to get a degree in education and have been a teacher in one way or another since.  

I have given this a lot of thought.  Why is it that I decided to pursue a career in a setting I hated so much?  My family wanted me to become a nurse, but I quickly dismissed it.   Why?  I would have certainly made more money and I could have still been in a "helping" career (which was important to me).  

But, nonetheless I went into education and though I no longer teach in a school, I am still in that field.  

I believe that the play I enjoyed as a little girl lead me to the path I am on.   I had an aptitude for working with young children and then I was given an opportunity to foster that aptitude through the type of play to which I was given access.  

Now, as a mother to a preschooler and toddler I think a lot about the kind of people they are going to become.  Please don't mistake what I am saying.  I fully am enjoying the people they ARE now, but I do think about who they are becoming. 

I love to watch them play and how they each have distinctive interest and styles in their play.

Bub loves to pretend his is a policeman, or a bounty hunter, or a monster hunter, or animal rescuer, or detective, or any other role he can think up where he helps the good guy and gets the bad.   He loves to collect clues and figure mysteries out. 

Bub on a mystery hunt while in the hospital.

I wonder if this is a sneak peek into who he is going to be someday?   And more importantly, if this is something he has an aptitude towards, what can do to encourage it so he can develop it to his fullest potential? 

Goose is just beginning to formally engage in pretend play and it seems to focus largely around animals, but I am equally as interested to see what it is that makes her tick. 

Goose, the Dog Trainer.
 And, perhaps, they may go on a totally different path and that will be just as great.  But, in the meantime I will try to encourage their interest anyway I can. 

What are your thoughts?  Do you see traits of the type of play you enjoyed as a child in the type of work you do (or would like to do) today?  How about your children?   What do they enjoy and what do you do to encourage them? 
My  bounty hunter and puppy.