Saturday, April 25, 2009


it's so weird how one day your kid is the way he has been for the last 6 months and the next day it's like your child was abducted and whoever did it left this complete stranger with a whole new rule book. the last 4 days or so, tayloe's had a burst of new words and along with it the inclination to ask why. at everything.
why do you put the milk in the fridge?
why do pretzels go here? why is the oven hot? why are you brushing my hair? why do you do this? why do you do that? what you doing now? why are you doing that?
i enjoy the curiosity, sure. and i'm happy to explain a thing or two when i know the answer. but ya gotta know i'm not a particularly chatty person. quiet doesn't make me uncomfortable. so this afternoon when i realized i'd been talking nonstop to a two year old for what felt like 100 years i felt an enormous amount of anxiety about how long this is going to last. especially because he's relentless. thomas is screaming and the phone is ringing and i'm clearly about to lose my #$it, but there he is - right at my heels looking for answers to life's larger questions. and not quietly or patiently, i might add.
i'll say that this new found chatter and the discovered ability to communicate beats the tantrums of the preverbal early twos, but only by a little bit.
thomas, meanwhile, is going through some kind of 8 month attachment thing. i can hardly put him down without him dissolving into a puddle of tears. it's the saddest thing you've ever seen.
so if you need me i'll be here. under a huge pile of laundry and dust with dishes piled up in the sink braving the t2 inquisition and with a little cherub clung to me like a staticky dark sock.

Monday, April 13, 2009


we went to greensboro last weekend for easter and had a spectacular time. it's so much fun to get kids really really excited about holidays.
we went to an egg hunt on saturday morning, dyed eggs saturday afternoon and tayloe, mom, dad and i spent most of saturday night pretending to call the easter bunny to tell him various things - like where to find the eggs and what to leave for us (jack daniels!). little tayloe would stand there watching us with huge eyes, nearly wiggling out of his skin with excitement. he'd grab the phone, kiss it and say, 'i wub ewe feaster bunny' and we'd all fall apart with laughter.
the hide and seek game of sunday morning was right up t2s alley and we spent most of the day hiding then looking for eggs.
on the way home today, i decided it was time to start the search for a new puppy. maybe it seems a little hasty, but thomas will be crawling soon (that's ambitious since he doesn't really even roll over ... let's just say eventually) and i'd really love to house train a puppy before that happens. i don't need a baby sloshing through pee puddles and well, other stuff.
plus i can't stand not having a dog around and it breaks my heart to see t2 outside throwing tennis balls to himself (and fetching them. i wish i was kidding.)
a quick scan of the classifieds and i found an ad for chocolate lab puppies, what we've been talking about getting, ready on mother's day. i called and the family that has them lives 3 minutes from our house. 11 chocolates! 3 minutes away! how's that for serendipity?
so we went by - you know, just to look. 10 minutes later we had picked the one we wanted - the biggest male in the lot (just what a i need, right? another dude) - and were handing over the duckets.
and that was that.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

wolly by golly

wolly died on sunday and i haven't been able to put it out of my mind. i feel really weird about seeing him dead, stroking his velvet soft ears, which were still warm, and then curling him up, putting him in the ground and shoveling dirt on him.
we put him behind our vegetable garden so when i'm out there he'll always be near. only every time i've gone out there this week i've had that image in my head - him curled up under all that red dirt clay. it isn't nightmarish. it's just weird.
i found this picture on my camera today. it was just a month ago, the beginning of march. that's w - staring at a tennis ball, so intense, waiting, waiting, waiting ...
wolls was my dog first - a hopelessly devoted nut job who could out fetch and outlast any other breathing being on the planet. if there wasn't a ball, he'd find a stick. if there wasn't a stick he'd find a twig. if there wasn't a twig, he'd find a piece of bark. if there wasn't bark he'd damn near try to get you to throw dirt for him. in a crowd of people he'd sniff out the biggest sucker, corner them with a ball and never ever leave them alone. he made sure that everyone noticed him and that no one ever forgot him.
then he was our dog - tayloe's and mine. we carted him all over the damn place - gave him a river to live by, tortured him with two more puppies, then kept him with us in our 500 sq foot apt in dc and then hauled him out to california and back again. he was never a 'go with the flow' kind of guy - in fact i always sensed that he hated change and in that way he was a kind of ying to our yang. but he was a gentleman, so he did the best he could.
our family grew and wolly - well, he adjusted.
most recently, he'd become little tayloe's dog. tayloe fed him. tayloe gave him a gazillion dog bones at my parents house. tayloe threw the ball for him. in return, wolly tolerated being locked in the bathroom, being drug around the yard by his collar, getting crashed with dump trucks or having buckets of stuff dumped on his head. most times when we went somewhere tayloe would ask if wolly could come too and he always included him in his prayers and list of people in our family (mommy, daddy, tayloe, thomas, wawe).
i'll tell you the truth. i was looking forward to wolly getting older. i knew that was when i'd get him back, when he'd either be too stubborn or too deaf to comply with tayloe's demands and instead be content to lay by my feet.
i always said in his previous life wolly was an accountant - some dude with a desk job whose zest for living had been zapped by florescent lights and microwave lunches.
in his dog life, he made up for all he'd missed. he had space and air, lakes and oceans and rivers. he had grass to roll in, dirt to dig in and tons and tons of balls to fetch. he had four strong, beautiful legs so he could run.
he had a family.
more than anything, he had love.