Thursday, February 16, 2012

Doggy Comforts

Normally, F is a sparkling little cannonball of sociability, powering around, campaigning for Most Beloved Empress of the World. She's not afraid of strangers. She doesn't bat an eye at being left with a babysitter. Airplanes and restaurants are just more opportunities to greet her adoring public.

This aspect of her personality is truly delightful, even to me, the Mother-in-waiting with decidedly hermit-like tendencies.

I say normally, because we all have our off days, apparently.

Last Tuesday when I got F out of her crib in the morning she was her usual cheerful, bubbly self and we discussed the day ahead of us. I asked her what she wanted to wear and she expressed no opinion but wanted me to understand that her favorite stuffed animal, Aye the otter, should be included in the conversation. On the topic of breakfast, she communicated a desire for an egg, cheese and some cheerios. Then, I asked her if she wanted to go play with the other kids at storytime.

She looked me directly in the eye and said, "No."

F only learned the word "no" a few weeks ago, and she uses it quite liberally, even when she actually means "yes". "No" with F doesn't always mean "no", no matter what they tell you in school.

So I ignored her and continued with preparations for our outing.

Cleaned, fed, dressed and ready, we arrived at the library and slipped into storytime without a second to lose. We sat down next to a little boy F's age and his grandmother, two of the regulars of whom F is quite fond.

Peyton, the little boy, was delighted to see F and ran up to her in greeting. She wasn't having it.

I didn't push her, but hoped that she would warm up when the music rattle-shaking started. We all got in a circle. F got wide-eyed and serious. I ignored it outwardly, but inwardly couldn't help but notice her changed personality; I'd never seen her act this way before.

It wasn't until "Ring Around the Rosy" when the father to our right reached out to F and she literally curled up in a ball, squeezing her eyes shut and covering her ears with her hands, that I realized we should really just go home. It was an off day.

Why? I have no idea. I'd never seen it before and I haven't seen it since. But F knew the moment she got up that she was in no mood for socializing, and she even warned me.

I have three thoughts about this.

One is: Oh Girl, I know. I have that feeling like 5 days out of the week. It's ok. I understand.

Another is, I'm really blessed not to have a temper-tantrum-throwing child. Despite the fact that everyone likely thinks her fetal-position-blocking-out-all-sensory-data is indicative of some sort of abusive homelife, she didn't disturb the library's "Shhhhhhhh!" policy. That would just be rude.

The final thought is: YOU'RE EIGHTEEN MONTHS OLD! What is with this sophisticated emotional life? Don't I get at least another 12 years before I have to deal with this?!

When we got home, she immediately sat down and looked at books silently for about 10 minutes until I let Ulrich von Dog in, and then she made a bee-line for him. He was tired after a long walk with P and flopped down on the floor.

This is what happened next: she laid down on the floor next to him, cheek to the stone and just looked into his soft brown eyes. The two of them stayed in this position for several long minutes.

This must be why families need pets.

Ulrich, you're the only one who understands me.

I'm here for you, kid.

1 comment: