By Diane Ako
Lots of randomly funny things happen to me living with a young child. Things I would not think to do in my adult, set-in-my-way, routine life.
Last weekend I heard the cat yowling outside for about five minutes. This is not usual. The cat hisses, growls, or meows, but this sound was not in her behavior pattern.
I walked outside to see the cat tied on a leash next to the dog. Olivia was trying to force them to be friends. The cat looked miserable in that comically pathetic/ grumpy way only cats can.
"Take that cat off the leash," I ordered my kid.
"Mommy! I just wanted them to get to know each other. Maybe they'd like each other if they spent time together," Olivia explained.
"That is not going to happen. Let that cat go," I demanded, in what was probably the happiest moment of Ocho's day.
In a related story, it's been very hot lately. Olivia comes home in the afternoon and plays in the yard. She turns on the hose and sprays water around.
I remember liking that too, when I was little. I could spend what felt like a long time watering the yard. Why is water so fascinating?
As it happens, she's decided to do the following to either justify her playing with the hose, or to make herself feel like a big girl helping with tasks:
Wash the dog
Wash the cat
Empty out my fishpond, wash it, and fill it up with fresh water (except she discarded all my lily plant dirt!)
Water the street ("Stop that! Only water things that are alive!")
Hose off the dog's porch
For three days straight, Inca's gotten a bath. The cat is smart enough to dart off, but the dog, oh - Inca's loyalty is going to be her demise.
Olivia used her shampoo on the dog. Half the bottle.
This is why I refuse to buy her expensive shampoo. She gets the $2 VO5 brand because the other thing she does is scrub the tub with it.
My husband said when he went outside the dog was covered in bubbles and he had to supervise while she rinsed the dog off. For ten minutes.
"The dog was not happy," Claus reported.
So Olivia dries off the dog and when we're elsewhere in the house she lets the dog in. I can hear the nails clacking on the floor so I know what she's done.
"Mommy, can I let Inca in?" Olivia asks after the fact. "I dried her super good." Then I hear shaking of dog fur. Do you know how much fur Labradors shed?
"No! No wet dogs in the house!" I command.
Something else this kid does is feed the dog her breakfast one pebble at a time. I'm not sure why because I have no patience for that, but it makes Olivia happy and Inca unhappy. It makes Claus unhappy only if he's pressed for time and needs her to hurry up.
When I think about all these silly incidents I laugh and shake my head - and wonder what foolishness the next day will bring. Aah, parenting.