Teddy’s Wisdom

The boys had a large stick in their room. In make-believe world, it was a bow, used for taking down evil orcs or some other manner of beasts. To the dog, it was just a stick, something to carry around.

And so it was that Rose found the stick and picked it up, walking out of the room. Hal was fascinated.

“Mommy! Did you know that Rose can carry a big stick?”

“But she can’t walk softly,” amended his Dad.

I love little moments like this when I feel like we are acting out a children’s movie. Enjoyable on the surface for the kids but a little extra reference that only the grown-ups understand.

*And, yes, I realize the quote is “speak softly” but that’s not what my husband said. It would have been accurate though. The dog doesn’t speak any more softly than she walks.

Addendum: I wrote this short bit a few days ago. It was trumped first by a tumbling bottle of soda and then by a boy who thought a potholder was a towel. Tonight the house seems especially quiet. Rose is spending the night at the vet’s office after slicing her foot pretty bad while chasing rabbits in the yard. It seems appropriate to share one of her tales in honor of the poor dog, who is certainly missing us as much as we are missing her.

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When Plans Fail to Account for Bunnies and Other Disruptions

We had a plan. We both had meetings at church, one at 5:30, the other at 6:30. I would go straight to the church from work. He would arrive at 6:30, put the kids in a particular room with a video, and go to his meeting. I would retrieve the kids and feed them dinner at home. That was the plan. A very simple and straightforward plan.

When my meeting finally ended sometime after 7:00, I went next door to collect the children. They were not there. I headed across the hall and found two children! Yay! Unfortunately, only one of them was mine. When I asked Daryl where Jane and Hal were, he answered without looking up from his DS: “I don’t know.”

As I puzzled in the hallway on where to look next, Hal came running toward me. Two down, one to go. “Where’s Jane?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he replied. I then texted Jane: Where are you? Eventually, the reply came: Home. It is remarkable that neither boy noticed that their sister was not in the car with them.

As we backed out of the parking space, I saw a wagging dog looking at me with great excitement from the adjacent car. Rose. Our dog, sitting in our car. She’d surely be anxious if we left her and she’d probably rather be at home than waiting for her dad. So… I parked and we all moved to the car and headed home. This would prove to be a big mistake.

As we pulled into the driveway, Jane walked out of the studio holding her wrist, with her face scrunched up in pain. She had been wedging clay when she twisted her wrist funny and heard a pop. I wrapped it in ice, gave her some Tylenol, and showed her how to rest her hand on her shoulder so the wrist would be elevated.

I tried to resume the plan, which called for quesadillas for dinner. We still had some tortillas cooked from taco night plus leftover meat and guacamole. Only the tortillas weren’t in the fridge. I texted my husband. He hadn’t eaten them. I asked the kids. They hadn’t eaten them. The tortillas had vanished. With a sigh, I retrieved the uncooked ones and tried not to think about the delay.

About then, Daryl came in the front door and tried to hurry past the kitchen. “Daryl! Are you telling me the truth about the tortillas? I just want to know.”

“Yes! I didn’t eat them.”

“Ok. {pause} What are you doing?” I asked, finally noticing that he was holding a clear plastic box with a small blanket draped over it.

“Nothing.”

“Daryl, what’s in the box?”

“Nothing!” A smile began to spread across his face. As it spread, I saw a small furry creature scurry past the exposed corner of the box.

“Daryl! What is in the box?!”

“It’s just a rabbit. We are taking it to our room.”

“Oh, no you are not! You can’t bring a rabbit into the house. Rose will kill it!”

The expected back-and-forth argument ensued, but eventually, after I promised to take a picture, the boys reluctantly took the box outside.

“How did you catch it anyway?” I asked.

“I put the box down like this and Hal chased it.”

“And it just ran into the box?”

“Yes.”

“Daryl, there might be something wrong with the rabbit.”

“No, it’s fine!” he insisted.

I tapped my temple with a finger and repeated, “Daryl, there might be something wrong with the rabbit.”

“He’s fine!”

“He ran into your box.”

“No, it took us several tries. It wasn’t easy!”

“Still. You need to let it go and not touch it.”

“But Hal already touched it. He grabbed it.”

“I thought you said it ran into the box.”

“That was the second time. The first time, Hal caught it.”

Some confusing conversation ensued as we tried to figure out the best place to release what turned out to be a very young rabbit. As we settled on a location where three other baby bunnies were recently seen, my phone rang. “How’s it going?” my husband asked.

“Your boys just tried to sneak a baby rabbit into the house.”

When his infectious belly laugh that brought a reluctant wry grin to my face began to subside, he dropped the bombshell. His keys to the truck were hanging on the hook by the front door. He had no way to get home.

I entered the house and looked at the griddle that was warming up to cook the tortillas, the block of cheese and grater, the clock. It was 7:50. The kids had not eaten and we now needed to return to town.

“Pancakes and sausage, everyone!” I announced, as I pulled leftovers from the fridge. It’s situations like this when you decide that your twelve year old daughter really is old enough to supervise her brothers for twenty-five minutes while you drive keys to your stranded husband.

We had a plan. But I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve me eating sometime after the kids went to bed. I think I would have eaten a late afternoon snack if it had.

The bunny while in the box.  The light is filtering through a blue blanket, hence the lovely hue.

The bunny while in the box. The light is filtering through a blue blanket, hence the lovely hue.

Just before release.

Just before release.