The night before school starts,
and mom writes my name.
On notebooks, and pencils
helping me to lay claim.
I’m not a poet,
that’s as far as it goes.
The rest of this blog post
is thankfully in prose.
My Sharpie is no longer sharp after writing “Lily-Ann” on 12 markers, 24 crayons, 24 pencil crayons, various notebooks, folders, and a scrapbook, as well as on shoes, pencil cases, glue sticks, erasers, a pencil sharpener, a bottle of white glue (with a no clog lid), and a backpack. Gotta love the night before the first day of school. Pre-k was easy all supplies are communal, but as kids enter the regular school system labeling everything quickly becomes the norm.
I remember my Mom scrawling our names on everything… And with so many of us it was no quick task. As our pencils and pencil crayons were wore down into little nubs, and all that remained was a letter or two, I’d still think of Mom writing our names every time I saw mine. It was a reassuring thing, though it didn’t register as such on a conscious level until many years later.
I hope, as Lily-Ann sits in her classroom this coming school year, that seeing her name spelled over and over again brings a sense of belonging and love. That she knows how treasured she is, not just by her Mom (who wrote her name so very many times) but by everyone who knows her. She really is such a special kid, and her joie de vie has left many with grins where previously there were none.
Girl is ready to be a “school kid” whether or not I am ready for the same. 😉
These days it’s pretty rare for us to find a G1 My Little Pony during one of our thrift store trips. G3s have become a dime a dozen, and most thrift stores will have at least three or four of them. But a G1? The original MLP toys from the 80s, when I was a kid? We just don’t come across them like we used to. Which makes today’s find at least 20% cooler. 😉
We were out hunting down some dress pants for the Daddy, so I figured I’d check the toy section while he was trying things on. There, staring at me through a plastic bag, with $1.99 written on it, was Princess Primrose.
Princess Primrose is hardly a rare find. She’s probably the most common of all the Princess Ponies… but she’s also the one my daughter has always liked the most. I have her in my collection, and Lily-Ann has always admired her.
Her hair is cut, and her tinsel is a little frizzy… but otherwise? She’s in pretty good shape for her age. She’s got a little symbol wear, but that’s to be expected. She still has her blush, and only one of her eyes has even the slightest rub. Her haircut is rather unfortunate, but the girl doesn’t love her any less because of it.
When we picked Kid-kid up from my parents (we moved her usual Friday night sleepover to Thursday this week to help make sure she’s well rested for the wedding we’re attending tomorrow) I told her we had a surprise for her in the car. She couldn’t have been more excited ripping into that little plastic bag. She just thrilled to find Princess Primrose and gushed over her as if I’d found some rare, invaluable, gem. And perhaps that’s exactly what I found.
Just like that, a dream I’ve held for the last half a decade have been dashed. My heart is more than a little broken.
Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I began dreaming of the day I could take my little one with me traveling to dog shows. I know so many moms who take their infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, children, and teens with them on the road… and they all absolutely love it.
When Lily-Ann was born, I knew she wasn’t the type of baby who could go to a dog show. If she wasn’t being held she’d cry. And there was no way for her to be the constant focus of attention at a show.
When she was a toddler, nothing had changed. And I envied those parents who’s little ones would nap in a stroller while they did their “down and back”. You put Lily in a stroller and even if she was previously tired, she’d pop up alert and ready to go knowing that something must be going on. She was a baby and toddler who was WORN not put in a stroller or bucket – so if she was in one of those places she knew something interesting had to be happening. She also had stopped napping at 11 months old, which didn’t help matters.
As a pre-schooler she LOVES dog shows. She made her debut as a junior handler at the SKOC show last Summer: https://td365.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/junior-handling-debut/ And was just awesome. But she’s still a high needs kid, that hasn’t changed. She needs your focus at least 95% of the time. She proved that to me tonight.
I knew she couldn’t handle traveling to dog shows when she was little… but I’d hoped that by the time she was five it would be a very real possibility. Tonight though? Tonight was a disaster. It took everything in me not to completely lose my cool and fall apart.
We were at handling class… the first time I’d taken her to handling class. Usually it’s just me, the dog, and sometimes my younger sister Jewles. With the dog show in Saskatoon this weekend, and Lily having never worked with Alice before, I thought the two of them could stand to have some practice with one another.
Lily-Ann was obnoxious. She managed to get through about five minutes before she kept announcing that she was bored and thirsty and wanted a treat – over and over again. She wouldn’t listen to instruction (from myself OR the instructor). So after she finished one trip around the ring, I set her up on the sidelines with treats and my phone (on which she has nine or ten apps). And I went back in to practice with Alice.
That didn’t work either.
The kid kept running back and forth in and out of the ring, disrupting everyone. So after repeated attempts to get her to listen and just sit down for even five minutes, I packed it in. Not even half way through the class. I grabbed all of our stuff and we left. I have never been so embarrassed in my life. Her behaviour was atrocious. Not only did she ignore me when I repeatedly told her to stay out of the ring when it wasn’t her turn, she ignored the instructor as well – who told her to “get out” when it was obvious she wouldn’t listen to me.
So yeah. Embarrassed by how awful she behaved (seriously, she was shockingly awful, I’ve never seen her behave even close to this before… ever), and brokenhearted to know I will likely never be able to trust her enough to take her with me… to enjoy something together that I love so much. Maybe by the time she’s in high school… but certainly not before. I’ll probably still let her do junior handling whenever there’s a show in the city – so twice a year. But she’ll never get the experience to do well when she can only participate so infrequently and when she’s not able to attend classes between shows.
Yep. It’s just not going to happen. She loves showing. Absolutely loves being in the ring, in the spotlight… which only makes it harder to bear, and harder to understand.
Seriously… I can’t even express how awful she was tonight. We’re not talking just silly little kid antics. I’ve come to expect those. But constantly ignoring everything anyone said to her??? yeah, that’s not cool. And yes… I realize that at this point, I’m starting to ramble. But it really was the WORST parenting experience of my entire life. Don’t even ask me how the drive home afterwards went. Good freakin’ grief.
As a photographer I’m usually behind the lens, so when it came time for me to decide on a Yule gift for my husband I thought that I have a family portrait done… but a portrait of the non-photographic kind. And right about this time, a fellow artist had shared that he was having some financial woes and could really use a few commissions. His style was a perfect fit… very heavy on line, graphic in nature with a grungy flare. Ideal for an unusual and memorable family portrait. So I sent a message off his way.
I have to admit, I’ve been dying to share the results of all our back and forth. I think it’s pretty fabulous, but I had to wait until after Yule – as I couldn’t very well blab about my husband’s gift before he’d received it. But now that the Solstice has come and gone? I have to share!
So, my thanks to Liam (aka gravitational tim) for all his work, and for his patience with my nit-picky perfectionist nature. I’d say it was well worth it. How many families have a portrait as cool as this one? I’d venture to guess there aren’t many. 😉
Tonight, out of the blue, kid kid announced that she was going to sleep in her “up high bed” (it’s what we call her loft bed that we built above our bed). For the longest time it has been a place where she goes to play, or to craft, or to read when she wants some time to herself. We built it when she turned three so that it would be there for her whenever she was ready. Well… at four and a half I guess she’s ready. I have to admit, our queen size family bed seems awfully big and a little lonely just now, with only me in it.
The girlie is up in her bed. The husband is upstairs on his computer. And I’m laying, alone, in our family bed. Yep. A queen sized bed feels unnecessarily big and lonely just now. If this becomes a habit, I may have to invite a dog or two back into my bed. The last one to sleep with us was Nico, and he crossed the Rainbow Bridge back when Lily-Ann was still a wee babe.
I knew she was starting to grow up when we left the terrible three’s behind (seriously, who the hell coined the term “terrible twos”??? The two’s are EASY compared to the threes… that’s when the REAL terrible stuff shows up) and we had a generous, kind-hearted, helpful kid (okay, a GENERALLY generous, kind-hearted, helpful kid) show up. But I don’t know that I’m really ready for her to be quite this grown up. I kinda miss my baby.
Might have to start auditioning the dogs for the role of bed-sleeper.
Here are a few posts I’ve made previously about our sleeping arrangements and the loft bed: