b Papa Dog's Blog: Day of Ups and Downs

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Day of Ups and Downs

Today is American Thanksgiving, which is a holiday Americans have to make up for not having had a holiday in October (when it’s properly celebrated). And because in America excess is the thing, they make it a four-day weekend. I’m actually okay with that kind of excess.

We had hoped to start things off right by sleeping in, but Baby Dog chose not to cooperate. She’s been sniffly and coughy, which always interferes with her sleep patterns. Today she woke up at 5:50. We didn’t go get her immediately in hope that she’d fall back asleep. She was quiet for a while, but around 6:30 she started crying out in earnest, and so our holiday began.

Mama Dog spent the morning baking a pie and planning the dinner menu. We hadn’t really intended to do anything for YAT,* but the day off seemed to indicate some more elaborate than usual meal. We half-heartedly called around friends trying to find someone else who hadn’t made any plans, but came up empty.

Baby Dog normally takes her nap around noon or one in the afternoon, but having gotten up so early she was already droopy in her highchair during her 10:30 snack. She kept saying things like “sleepy” and “nap,” so I put her to bed at 11 and took the opportunity to have a nap myself. Mama Dog, who has yet to latch onto the concept of relaxing during business hours, stayed awake revising the family budget.

Around 1:30, Mama Dog finally came in to join me in the nap, and as her head hit the pillow, Baby Dog woke up and started crying. Carpe sleepem, Mama Dog. Poor Baby Dog’s cough had gotten worse and her nose was miserably runny. She didn’t seem much interested in lunch. We had been planning an afternoon trip to the Little Farm, but the girl’s symptoms gave us pause. Finally, we decided that as long as she was well bundled up and not made to exert herself too much, the outing would do her good.

This turned out to be our best Little Farm visit yet. For one thing, we for once got there before all the animals had been tucked away in their sheds. For another thing, because it’s YAT, all the Americans were home basting turkeys or tofurkeys. In fact, now that I think of it, most of the scant other visitors we encountered were speaking some language other than English. There was a German-speaking family and a group speaking some Asian language. Maybe the other English-speaking party was also comprised of Canadians. Maybe.

We saw the big mama sow finally…I think the last two or three times we came, she was behind closed doors. Baby Dog was thrilled to see an actual pig who, like her darling Bud, dwells by a mud puddle. We also saw roosters and ducks and geese. Baby Dog kept repeating the geese’s call of “Honk honk honk,” which was a new one on her. She also pointed at the little stone pond the duck swam in and said, “Bathtub!”

We saw goats and little sheep with curly horns and bunny rabbits, but the highlight was the big cow, who ate celery from Mama Dog’s hand – we were unprecedently on the ball this time and actually brought celery with us – and gave a very loud and convincing “moo!” in response to the curly-horned sheep’s deep-throated “baas.” Baby Dog smiled hugely at this and said “Fun!” She hardly seemed ill at all the whole time.

When we got home, though, she was clearly under the weather. We tried to get a little more food into her, with little success, then I took her to play in the living room. I read her stories on the couch, until she lay down on my chest and went to sleep. She’s never done that before. Mama Dog found the sight so moving she had to dab tears away. I thought it was very sweet too, but was kind of concerned with the girl’s obvious lack of energy. She hasn’t taken two naps in a day in months.

The timing of nap #2 was such that we ended up eating dinner a deux. Haven’t done that at home since before Baby Dog started eating solids. Mama Dog made a tri-tip roast, yams, and peas. There was almost-pumpkin (butternut squash) pie for desert, with homemade whipped cream. It was pretty gol-darn swell.

Pretty much on cue after my postprandial dog walk, Baby Dog woke up again. We knew she must be very hungry, so we coaxed food into her. She’d decided recently that she likes oranges so we gave her some of that to start. Then plain tofu, which she gobbled down by the little meaty fistful. Finally, we got her to eat some yams. With milk and apple juice, it seemed like she’d finally had a substantial meal for the day.

Baby Dog and I read some more in the living room while Mama Dog went out looking for an open drug store to get some baby cold products. Baby Dog continued to seem sluggish, but enjoyed reading both the board book and unexpurgated versions of Are You My Mother. Mama Dog returned with some sort of menthol-vapour bath product, so we gave the little girl her ablutions and let her breathe in the mentholated vapours. After, Mama Dog rubbed another mentholated product on her chest. It was very quickly apparent that these patent medicines were actually helping. She stopped coughing during the bath, and afterwards she was so full of vim that I had to wait until around nine to put her to bed.

In the interim, we dragged up the futon from the basement and laid it out in the living room for a pyjama party. Mama Dog was feeling unwell herself by then and just lay down for a little rest. Baby Dog played between us for a while, then roamed about the room, chattering and grabbing books to read, just like her old self. If I’d just showed up then, I’d never have guessed she was ill. As bedtime neared, I laid Baby Dog on my chest again and we covered her up with the quilt my mother crocheted. We read Dr. Seuss’ ABC and – once again – Are You My Mother (the unexpurgated version). Doggy Dog came and joined us, curling up on the foot of the bed. We usually keep Baby Dog and Doggy Dog pretty strictly in different rooms, but it seemed an appropriate occasion for the whole family to be together. By the time the little bird had made his way back to his nest and been reunited with his mother, Baby Dog was again looking drowsy. I put her to bed and then put Mama Dog to bed. Now I’ll put this faversham to bed and then myself. Then at 5-something tomorrow morning, the holiday fun begins again. Only I’ll probably be spending most of the day at the office.
*Your American “Thanks-Giving.”


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