I am the mother of a wonderfully creative 2.5 year-old little boy whom I call Tolkien. He, like many toddlers, has an impressive desire to learn about the world around him through play, imitation, exploration, and through observation. Also like many other toddlers, his learning sometimes takes on the role of household mischief maker. He is willingly aided in this through the family dog, Molly.
When we got the dog (which is its own long story) my thought process was that every child should have a pet growing up. We also happen to live in an area that has a healthy population of wildlife; including snakes; including venomous snakes. Therefore, as Tolkien grows (and Montgomery as well), I have taken pains to ensure that Molly-dog fully embraces the children as her pack, and therefore, her puppies. This includes giving them both opportunities to play with the other, spoil the other, and snuggle. Mr. Gabrielle is on board with the bonding, but I’m not sure he likes the snuggling part. Part of this bonding experiment includes Tolkien feeding Molly-dog her favorite treats. As you might imagine, this makes all toddlers VERY popular with Molly.
We are having a soggy, cold fall here in Texas. As part of my attempts to placate the toddler who hasn’t been able to play outside much in the previous few months because we had a hot summer that my pregnant self couldn’t stand, the month or so of mild weather was spent in recovery from the birth of Montgomery, and then we had cold and rain, I’ve been trying to find indoor activities that are not hazardous to anyone’s health or my sanity. This includes play-dough, an assortment of cars and other toys, and crayons on long rolls of butcher paper.
Now that I’ve set the stage, I’d like to present my morning. I’m still trying to help the house recover from the birth of Montgomery, so any time I can work on this while she (Montgomery) is sleeping and Tolkien and Molly-dog are distracted, is welcome indeed. While I was tidying to the kitchen, mentally congratulating myself for being so on top of things in the house, mentally stimulating my toddler, getting Montgomery into a schedule, and keeping all of us (Mr. Gabrielle, Tolkien, Montgomery, Molly-dog, Bash-turtle, and myself) fed, clothed where necessary, and clean, I noticed that Tolkien was doing something with Molly. I didn’t think much of it: this was a mistake.
You may recall the scene in Peter and the Wolf where Sasha the bird gets cocky while flying circles around the wolf and then flies into a tree, just after the narrator states, “Beware of over confidence.” That’s what it felt like when I looked over and realized that Tolkien gleefully fed his 24 count box of crayons, one by one, to Molly-dog. Molly-dog gobbled them up. And now I have an empty cardboard box of crayons, a long wet, cold day ahead with a bored toddler, a full dog, and an order to Amazon for more crayons that I am planning to coat in cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce. Beware of over confidence.