Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things I Learned Today

Taking "stay awake" meds too late in the day makes it very hard to fall asleep at night. (Don't worry...they're MINE...prescribed by a doc for the Chronic Human Parvovirus B19.)

Lying awake until 4:00 am makes it VERY hard to drag yourself out of bed the next morning at 7:00.

Completely forgetting to take "stay awake" meds after being awake until 4:00 am enables you to fall asleep just about anywhere and anytime.

Sleeping on newly pierced ears is a bit uncomfortable.

If you wait until you are 38 years old to get your ears pierced, you wonder why you wanted so long.

Conquering your fear of getting your ears pierced at the age of 38 makes you feel brave.

It might be better to feel cautious instead of brave when you decide to go for a new haircut.

Showing the hair stylist a picture of the cut AND color you want does not necessarily make it fool-proof.

When you show the hair stylist a picture of the cut and color you want, you should make sure that she is looking at the CORRECT picture on the page.

When your vision is as bad as mine, you don't notice that you're getting the wrong color and cut until you put your glasses back .. the color and cut are finished.

It is VERY hard to NOT show surprise when you are expecting a brown bob with blonde highlights and instead you get a dark auburn shag with dark brown AND blonde highlights.

I am far too polite in circumstances like above.

When the manager is your hair stylist, there isn't really anyone left to listen to your complaint.

Tomorrow is another day...and hopefully another hair stylist will be on duty when I return to the salon to have my hair color corrected.

When you spent three hours in the chair at the salon, forget to take your stay awake meds, forget to eat, AND get the wrong color and cut, the bed looks very inviting when you see it.

Lying down for "just a few minutes" tends to stretch into several hours.

Sleeping while Mike is at work and six kids are at home is NOT a particularly smart thing to do.

Ben thinks maxipads are big band-aids.

When Ben is sent to his room for stealing his sister's pads, he pees in his old Easter bucket. (To be fair, I DID tell him not to come out of his room. It's just my luck that THAT is the direction he chose to obey.)

Pee in an Easter bucket doesn't really affect me that much anymore.

The fact that pee in an Easter bucket doesn't really affect me anymore is a bit scary.

Even THAT is not as scary as my current shade of hair color!

Good night everybody......

RAD Parenting Gone to the Dogs

We recently got a new dog. Bailey is a six month old Labrador Retriever/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix that we were fortunate enough to find at the Champaign County Humane Society. One look at those amber eyes and we were hooked.

Bailey has been a wonderful source of uninhibited energy and joy. She's a great dog. She's not Sophie....but she's not supposed to be. As a matter of fact, I think I would be hard pressed to find two dogs that were more different.

When we took her to the vet for a check up, the vet told us that although she already weighs 38 pounds, she probably has another 40 or 50 to go before she reaches her full size. That's quite a bit larger than Sophie. She was ten pounds soaking wet.

I decided that some really good training was in order. I borrowed a copy of Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Millan and started reading up on how to get control of your dog. Here are some of the very important lessons I have learned so far:

You have to be in charge. The dog can't be the pack leader. YOU have to be the Alpha.
If the dog senses weakness, it may try to take over. It's not good to be sick or tired when your dog wants to be the pack leader.

You need to maintain YOUR personal territory. If the dog is having an attitude problem, you should not let the dog sleep in your bedroom. (I made this mistake once a long time ago. I woke up with that dog standing over me growling....)

It isn't good to play tug-of-war with a dog who wants to be the Alpha. If the dog wins, you are in trouble! The dog will see you as the weaker animal and will start to fight harder for control. Once the dog knows it is stronger than you, it probably won't back down easily.

Always walk in front of your dog. It's YOUR job to lead the way. The dog is supposed to be subordinate and follow your lead. The dog can walk beside you as long as you are still deciding which direction you are heading. If you slip up and let the dog lead the way, you'll have a hard time getting the dog to follow you again.

Rewarding positive behavior is more important than punishing negative behavior. Dogs are strange creatures. Negative attention is a reward to them. The best thing to do is to ignore the behavior as long as there is no safety risk. (Easier said than done....)

When a dog wants to claim personal territory, it usually pees all over the place. For some reason, even really smart dogs can have problems in this area. Peeing on things is their way of saying, "This is MINE." You basically just have to hope that if you have TWO dogs, they don't get into a peeing competition to see who can spread their scent the farthest.

If you don't supervise your dog at all times, it may destroy lots of stuff. Shoes, remote controls, couch cushions....pretty much anything within reach. You really have to work hard to keep the dog from destroying things that are important to you.

A dog needs to have respect for you. If the dog doesn't respect you, it will NOT obey you. And no one wants a disobedient, wild, uncontrollable dog around for very long. They might look cute, but cuteness wears off after a while.

Now, if you want to know how to parent a RAD kid, simply go back and read these directions again, replacing the word "dog" with "child."

For years, I searched for a good parenting manual for kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Little did I know it was available at Petsmart the entire time.....