Today, an internet rock star held my baby:
Amanda is a total sweetheart, just super-nice and easy to talk to. And her kids are gorgeous. Genoa is so cute, and constantly on the move – she wants to walk, walk, walk everywhere. Alex is really funny, and way chattier than I expected. Most kids I know don’t really talk to adults, but he has no problem with that. And I learned quickly that I don’t speak Little Boy – he mentioned something about a crane, and I thought he meant a bird. Um, no. Construction equipment, duh. I suppose that if I ever have a little boy, I’m going to have to learn that stuff pretty quickly.
Oh, and I now have a major case of Camera Envy. And Christmas is a loooong way off. Rats.
There’s not much else to report. Monday, Cate and I lounged around the hotel and did nothing while Dave was at work. Yesterday, mommy & baby drove around to explore some more neighborhoods, and that night we all went to dinner with my aunt. It’s always fun to catch up with people in my family, so that was a good time.
Oh, the story I forgot to tell. So, we’re staying at an Embassy Suites. If you’ve ever been inside one, you know they’re all the same: a big center atrium with rooms all around the perimeter, and 4 elevators – two in front and two in back. After we first checked in and got our luggage to our room, Dave and Cate went to lie down for a nap, and I went back to the car to haul in our stash of groceries (the perk of having a mini-fridge in the room).
I noticed that there were about a dozen or so kids on various floors, running around the perimeter hallway. I didn’t think anything of it until I was trying to get on an elevator to go downstairs. It took well over five minutes to get an elevator, and when it finally stopped on my floor, it was going up instead of down. Fine, whatever. We’re on the fifth floor. A girl who was probably about twelve years old got on the elevator at the 6th floor, pressed the buttons for both 7 and 9, then jumped off at the 7th floor. Since she had also pushed the button for 9, I was confused and said, “um, what?” as she was getting off, and she kind of giggled and ran off. Little brat.
So that’s why the elevators were taking forever. The kids were jumping into an elevator, pressing a whole bunch of buttons, then jumping off at the next floor to run around to the other end of the atrium and do it all over again. Meanwhile, the elevator has to keep stopping at every floor. Either that or they’d hit the elevator call button and dash away, so it would stop at a floor and there would be no one there.
Another five minutes later, I’d had to stop on every. single. damn. floor. And I lost it. It had already been a long day, flying with the baby and everything, and I had just had enough. Finally, these two little boys got on the elevator. They were maybe 9 or 10 years old. As one of the kids reached for the buttons, I said in my best stern mother tone, “Don’t you dare touch a single button on that elevator.”
They both stopped dead and stared at me. I went on: “It has taken forever for me to get downstairs on this elevator, I am sick of this stupid little game you guys are playing. Where on earth are your parents? I’m telling the manager because this is bullsh*t.” Sometimes cursing in front of kids seems to be a pretty good way to get their attention. It worked, I’m pretty sure I scared the crap out of them.
And I wasn’t bluffing, I really did tell the manager. As I was coming back in with the groceries, I saw a couple of hotel security guards at one of the rooms. Since the kids were all around the same age and of various races (and because there were so many of them), I’m guessing that it was some sort of school or church trip, and the chaperones weren’t staying on top of things. Who knows. But I was kind of proud of myself for the fact that I was able to get children to listen to me. Whaddya know, apparently I’m really an adult. I’m also proud of myself for not hauling off and smacking them upside the head, because believe me, I was tempted.
OOOhhh, you meanie. You totally destroyed those children’s self esteem and imagination, NOT! No, really, its great that you stood your ground. Most people would have just gotten pissed off but not done anything about it. Besides, it probably made you feel tons better!
Wow. Shoving dogs, cursing at strangers’ kids… Do you need a hug? It sounds like you need a hug.
Angie: ha! The dog thing was a total reflex. Risk getting my hand bitten versus letting my baby get her face bitten. Guess which option any mom is going to choose?
The thing with the kids… yeah, by that point on that very long day, I probably could’ve used a hug. And a really big cocktail.
You didn’t sound like the dog was about to bite her. You made it sound like the dog was a small breed of terrier who sauntered over to check out the squalling infant. If the dog was lunging, baring teeth, going after her face, then I am the first one to advocate protecting ANYONE’s kids, and oneself. Get the baby AWAY from the dog. Go, mama bear, go!
But, and I say this with your best (future) interest at heart, the number one way to provoke a friendly dog is to smack it. Anyone who tries to kick or hit a non-agressive dog only ups the ante and endangers themself further. The best thing defense against an attacking dog, actually, is an open umbrella, if you have one, and there may be one handy at a beach, actually.
Now, if it was an “on leash only section” of the beach and the dog was running off-leash, then that was irresponsible of the owners. If it was a dog-friendly beach or one that has off-leash hours, and lots of them do, well… then we all have to be aware of each other’s space and safety, Baby Mamas, Crazy Dog Ladies, Joggers and Metal Detector Users Unite! Blah blah Kumbaya.
Anyway, you know my affection for kids and animals exponentially expands for both when they’re together. This is all meant in the same “not intentionally assvicey” way I’ve written about dog stuff before, i.e. dog-friendly hotels, teaching Lucky to love the menfolk, etc. Give Teenie a scritch from me.
Ok, no, it was nothing like that – I think I told the story badly. I didn’t hit the dog at all. I yelled “no!” and I first waved my hand in his face to sort of shoo him away, which didn’t work, so then I kind of pushed at his side to move him. But it was VERY gentle, I barely touched him. I handle my own cats more roughly when I pick them up. Honestly, “shove” and “push” aren’t even the right words for the action. To say that I scooted him away might be more accurate.
What shocked me is that I’m generally a little iffy around dogs. I grew up with cats, and I had a bad experience being chased by a rottweiler in high school, so the fact that I would touch a dog I didn’t know was totally out of character for me.
And he probably had no intention of biting Cate, he was probably just curious about her. But I didn’t know the dog, I didn’t know his temperament, and there’s no way I was going to take a chance and just wait and see about something like that. I like dogs, but I’m not really a dog person, so I don’t know how to assess a dog and decide if he’s friendly or in “attack” mode or whatever. So, you know, better to be safe and all of that jazz.
For the record, I don’t know if it was officially an “off leash” area or not, but there were tons of dogs around, some on leashes and some off, so I don’t know if the beach had any sort of official policy or not. So yeah, I suppose I should be more careful about laying Cate on the ground in that type of situation, but all of the other dogs had totally ignored us up to that point, so it wasn’t something I had even considered. After that, though, she was either in my lap or Dave’s for the rest of the time we were there.
You’re too sweet: I am no rockstar. I loved hanging out with you!
And for the record, you TOTALLY did the right thing with the dog. The best way to keep a dog away from your baby (which is always a good idea, even if it’s your own dog), is to be firm and show it who’s boss. And I think the point, which you made well, is that you should always trust your mama bear instinct, even if it means potentially offending a dog owner.
Is it wrong that this sentence made me laugh a little?
“I had a bad experience being chased by a rottweiler in high school…”
I think it was the high school part of it that I wasn’t expecting.
Well, the dog didn’t chase me through my high school or anything. I just happened to be about 16 (hence, in high school) and going for a walk, and the neighborhood menace escaped his fence. He only chased me to the end of the block – I guess at that point I was safely out of his territory, who knows. But it was enough to scare the ever-loving crap out of me.
New reader here… Just had to say that I think Amanda is a Rockstar, too!
I popped over from her site to poke around here a bit and guess what? I’m a Southern girl living in the Pacific Northwest, too. Born in Jackson, raised in Gulfport and moved to Seattle when I was 16.
Off to read all about you. 😀
Oh, and I think you did the right thing with the dog, too.
Hi Grechen, and welcome! That’s a really funny coincidence: I was born & raised in Jackson, and moved to Seattle when I was 25. Go Southern-turned-Northwestern chicks!