Wednesday, January 27, 2010

2010 Ramblings one

I have returned to Germany for a visit and have now been here one week. The
clash of the titans was swift and mighty. No clear winner yet but I think it's safe
to say my team is down by about 4 to zip. In this corner we have Lola, weighing
in at just under 3 pounds with beady black eyes and a foolish hair cut. In the other
corner we have Emily weighing in at...ah...a lot more than 3 pounds, with sweet
Grandmotherly eyes and a foolish hair cut.

K left two days after my arrival leaving us with plenty of time to size each other.
Believing I was easily crushable she dealt the first blow. She poo'ed on the new
quilt on my bed. With me sleeping in the bed at the time. The battle was joined.
I have crated her, she has pee'd on my bathroom floor where one usually is
barefooted and half asleep in the middle of the night. I am required to feed her
and give her water on a regular basis then allow her adequate outdoor time to
relieve herself. So far, each trip outside has been a lesson in strategic counter
attacks. I put her out back, she escapes under the fence and takes off for a run
down the street. She jumps on the first German she finds and basically pleads
for love and attention. The pity technique has been working quite well for
her since Germans dote on their incredibly obedient dogs. Lola has been
returned to me twice with strong lectures about safety from local dog walkers.
So I put her on a leash and took her out front. After about 30 minutes standing
around in the sleet watching her sniff every single blade of grass on the park
platz I give up and come indoors. Within 2 minutes she has poo'd on the floor.
I'd as soon hang her from the porch railing by her feet until she does her duty
but apparently some people think strongly about that. Thanks to little Gwyndolyn
Lola is once again spent the night in my bed and once again poo's on the
same quilt I washed and dried the day before. To my knowledge I have yet to
score a point with this dog and she has me on the run. I know most people think
puppies are cute and cuddly and precious. These are all people who have yet
to meet the mini hound from hell. I love dogs. Some of my best friends have
been dogs, but this puppy thing is not for me. Give me a senior citizen anytime.

However, this clash is background fodder to the real struggle. Little miss G has
become quite contrary these days. She picks up her clues from Disney flicks
mostly. Every bad girl routine in every disney flick is fodder for the imagination.
She has the moves, the attitude, the phrasing and the humphs just right. She's
a sweet girl, but she's not mature enough yet to know when to stop.How to
separate real life from play life. K is also known as 'she who will be obeyed' by
a large segment of society. Watching these two lock horns makes me very
nervous. Both are stubborn, both are strong willed and neither will back down.
When they square off at each other it is amazing how much they look like
each other. Some of the facial expressions are identical. No clear winner in
this confrontation yet, and I doubt there will be one. K will win the short term
battles, but G will win the war. It's going to take years to resolve. They're so
much like each other at times that it's comical.

I clearly met my match when K left for her conference. G was playing me like
a violin. The first morning alone i had her sitting in the bad girl chair 3 times
before we finished breakfast. I tried handling her outbursts like Karen did and she
laughed in my face. I called my Mom for advice and she had me sit her in a
chair across from me and made her stare at me for 5 minutes while thinking
about how good and kind I am. How much I love her and it hurts me when she
acts bad. The obvious flaw in this is you can't force anyone to look at you
without torture techniques outlawed by the Hague. SHE kept resetting the
timer to so we'd have to sit there longer. She sang, told stories and enjoyed
herself. Okay, round 3. Wisdom as old as Mother hood. When she hits you, hit
her back. G wallops me upside the head sending my glasses flying. I smack
her on the arm, she hits me again, I hit her again. We traded blows for about
five minutes before she wandered off to play with her Polly Pocket dolls
leaving me shaken and in tears because I actually smacked the little love of
my life. In about 10 minutes she approaches me and asks if we can play the
hitting game again.

Wide awake at 3am after being battered by the sleep kicks and head butts I
decide to discuss it with God. My answer is swift in coming. I am not a disciplinarian.
I never was, nor did I ever need to be before. So, play to my strengths. In
this case my strengths are how much I love the girl. How supportive I am of
her and comforting. So, the next morning she calls me a stink bug, I give her a
big hug and kiss the top of her head. She says 'aw Emily you are the sweetest
girl' and goes off to play. A couple of outbursts in the morning are met with
cuddles and kisses and by afternoon we are perfectly fine. Enjoying each other,
and the day together. Day 2 went the same way. A few half hearted outbursts
quickly quelled with love. By day 3 she is onto me. She smarts off and as I
move towards her for my hug, she throws her arms up and starts yelling 'no more
hugs,no no no'. When I wrap my arms around her she fights like a little hellcat.
She screams let me go,she hits me, she pulls my hair, tries to scratch my face.
She is totally out of control so I hold on with all I've got and continue to love
on her, nuzzle her neck, whisper sweet nothings and tell her I'll hold her until
she calms down and can hold herself. Let me go she screams, I love you I say.
She has more energy and fight than I thought possible, but this is one fight I
can't dare lose. I hang on. Eventually she relaxes into me and quietly asks
Emily will you let me go? I release her so she jumps to her feet and attacks
the lounge chair. After beating it up and throwing blankets around she runs
upstairs and throws herself on her bed in tears. I follow her upstairs and stroke
her back while talking quietly to her reminding her how much I love her and
what a good girl she is. She throws herself in my arms and sobs while I hold
her, love her, cuddle her and comfort her. All the things I had been doing
downstairs while she fought me.
That was it. The battle went out of her and we haven't had a problem since
then. She pushes K's buttons now and then, but she and I are fine together.
No more bad girl actions. In fact, I have been hugged around my neck so
much it is beginning to hurt where her fingers tangle in my hair. I don't know
what Parenting magazine would have to say about my tactics, but she seems
to be back to her normal sweet self. I played to my strengths, love works.
It's not like we didn't already know this. I just needed to be reminded of it.

I have nothing but respect for people who raise children in this fast paced
world. I don't have the energy to keep up with them, nor do I want too. I'm happy
with my life in the slow lane. I am oh so grateful to have a place in G's life, in
her heart but the day in day out stuff I couldn't do. Kudo's to Karen for
raising such a sweet little girl.

I haven't been out and about yet. It's been rainy or snowing since my arrival.
I took a couple of walks with the dog, but try to avoid public places at least
until she learns heel or sit or stop jumping on peoples legs. Germans take
their dogs everywhere, even into restaurants without incident. The hell hound
would not be allowed to stay and honestly I've no desire to fight her on it. So,
I'll wait until she can be locked up at home.

My dear Brigitte has called and we are planning a return trip to Baden Baden.
I would really like to tackle that cold water dip that has defeated me so many
times in the past. The hot springs pool averages around 103F then cools down
to about 96 by the time you reach the outdoor pools. I absolutely love being in
the outdoor pools while it is snowing or sleeting. Ice pellets in your hair and
yet your body is warm. But my bugaboo has been the cold water dip. You soak
in the hot water until you can't stand anymore then take a few steps an submerge
yourself in 65F water. At least that's what you are supposed to do. Initially I could
only get in as deep as my ankles. The last time I actually got in waist deep
before making funny girl noises and ran from the pool pushing hapless
people out of my way. Brigitte walks right in and dips down under. I am in awe.
Her Mum went with us one time and she too completely submerged. I like
to think I'm pretty danged tuff, but these women are super women. That water
is unbelieveably cold. To be perfectly honest the only reason I made it in waist
deep last time was because in my hurry to turn around and run I missed a step
and wound up deeper than I thought I was going to be.

I miss my Mom, I miss my family and friends, I miss MyJohn yet Germany has
some allure that makes it difficult to leave. For the rest of my life I will be coming
back here occasionally. Tapping into some unknown inner spirit that renews
and refreshes me. It's indefineable, it's something I understand at a gut level
where there are no words just feelings. Once upon a time in my life I would
have told you that I was sure I had lived here before.That my reincarnated
spirit had lived in this area many times.I would have believed it too. Now I think
it is something else. Maybe I have a destiny here. Maybe it feels so familiar
to me because it is where I am supposed to be at this point in time. I believe
God has a plan in my life. Could my being here be a purposeful place to do
what it is God will ask me to do? That makes a lot more sense to me than the
idea of a constantly recycled soul. There is something here that I am meant
to do. Like all Christians I pray God use's me to his best advantage. To use
my mouth, my words, my body, my strengths to do his purpose. In my case
I always thought that would be something pretty simple like hugging a little
old lady who was feeling forgotten, or bringing a sandwich to the homeless man
sleeping behind KFC on the hot pavement in Phoenix. I am more than happy
to fulfill that role. I feel good when I am able to do these things. Yet something
is here for me. I look forward to meeting it and hope when it happens I am
actually aware of it. So many times we impact peoples lives without even
knowing it. If I am to be Gods vessel, I sure hope I get to watch it happen.

While typing away here I think Karen just left for Heidelberg to pick up Gary. It
always amazes me how things can swirl around me and I am oblivious to it.
If God plans on letting me see his plan in my life, I hope he finds a way to make
me pay attention to it. Knock me up the side of the head or something.

More later my dear and faithful readers.

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