pet squirrels

The exterminator came back today to remove more "friends" from the traps. He only got one flying squirrel and no mice. No mice? How can that be? He told me that he kept the flying squirrel he caught last week and brought it home as a pet. "Your wife is okay with this?" I asked. He says it really likes the pecans he feeds it. At least he already knows it likes to live indoors!

Jeff and I came to the conclusion last night - once again - that 'A' is in some ways just like us. And it's not something I'm totally happy about. She had her gymnastics class yesterday and she kept acting goofy in class. She would fall down and roll around when she was supposed to be jumping, or purposely do the balance beam all funky. It's not like she doesn't know how to do any of that stuff - she plays "gymnastics" at home and loves it. She feels so proud of herself for doing the balance beam, and for doing her jumps. So why was she acting this way? I was really confused.

We think what it boils down to is that she doesn't like it when we hype something up in advance. Yesterday was the first gymnastics class in the new session, and the night before I had told her about the class and made it sound exciting. I guess for many kids, that kind of excitment would be a good thing, and they might look forward to class and be happy about doing the activities.

But, if she's anything like me, it backfires. I wouldn't say that I have a resistance to authority, and I wouldn't say that I have a fear of commitment either. I'm 35 years old and I still don't know if there is a label for it. I can say that I inherited it directly from my father, I think, and that my younger sister probably has it too. I guess the easiest way to describe it is to say that I need a lot of space to process things, and a lot of flexibility to make my own determination about whether something is good or bad. Maybe the word is "autonomous." So, if my mother had said to me, "we're going to gymnastics class tomorrow and you'll have a chance to do some jumping and walk on the balance beam! Doesn't that sound like fun?" I probably would have said, "let's just see when we get there if I feel like doing any of that stuff and I'll be the one to let you know if it's a good idea or not."

So now I know that I have a little "me" here. And you could say that there is a part of Jeff that is like that too. His need for space and independence is a little different, but he has it too. You can't hover over him or tell him what to think, or he will bristle too. It works out well that we both need space because while he's busy needing his space, he's not infiltrating mine, and that makes me happy.

Sometimes I tell him that I feel like a bad mother with 'A' because I don't give her enough of the warm and fuzzy mothering that mothers are supposed to give. But as he points out, she doesn't need it. And that's nice, because it's not really my style to give it.

'H' on the other hand is a different creature. I guess we'll cross some of her bridges when we come to them.

This isn't the first time we've talked about 'A' and her need to be autonomous and have space and independence on her terms. It seems that anytime I try to hype something up, she gets turned off by it. When I set up the sticker reward chart for potty training, she asked me to take it down. If I tell her that her preschool teacher is excited to see her and enjoys having her in class, she spends the morning completely ignoring her. If I serve her a new food and even mention it in advance, she says she doesn't like it. I don't like making everything a surprise, but if we talk about it in advance, she gets a little out of sorts, like I'm forcing her to do or think or feel something.

I haven't called my mom yet to talk about it. She'll probably just laugh and laugh. Most likely though, she'll say that 'A' is the luckiest child in the world to be raised by two parents who understand her individual needs. I really hope we can say the same thing about 'H'.

Snow tomorrow, a bunch of snow. I went out and bought Jeff a desk today so he can work from home tomorrow. Now he has something to do tonight - set up the desk. As if he needed another project! Poor guy. Maybe he can sneak in some snowshoeing tomorrow or this weekend.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!