Over the last week, she has taken to once again tormenting the dog. I know she doesn’t mean to hurt him and in the end she only wants to hug him, but right now it is torment.
The new game is to chase Lil’ Rick around in circles while she cackles like a lunatic. When she finally does catch him, (and lets face it Rick is easy to catch, he’s got little legs and is 12 years old) Gracie clutches handfuls of his loose old man skin and pulls out big chucks of hair that are still firmly in place.
Thank God he is the gentlest creature on the planet, because frankly, if I were him I’d bite her.
Grace is very familiar with the phrase ‘not nice’ and uses it willy-nilly when she is mad at us. Like when she shimmies up a chair and onto the kitchen table to dance and we have to forcibly remove her. This, apparently, amid the shrieks and tears qualifies as us being ‘not nice.’ So be it.
So I’ve been working on the expansion of not nice. As in “When you pull on Ricky’s fur like that it is not nice. It hurts him. Hurt. Ouch. Hurt. And that makes him sad.” I must have repeated that phrase 20 times yesterday alone. Grace kept looking at me like I had two heads and then went on to rip some more doggie hair out.
She must have been paying attention though because last night we had a communication break through.
When Matt was putting her to bed, she started crying and fussing which was uncharacteristic. He pulled out the old, 'what is wrong? use your words' on her. And you know what? It worked.
She said ‘bee bo’, which translated from Sandra Boynton, means belly button. So she kept saying ‘bee bo. bee bo hurt. bee bo hurt’ which Matt was able to further translate into ‘my tummy hurts’ and then soothes with belly rubs until she fell asleep.
Now it is never a good think when your kids stomach hurts, but this is the first time she’s been able to tell us. Which (obviously) is a fabulous thing. Now I just need to figure out how to make her understand how much it hurts the dog when she body slams him and pulls hair.