Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baby High, Baby Low

We've always known that our little Dylan can be a ham, but lately, she's taken it up a notch. Of course, she has to be feeling well, properly rested, and have an audience, but when that perfect storm hits, start the cameras. Her most recent act of super-ham-dom occurred at our friends', Mike and Erin, house.

Dylan rolled in looking tough in her #1 Halloween costume (there are 2), as a Bee. She was a little shy, until she spotted the bucks on the wall. They must have made her feel at home because she instantly pointed them out. "Buck," she said and stretched out the "k" for emphasis (or, because it's fun to say, "Buck" with a static-y K on the end). And from then on, all inhibitions were tossed aside.

She ran around their house like an escaped circus monkey. She climbed on the couches, the chairs, the coffee table, and the curtains. She made strange noises, feigned interest in books, then tried to tear them up. When dinner was served we sat her next to us at the table and fed her bites of ribs until Regina finally just handed her a rib bone. Dylan gnawed on it for a while until she thought it served better as a Flintstone phone. She held it up to her little ear. "Hello," she said into the rib.

She got such a laugh out of the rib-phone gag that she tried out other pieces of dinner. The avocado-phone was a close second for originality and creativity.

The rest of the evening was spent in her diaper, an hour past her bedtime, running around the living room. She was so entertaining that our friends offered to watch her any time we wanted to stay out late. We tried to take them up on their offer immediately, but everything on a Sunday night in Yreka closes at 9:00 PM, so we really had nowhere to go.

We just wish that our pediatrician's office resembled Mike and Erin's living room. No deer heads on the wall, no fun couches to scale, nothing but four walls, a table, and the smell of a thousand tears. Dylan recognized it the instant we set foot in the room.

The length and intensity of her scream-cry was truly amazing. I actually remember thinking, "Wow, this is truly amazing," and, "She's got to pass out soon," as her volume hit eleven on the dial. At first, we were confused about what she wanted. She kept pointing at the door, which had a "Don't Smoke When You're Pregnant" poster on it with a picture of a baby's crib full of cigarettes. I thought she liked the poster. No. She wanted me to open the door.

The room became so unbearably hot from Dylan's energy output that the nurse tried to crack the door open and let some air in. "Jailbreak," thought Dylan, as she dashed for freedom. No luck. We caught her and let her resume her screaming, crying, punching, and kicking until the nurses could inspect and jab needles into her. Our PA assured us that Dylan's terror was a sign of her intelligence. I couldn't hear the reasons why over Dylan's wails; I just nodded dumbly as Regina bear-hugged Dylan to avoid another left-hook to the chin. We couldn't leave fast enough.

By the time we got to the car, her tears had dried. She cracked a smile when we hit I-5 South, and when we crossed the Siskiyous, she put her shoe to her ear. "Hello?" she said and smiled.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yard Invasion

This Fall, our yard has turned into a sanctuary for deer. You'd think the antlers hanging in the woodshed and the smell of venison coming off the grill would deter our four legged friends from encroaching on our yard, but the macabre reminders of their fallen brothers only bolsters their confidence. Like bad house guests, they lie around all day, eat whenever they feel like it, and poop on the grass.

There are some benefits to this invasion, though. First, the four legal bucks (Deer season is now open) that hang out. Small, yes, but well-fed and will be tasty. Second, Dylan says, "Deer," like a Mexican soccer announcer yells, "Goal!!!" She stands at the back door, points, and yells, "Deeeeeeeeer!" I love it because it always makes me laugh and the yard-rats flee in terror, for a few minutes, at least.

Dylan is pretty thrilled about our wildlife preserve. Aside from the deer, we have horses, cattle, squirrels, cats, dogs, and raccoons, all within rock throwing distance. In fact, rock throwing is one way we keep the critters at bay. The cats are Dylan's favorite because they (well, one of the four) let her ride them. Dylan hops on like she's getting on a rodeo bull and Sergio (the tolerant one) lies flat while Dylan bounces up and down. "Kitty Rodeo" is a great warm-up before she begins Mutton Busting in a few years, and it burns off a little energy before bed time.

But let me get back to my point. It's about the deer and their refusal to leave. We've gone as far as borrowing a BB gun from Henry, our nephew. Which brings me to the third cool thing about having deer in our yard: Watching Regina wield a firearm. I'd tried to convince her to practice shooting before, but she never even wanted to touch the guns. Now she pops off shots like Annie Oakley. Dylan and I are her spotters and we cheer at every BB that finds its mark (on a doe's ass, mostly).

I guess that when we run out of BBs we'll have to resort to the fourth and final fun thing about our yard-deer, and that's watching Dylan chase them. She's not as agile as a Border Collie, but she's equally as persistant. Maybe she's trying to graduate from "Kitty Rodeo," to "Doe Rodeo."

Soon, the snow will start to fall and I expect that the deer will leave. We'll give the BB gun back to Henry and Dylan will have to settle on riding the cats. She'll stand at the door and quietly ask, "Deer?" while I take another bite of delicious buck steak.