lmao. Okay. So King *needs* to be on Benadryl leading up to the procedure for his cancer. It’s a mast cell tumor; he needs an H1 antihistamine to keep inflammation down so it does not spread. In the past, I have not had trouble giving him pills with his kibble.
Today I discovered he’s been hiding half his Benadryl under his pillow!!!! omg dog I AM TRYING TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Anyway. This dog, he is so human in his facial expressions. You can really tell what he’s thinking all the time.
I tried putting his pills into cheese to dose him. He started delicately eating the cheese so he could pick around the pills, like he wasn’t entirely sure why I’d given him the gross-tasting cheese but he was game to eat it anyway. Basically spitting out the pill parts.
I just grabbed the pills and opened his mouth and put one on the back of his tongue so he had to swallow (which I used to do to administer pills on a difficult dog).
King was MORTIFIED. He ran off to the other side of the kitchen to STARE at me, and I swear to God I could tell he was thinking, “Wait, it’s like that? It’s serious? I *have* to do it? I had no idea it was *like that*.” I could see the little gears turning in his head to recontextualize this activity from “mom keeps giving me gross cheese” to “I have to eat this whole thing OR ELSE.”
So this smart beautiful boy gagged down the next piece of cheese with the remaining pills. Consciously, deliberately, looking at me to make sure he was doing the right thing. He resisted the urge to chew. And then we cheered him on and petted him a lot and King was like, “…huh.”
We practiced swallowing cheese chunks whole after that. He decided the game where he Eats Quickly and people are Very Happy is actually a lot of fun, and he would be happy to keep playing that game as long as the cheese holds out.
This is good news because I am afraid this cancer boye has many medications in his future.
I feel silly realizing I should have just “explained” to my dog that we’re taking medication now because he would have just done it. Instead I gave it to him without telling him and of course he was like “surely this is a mistake. gross. ptooey.”
I’m just amazed at what a personality he has, and how obviously, consciously he registered that Mom Is Serious This Time and he changed his mind. I didn’t have to like…actually train him. He just modified his behavior. It’s insane. He’s so smart. He’s just a fuzzy little baby person. I need him to live forever.
Actual verbatim quote from 9yo Sunshine:
“I’m going to build this engineering box on my own. It’s for ages eight to twelve, and I’m nine, but I’m as mature as an eleven-year-old, which is basically an adult. I can do it.”
and i’ll be damned if he didn’t build the engineering project on his own. he only needed help with this tiny rubber band, and we sorted that with tweezers the project didn’t include.
i feel like i noticed how quickly my now-13yo was growing because they’re my first and oldest, thus always the oldest kid I’ve ever had, and I fall easily into the trap of thinking Sunshine is still my tiny baby (since he will always be the youngest child I’ll ever have again). but now he’s actually almost an eleven-year-old which is basically an adult.
we’ve also been having incredibly complicated conversations about his emotional landscape (he is dealing with ongoing grief from our dog’s death two years ago, and our current hospice cat) and it’s just amazing to see how much he’s grown inside where i can’t see it. i just get glimpses of this whole wilderness in there, while the outside is still a very cherubic little tanned blond angel with golden eyes. (can you believe i have a blond?)
his sense of reciprocity is also so clear. he has sturdy boundaries. he loves serving and helping and taking care of people, but he also expects that people will repay him in kind overall. he won’t let himself be used. he’s a force of nature. so yes, he’s also still having a lot of trouble at school and getting into big trouble because he doesn’t see a reason to act respectfully toward adults he doesn’t feel respect him. i can’t be mad tbh. he’s not wrong.
My 13yo Moonlight is finally old enough to observe the years-long pattern of Mommy’s Interest Swings. Notably, they have seen how I went from having a gazillion plants to having 0.5 gazillions of plants and stuffing our house with yarn instead.
(Note: Plants and crochet are very compatible hobbies. Plants go where it’s bright. Yarn goes where it’s dark. There is room for NOTHING ELSE IN THE HOUSE. NOTHING.)
I told Moonlight how I’ve been having stress dreams where we have to move houses quickly, and I can’t figure out how to move my plants. I’m like, “I just love them so much, and I have a lot, and I really have no idea how to move them now? What would I even do?”
So seeing me creating weird little crochet dolls, Moonlight asked, “Aren’t you worried you’re going to start having nightmares about having too many dolls following you everywhere, once you don’t love it as much anymore?”
and i was like omg now i’m worried about it
Too Many Weird Dolls Dreams might be the creepiest potential classification of dream. And I have some pretty freaky dreams about aquariums/vivariums gone wildly beyond my control, so Moonlight might be onto something here.