Honey Badger Just Dont Care

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Archive for the category “Child Shenanigans”

Honey Badger is HAPPILY Awaiting the 1st Day of School!

OK, so tomorrow is the small child’s first day of 1st Grade! HOOORAY! I think I may set up a Mimosa stand at the bus stop. Aside from the usual paper signing, pencil sharpening (40!) and back pack organizing, I had a separate assignment that I needed to complete before tomorrow:

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CHILD!

Ummmm…..OK…….well…..you asked for it….

(for informational purposes, small child’s Special Ed Preschool Teacher from 2 years ago has moved into 1st grade. We LOVE her and have not seen her since, so she already knows him)

This is what I sent:

Some stuff about

SEOUL MAN/SMALL CHILD
(full name changed for privacy…..ain’t gonna help. Placing another dollar in the Therapy Jar)

 

Nothing has changed since Premm.

Really. It hasn’t. He is the same.

Ok, well some things have changed, but not really.

He is still a parrot in child’s clothing who mimics the hilarity of others, usually when most inappropriate. If there is an attention seeking child in the class this year, keep him/her far away from Seoul Man as it will be a comedy routine, but a little less Abbott/Costello and a little more 3 Stooges with Seoul Man as Shemp.

He still thrives on routine and will readily alert you to when/what/where the next activity is to be. If you ever need to remind yourself to do something, simply ask small child to remind you, up to a week in advance, and he will do so better than a hotel wake-up service.

He still prefers idle time to himself, and instead of playing, will draw the same thing over and over again, or write your morning message (if you have one) over and over. If you want, have him write your morning messages for the month. He could probably complete the task over the course of an indoor recess.

His photographic/rote memory has gotten much more advanced. If you think he isn’t listening, ask him to repeat what you just said and he will tell you word for word. Then a week later, ask him to repeat what you said a week ago. He will probably remember what you were wearing too. Try it, its fun!

His internal GPS is equally as impressive. Ask him how to get to <insert store> he will give you turn by turn directions. I think he is Siri.

He is still very literal in his interpretations and has little to no understanding of conceptual humor/sarcasm/irony/symbolism/idioms/puns, etc. If you ask him “What’s New Jack?” expect an answer relating to the new purchase of something, which may or may not be embarrassing (disclaimer). If when asking a relatively obvious question, i.e. “Where am I going to take a shower tonight?” and you respond humorously with “Where do you think you are going to take a shower? We’re going to make you take a shower outside with the hose”, expect to find a naked child 5 minutes later on the back patio waiting to get washed and a knock on the front door from CPS. (True story, minus CPS)

Well that’s a nutshell of a snapshot of Seoul Man! Welcome back Ms. Cheryl! We are SO happy you will be with us this year! If small child progresses ½ of how he progressed when you had him 2 years ago, it will be a successful year! If you need anything from us, please let us know!

OH! One more thing. Don’t show him your wallet……

RIP “Mr. Rat” – Part III in the Series “You Had to do WHAT?”

So our pet rat died last night. I know, I know, a rat? Yes, a rat, and he was a really nice guy, and heck, he had been very helpful with getting us through a tough time with Seoul Man.

Our journey to “Mr. Rat”, whom I originally named GW, definitely warrants to be part 3 in my ongoing series “You Had to do WHAT?”

Here is Part 1

Here is Part 2

So about 2 or so years ago, something really rattled Seoul Man one night and it caused quite the horrible sequence of terrible sleeping events. When it started (I am thinking perhaps a night terror) he became petrified to be alone in his room. We had to resort back to being in close proximity until he fell asleep again, even laying down in the hallway, but he would wake every hour or so in a panic. Having the attachment issues we had in the past, we just go back to how we handled things then as to not cause any regressions. Eventually the panic went away, but the night time wakings didnt, but it didnt stop him from waking us up. What began as “Im afraid” turned into “OK guys, Im awake. Entertain me!” Ummmm no…..

I of course began to lose my mind, as sleep deprivation is not one of my strong suits. But then I had an idea. If he had “something” in his room to keep him company, he wouldnt need us, right? Makes sense, right? To say that when I said I was going to get something like a hamster for Jack (he was around 3), I received SOOOOO Many “You’re crazy’s”! “Ugggg, you have enough on your plate’s!” and my favorite, “Its not going to work’s” – even from my husband.

I never felt SO HAPPY to announce on Facebook that EVERYONE ONE WAS WRONG! I think I even prefaced it by saying BITE ME!

So yes, my hamster idea worked. When Jack would wake up at between his then usual hours of 1:30 to 3:30 am, he would go and talk to “Hamster”! If he wasnt talking to me I was happy!

We picked out Mrs. Hamster from a local non chain pet store. She and her girl friends had just arrived, and I picked her because she came right to the glass of the tank to say hello. I opted for a Teddy Bear Hamster as I needed to make sure that it was big enough for a 3 year old to handle. She was really awesome. VERY friendly, VERY social and VERY Cute.

Then one day, about a week after we had her, I went up to Jack’s room, and there was no longer 1 hamster, there were about 13. If you heard a faint scream in your neck of the woods, even half way across the country, that was me. She must have been preggo before I got her, or else every one of those babies were going to be named Jesus. I called the Pet Store, and they said “If you can keep them, it would be better. Then bring them in when they are older.”

Ummmmm No…..Sorry……no more babies in my house please. PLUS, if you already are unaware, hamsters have a tendency of EATING their babies when they are stressed. I could see it now. Child walks into room and beloved hamster is chewing on one of her children. Cue the mental sequence in the child’s head associating me to chewing on him ANNNNNNND we are back to non sleeping.

So, no, I packed up Mommy and her babies and back she went. I was not happy to hear screaming from the cage on the way there, thinking that Mommy was eating them and I was listening to the murder. Thankfully, she didnt. The screaming was just that they didnt like the movement from the car.

We said Bye Bye to Mommy and I felt bad, but again, NO BABY EATING IN MY HOUSE.

So, now I have a void in the child’s room. It was NOT going to go back to the 1:30 to 3:30 am routine of “entertain me!” Yeah, no…not happening…

I wasnt going to get another girl hamster because god forbid I have another mystery pregnancy. My heart couldnt take it. So the only boy hamster they had was an older and somewhat ornery fellow. I didnt care. If he could sit there and listen to a kid talk to him every night, he could chew my fingers off every time I cleaned his cage.

So we had “Hamster” for a couple of months, then “Hamster” died.

OK…..bad luck with the hamsters….BUT GOOD LUCK with my strategy, as my sleepless child felt safe in his room with someone in there with him….

I needed to find a replacement, but was NOT going to do another hamster. I decided to let little child pick this one out.

For those familiar with my child, he has an amazing affinity with creatures big and small. He just “clicks” with them. (See this if you dont believe me).

So we set out  for ANY animal he thinks would be a good fit to keep him company at night.

He could have come home with an elephant if he wanted to, as I didnt care as long as it let me sleep!

Oh, but the ONLY thing I just cant do are snakes. I am PETRIFIED of SNAKES.

We first went to the pet store we got the hamsters from. We went cage to cage to cage, looking at bunnies, ferrets, guinea pigs, ground hogs, hedge hogs, lizards, frogs and turtles. Nothing. “We go to different store?” he asked me.

Ummmm…..OK…..so off we go to Petco. Same thing……”We go to different store?”

Then off to another store where I felt so bad I wanted to take everything home, but again “We go to different store?”

Soooo off to Petsmart, the only other store I could think of. We walk in, look around, and I say “did you find something?”

“This! This! I WANT THIS!”

With his eyes fixated on the glass tank, I looked in it and my stomach sank. Yes, he chose the rats. Now, we had just went EVERYWHERE and he saw rats, but NO, he wanted one of THESE rats.

“Are you SURE this is what you want?” “How about these cute guinea pigs?” “NO NO NO THIS ONE”.

Now, you have to understand the my child was EXTREMELY speech delayed at the time. At 3 he had the expressive language skills of an 18 month old. He says to me “Open this up and pull out the tank and pick that one” as he is also trying to open the display to take one out.

Ok Ok Ok…..I think I feel sick.

But to make matters worse, he isnt pointing to the fuzzy, kinda cute, multicolored ones…..he is pointing to the NAKED, HAIRLESS ONE. I think I almost passed out right then and there.

I said “OK, fine, but we have to make a compromise. I just cant do the naked ones.”

Thankfully, he picked one of the others.

So I asked the sales person about what I should know, and was actually kinda surprised to hear that they are very intelligent, very social, and VERY CLEAN. So if you didnt associated the name of “Rat” to the object, its sounds like the perfect pet!

I reluctantly agreed and the rat the child picked out was placed in a box to take home.

Can I tell you, that he was probably the easiest, nicest guy and YES, he was VERY CLEAN. Actually the CLEANEST pet we have probably ever had. We named him “GW”, but as we got to know him, we just called him “Rat”, because frankly, he was too nice to be associated to a rat. (Political statement)

Excited Kid

See! He was kinda cute!

Sadly he passed on sometime overnight. I hope he had a good life with us. I felt bad he didnt get out of his cage much, but frankly, he liked hanging in his house and shredding cardboard boxes. I discovered that pet rats such as these would become snake food when someone would come in and “feeder rats” were unavailable, so even though he didnt like to come out, it was still better than being dinner.

He was surprisingly a picky eater, to which I would tell him “ummm, you are a rat, you should be eating everything I give you!”. But most importantly, he was a good friend to a kid and was helpful in getting over the “Santa Reign of Terror” episodes, as well as other scary times. For the most part we are over the 1:30 to 3:30 am wakeups, but every once and a while, I would hear a one sided conversation. Hopefully we wont regress….

We’ll miss ya buddy! Thanks for teaching us how to not judge a book by its cover.

A Boy and his Horse

***I have been trying to crank this post out for almost a week, but between writer’s block, being tired, and lack of insprition to keep it going, I have had a hard time finishing. But now I am home with “Sick Boy” and he is engrossed with Phineas and Ferb, I have a little time…and I will preface, it is LONG, but I hope I kept it interesting and good read. So if you read everything – THANK YOU – this whole story means a lot to me. Im also probably full of typos and bad grammar, but will edit when I find things!*****

Attempt #1

So as I sit here on the momentary coffee/caffeine hit I am experiencing, I figured I would try and crank something out while I am somewhat coherent and alert. You know? Let me chat about my boy and his horse buddy and why a terrible decision at the time turned out to be the best decision for the future.

So back in May of 2006, the husband and I were finishing up all we needed to do to be put on the waiting list to adopt a child from South Korea. We were also in the midst of a frivolous, and I mean frivolous lawsuit that had nothing to do with me, but as our court system dictates, I have to defend myself. (I will chat about that at a different time and I will title that post “Karma, its What’s for Dinner” and will go through the time line of how people basically suck, and how no good deed goes unpunished, and how the adoption of our son was almost derailed, and how the judge threw out the case because it was ridiculous but I was still out thousands of dollars and how I could have sued back to get my fees and damages and would have won but didnt want to because we just wanted our kid home, and how as a result of all of this, the true nature of these individuals was exposed and they were shunned by the economic community they served and are now subsequently on the run from the law for unscrupulous business dealings.)

So as we were dealing with a lot of stuff, I just kept getting this NAGGING feeling to do something that was just NOT the right thing to do at the time. Get a horse. I enjoyed riding and took lessons and because of the circumstances above (“Karma”) I left, but found a very nice group of folks who allowed me to lease their horse at their backyard barn around the corner from my home, so I continued to ride, and I enjoyed it very much. It was good for me mentally and physically. Even though I was leasing a horse, the NAGGING feeling to have my own was just ridiculous. I have no idea why, but my husband said OK. We could pull it off. I had a good job. I made good money. I could work off part of the Boarding Fees. When the baby would come home, I could still head to the barn and see and ride the horse, and do the work for board exchange. It wasn’t a good idea, but I just couldn’t let it go.

So, with the husband giving the green light, it was time to search around for a horse. I had heard that the dealer who brokered horses out of the “Bad People/Karma Gonna Git Ya” barn I used to take lessons at had also experienced something similar to me, and he pulled all his horses out of there and started selling out of a different barn. He was the only broker I knew, but I knew that he was great at matching horses to riders. I also knew that he was a bit like a used car salesman, but he always had “a guarantee” if something was wrong and I could return the horse at any time for any circumstance. Seemed like a safe bet that if I couldnt handle the work load with the baby, I could give the horse back and get my $$ back. I hunted him down and met him at the barn he was now at. I explained that I was looking and he said he would head up to a sale to find something for me, as the horses he currently had were not a good match for me, as I am a timid rider, have the physical issues, etc. This was at the end of May.

By June, I called him to see if he had found anything. He said he was heading to a sale that weekend. So I called him the following Monday and he said “I think I have the perfect horse for you”. Sounds good! So the following weekend I head over there, and he directs me to a bay horse in a back stall. I had my tack with me to take him for a test drive. The dealer…………..

**** coffee wore off – lost inspiration ****

**** Finishing off at 8:00 PM – of DAY 1 Attempt –  cannot be held responsible for lack of cohesion****

OK, where was I….

Oh yeah….so I go check out “the perfect horse for you…me…..you know what I mean”….Dealer guy says to go ahead and tack him up because he is very good and will just stand there. Well, he was right! I tacked him up and we headed out for a test ride. Problem: no mounting block. Ok, I cannot mount a horse from the ground (that sounded wrong). I just dont have the leg strength. So here is how I knew this horse was calm and spook proof….Dealer guy went on one side of the horse and held down the stirrup so the saddle wouldnt shift, and then my husband somehow managed to push me up. It looked quite horrible…embarrassingly horrible….but the horse just stood there…

I trotted around with him and he was responsive, listened to what I asked, and things seemed really good. We agreed on a price and I asked to think about it.

I asked my friend, whose horse I was leasing, if she could go check him out for me, being she was far more horse experienced than I was. She of course offered to help me out and took the horse for a REAL spin. If you asked him to move, HE.WAS.FAST. After she ran him around, we took him to get hosed off since it was a bit hot that day. She checked him out and being he was going to stay at her place, she gave the green light, from the perspective of a person who has been around horses her whole life….

****************** Thats all I got out that night….continuing at lunch time 2nd Day*********************

So I arranged to have him delivered on July 4th to my friend’s house and he was going to live there, I was going to work off board, the equestrian park is literally a walk across the street, etc. He settled in great….at first….he walked right off that trailer….we put him in a paddock that separated him from the other horses………and he was just indifferent. We let him gather his senses, then we put him in the paddock he was going to inhabit with 2 other horses.

ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

Nice, happy, indifferent horse turned into S.O.B/GONNA KICK YOUR ASS/YOU ALL SUCK horse. The SCREAMING that emanated from this horse was ear piercing. Now, horses naturally set a hierarchy within a herd. It was apparent that he was going to be the boss, and there would be NO shenanigans, and all food would be his. It was bizarre and we were ALL shocked at his behavior. He was a REAL bastard.

I opted to let him settle in before trying to ride him, even though I wanted to right away. I mean, after all, I now owned a horse. Everyday I would go to clean and help feed, and every day for about a week I would hear about how he kicked the shit out of this horse, bit the hell out of that other horse, pinned his ears back at the barn owners when anyone approached when he was eating…...I thought FOR SURE at that time, I HAD made the most terrible decision. But, he was “bomb proof” and in the grand scheme of things, that was important, in that he was safe for me to ride. So I will deal with the attitude crap. One horse was going to be leaving in about a month, so we could put him in another paddock where he would be alone.

So after about a week of acclimating, I decided to take him for a ride. I could go into the paddock and say hello, and pat him down, and  scratch him up, especially if I had food. BUT, he was just “flat“. Thats the only way I could explain it. He had NO personality. While the other horses followed you around like puppy dogs, he could care less. While the other horse owners would get nuzzles from their horses, he was devoid of any of that. Again, I could go and pet him, and scratch him, etc, but he was “just there”. HOWEVER, the second he saw me walk in with a halter, lead rope, and saddle that first time, IT.WAS.OVER. Thats it. I DID make the worst decision of my life. Not only did he try and avoid me, he would spin his butt at me. He wouldnt kick, but sent a clear message that I WAS NOT going to go ANYWHERE near him ESPECIALLY if I had a lead rope, halter and a saddle in the distance. I was devastated. He HATES me….

I was able to bribe him with some carrots, and was able to catch him and halter him and take him out of the paddock. Thats when I noticed something VERY sad. That “feisty, you’re not gonna get me, I dont want to work” guy became BROKEN when I put that halter on him. It was like a complete removal of any free will. He was aloof when unhaltered, and fought to get away when you tried to halter him, but once you got him, it was like his spirit was broken. There is a difference between a BROKE horse, which indicates they are excellently tempered and have good training, so they are predictable, and BROKEN, which is basically taking the spirit and drive out of them.

He was good when I got on him, and listened and was “safe”, but the two personalities were so polar opposite. I rode him around the property and then let him go back to his paddock where he went as far as he could away from me.

A couple of days later, he was put into his own paddock, as the other horse left sooner than expected. The barn owners said that he was spinning his butt on them too when they tried to put him in his new place, and when putting him in the barn at night. The asked if it was OK to keep a halter on at all times, because when the farrier came out earlier, he did it to him as well, and it would just be safer….

I agreed and sure enough, he was easier to get when he had that halter on, but I noticed that same “sadness” in his eyes and change in his personality with the halter on vs. halter off.

In retrospect, when I first got him, he had halter marks on his face: areas of missing hair from where a halter was left on too long….

**** Continuing 1/17 – lets see how this goes ****

So I decided at this point that yes, I was sold a BROKE horse, but yes, he was BROKEN. But these were issues I believed I could fix. When I started getting interested in horses, I researched NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP. First I read the books by Monty Roberts – THE Horse Whisperer (Robert Redford’s the Horse Whisperer movie was loosely based on him, more as a character than as a biography). He studied the natural behavior of wild horses and picked up on their communications between each other, then basically applied his knowledge to “gentle” horses – AKA use their own language to communicate with them, which in return, leads to better working and training relationships between horse and human. He went so far as to apply his techniques to a WILD Mustang, IN THE WILD. It was amazing.

Monty Roberts

So basically, I realized I needed to build a trusting relationship with Indy, as I named him, and work with him to help him realize that A) I am not a threat, B) I can be trusted and C) He can be comfortable with me.

In addition to Monty Roberts, I also looked into Pat Parelli and his techniques, as well as GaWaNi Pony Boy, a Native Smerican who uses Native American techniques to work with horses. Both men focus on Monty’s principals of trust building, communication, etc and have created their own systems of training.

In accordance with Parelli, I spent WEEKS just SITTING in the paddock with Indy and DOING NOTHING! Yeah, it was great. I had this horse I was paying board on, and was cleaning 7 stalls and paddocks twice a week, and was paying insurance, etc. and all I was doing was sitting in the corner of his paddock for hours….

Basically, as I deduced, Indy has no connection to me, or anyone for that matter. People would come in, grab him, make him work, and put him back. That the only thing I could think of. No wonder he wasnt thrilled to see anyone. By sitting in his paddock, I was showing him that I come by for more things than just working him. The first couple of days he would just stand at the far end of the paddock with his butt towards me. A few days later he would at least look at me. A day or two after that, he would face me from afar. The next day, he would walk up and sniff me, then would retreat to his corner. Then finally, he would just come over, stand and hang out. Literally. He would “Hang Out” (see You Have to Clean His What?!) In all seriousness, a horse that is just “hanging out” is a horse who is VERY comfortable. Eventually, he would greet me with it. Lucky me. So after about 2-3 weeks of just chillin’, I guess I was OK in his book.

Once he got to the point to where he would actually greet me at the gate, I started him with a different halter. I used a very basic rope halter like this:

It is VERY basic and I wanted him to have a POSITIVE association to a halter, as the typical halter like what he was wearing was associated with being “BROKEN”. I did the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Games with him to garner trust and to let him know I could be a pretty awesome and consistent alpha horse. Click the pic to learn more:

Parelli Level 1

Can I tell you that after a week or so, IT WORKED! TRULY amazing. The next step was to garner a relationship with the saddle. Unlike the previous time when I saddled him and he went “flat”, he was content with what was going to come next. I kept his ROPE halter on, as he knew it was A GOOD THING that meant COOL FUN STUFF, and knowing that he was safe, I used a BITLESS BRIDLE. Riding him was like night and day. He was still safe, and listened to what I asked of him, but the difference was that he WANTED TO work with me vs. BEING FORCED to work with me.

The barn owners were truly thrilled by the transformation, as his “attitude issues” were pretty much gone too. It was such a WONDERFUL affirmation one day when I was there, and he was right at my shoulder, being nuzzly. She said to me how great it was to see that he and I finally had that great relationship. So I got him in July of 2006, and he was good to go by the fall. It took that long but he was now happy.

But then there was some other stuff that wasnt so great. UGGGGGGGGGG

There – I hopefully have your attention again!

So during my research about Natural Horsemanship, I discovered a dirty little secret about the horse industry: HORSE SLAUGHTER. Being naive as I was at the time, I thought that horse dealers go to sales, much like used car dealers go to auctions to pick up stock. Well, they do, and they do bid on horses run through a sale, and they can get a real nice deal on a horse that they can then turn around and sell for a profit. Sounds good, right? Well, unlike used car auctions, where many folks are there to buy to sell or drive, there are KILL BUYERS at horse auctions that aim to pick up horses CHEAP so they can in turn be sent to slaughter. And its not just old, decrepit horses that get bought by the kill buyers. Its the racehorses that dont make the grade, its the horses at riding barns that cant pull their weight anymore, its the extra camp horses that are no longer needed when the summer is over. When there are too many horse at the sale, and not enough private buyers, they go to the bad place.

The reason why there was a link between Natural Horsemanship and Horse Slaughter is that horses that were deemed “unruly” and sent to slaughter, we often saved by rescued and “gentled” by Natural Horsemanship to create great horses. There are no bad horses, just people who mess them up for them to turn “bad”…

So what does this have to do with me and Indy. Well, one day, he came up LAME. He was running around like a buffoon sometime that august, and he hurt himself. He was limping on his front right leg. My friend and I checked him out and he had no heat anywhere which would be indicative of an injury nor did he have any swelling. We kept him calm and within a day or two, he was fine. I thought about that “Money Back Guarantee” I was given but wasnt going to give him back as I put a lot of work into getting him to like me, but more importantly, if I gave him back, HE WOULD GO TO AUCTION. A LAME horse at an auction is pretty much an instant death penalty, and I knew that he would go right back to the auction so the dealer could recoup some money. So yeah, the money back guarantee suddenly had a different meaning and I wasn’t going to have him befall that fate.

Fast Forward to December 11th, 2006 – WE WERE MATCHED WITH A BEAUTIFUL BABY BOY half way around the world. He came home in quite a crazy manner (TBD later!) on February 14, 2007!.

I couldnt wait until I could introduce Seoul Man to Indy, as both will become part of each other’s life. I just had no idea how much so at that time. I was afraid to have the baby close to Indy because although we were doing well with Indy and his Crankiness,I felt I couldn’t trust him with the impulsiveness and erratic motions of a 4 months old.

Dontcha know, I get out of the car holding the baby, and Indy walks to the fence as if to say “ITS ABOUT TIME YOU GOT HERE KID!!!

Their first picture together is worth a thousand words:

SeoulMan and Indy

So Seoul Man and I had a nice routine when I was off from work. Every day we would head over to the barn to see Indy. Usually, SM would fall asleep in the Jeep, which would allow me to do my “work exchange for board” chores and be able to work with Indy. When he would wake up, I would grab Indy and bring him to the Jeep to greet SM through the window! Again, I dont know which one was happier to see the other! And you should have seen what would happen when he would cry (the child of course). It was like the giant horse turned into a panicked worry wort. “WHY IS HE CRYING! IS HE HURT! IS HE SICK! IS HE HUNGRY! WHY IS HE CRYING!!!”

NOW HERE IS SOME INTERESTING STUFF I LEARNED ABOUT INDY AFTER JACK CAME HOME! YOU’RE GONNA LOVE THIS!

So some new boarders came with their horse to stay in the back yard barn of my friend. This person used to also take lessons at “The Bad Karma” barn, and purchased HER horse from the same dealer as me. She knew ALLLLL about the stupid lawsuit against me as she was still at the place at the time, and she also knew stuff about MY horse. So are you ready? Remember I said horse dealers can be like used car dealers?! So, she takes one look at my horse and says “Is THAT Lynx?” I was like, what? “Is that horse Lynx? You got him from <dealer> right? Well, yes, his show name is Lynx B Naughty, and he didnt have a name when I got him, but that seems too close to be coincidental. “Yes, YES, that IS him! I would recognize those ears anywhere!”

Ummmmm……explain?

Sooooo, I discover that Lynx, or Indy as he is named now, used to be at “The Bad Karma” barn. He was owned my the horse dealer’s MISTRESS! Yes, he was having an affair. He was having an affair with this new boarder’s (I will call her X) friend. So X’s friend, who owned Indy, boarded him at “Bad Karma Barn”. “Oh! He was lame! He used to have this issue with his hooves!” Oh really now?

“X” went on to explain that one day, the Mistresses’ husband found out about the affair, and went to “Bad Karma Barn” and beat the shit out of the horse dealer. Shortly thereafter, horse dealer left, (for reasons I explained before), and “X” and her friend pulled their horses out and rough boarded them somewhere else. Then Mistress has to abruptly get rid of Lynx, know known as Indy, as it was not good to have the horse who she got from the guy she was cheating on her husband with. Are you with me?

OK, merge in my phone call back that June, and  “I have the perfect horse for you”. Yup, he never went an auction like he said (at least that weekend), he was just GIVEN BACK a horse! Lynx AKA Indy. Literally, the day before I called. I told you horse dealers are like used car salesmen!

So as I talk to “X” she tells me that Indy was lame, and that was another reason her friend got rid of him. She kept saying it was something with his shoes. She also said that, since she was friends with “the horse dealer”, she called him out on it! He fessed up but said that in the end, he was in a good home, which he was, and for what I was going to use him for, the mystery “recurring injury” wouldnt be an issue.

Now, knowing how horses were taken care of at “Bad Karma Barn”, it made sense that he was an asshole with other horses. It was not uncommon for horses to be packed into small turnouts with electrical fencing. Cram a bunch of horses in a small area with the constant potential for electrical shock, I’d be an asshole too. Added to that, I believe that in his rough board situation, he may not have been fed regularly, hence the reason why he was a dick around food.

“X” realizing that she probably said too much, and that she was also friends with another party in the frivolous lawsuit, the party who would be brought into an easily winnable “lawsuit to get my  fees back and then some” lawsuit if I chose to, opted to leave my friend’s barn in the middle of the night with no notice. QUALITY!

So there ya go. Cliff note version: Sold a knowingly lame horse of the horse dealer’s mistress who needed to get rid the horse quick for the sake of her marriage. Much different than the: got him at an auction that weekend and he just came up from Texas after working cows on a ranch.”

SO NOW, HERE IT IS, THE INCIDENT that, at that point, I said THIS HORSE WILL ALWAYS HAVE A HOME WITH ME.

One day when Seoul Man was about 10 months old (he wasnt walking yet) I headed over to the barn to see Indy and do some work with him. SM was sound asleep in the Jeep and I took Indy out of his paddock to just hang out with him. I dont even remember if I rode him. Anyway, Indy had a lingering problem with tight spaces. If in fact, he was a ranch horse, he was probably put in a cattle shoot to herd the cattle. Its narrow, its crowded and ya, I could see why he would be nervous. He would DART through a narrow space. So, when being lead to his stall, he would DART through the opening in the stall. He would DART through the gate to his paddock as well. One of the things I worked with on was “lets walk through the door/gate SLOWLY”. Again, he made BIG improvement. After talking to “X”, she said the previous  owner had a tendency of working him hard and fast (see why he didnt want to work, especially because he was in pain?) and then whipping him back in his stall and leaving. So yes, he had many negative associations. I made GREAT progress with him and he was no longer doing it.

On this particular day, when I was done with him, I was walking him back to his paddock. As he entered between the gate and the fence, the gate started CLOSING in on him. He saw this AND PANICKED. He BOLTED through the gate (ripping the lead rope right out of my hand), and the gate CLOSED IN and SYNCHED his ribs. He BROKE the gate and then proceeded to TAKE DOWN THE FENCE. It happened in a matter of seconds. So obviously concerned about his safety first, I go in to see if he is hurt. What does he do? He REVERTED RIGHT BACK to that horrible “I DONT TRUST YOU” phase and wouldnt let me ANYWHERE near him. I stood watching him stand as far in the corner of the paddock as he could, with his ribs twitching. Every time I go anywhere near him, he goes butt first. I was panicked and devastated at the same time.

I went and rigged the fence and the gate to keep him in, then ran to the house where I grabbed my friend’s son (13 at the time?) to tell him what happened. He came out and we figured out how to temporarily fix the paddock until my husband could get there (I called him and he was on his way home from work anyway). He also saw Indy butt spinning at me and running to get away from me. At that point, I knew I wasnt going to get anywhere near him, but I knew who could.

I went to the Jeep and Seoul Man was awake, probably because of the commotion. I took him out of his car seat and he was all smiles because he knew where he was. I walked into the paddock, and when Indy saw him, he turned around to face us. I swear, and I had a witness, that with SM on my left hip, I was able to approach Indy. I kid you not when I say that Seoul Man put  his RIGHT HAND on Indy’s forehead, and his LEFT HAND on Indy’s cheek. Indy put his head down, which is a sign of comfort, and while trying to keep SM in this position while balancing him on my hip ,was able to feel all around to see if Indy was seriously hurt. He wasnt.

I decided at that point, that these two had a special bond and I would not break that up.

It seemed like after that point, Seoul Man and Indy were closer than ever before too. When SM started walking and talking, he would RUN to his paddock to say hello. And his SECOND WORD? (The first was Daddy) INDY! (Interestingly, when SM lost all his words – one of his red flag Autism signs – he still retained INDY).

SM dressed as his FAV person that Halloween:

When Seoul Man began the long road that would become Attachment Disorder, later followed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and the resignation of my job (and subsequent loss of income), I had to make some hard decisions regarding Indy. Do I give him back and pray he doesnt end up at a slaughterhouse? Do I try and sell him privately? There was no way I could afford board down an income. Then I remember, that when making THE POORLY TIMED DECISION, I always had a PLAN C in the back of my head. If need be, my home is actually zoned for horses. I could have 2 horses on my 1/2 acre. So THAT is what I did. Sure, it would be a lot more work, but heck, it meant I could keep him! So I got a small run in shed, 2 goats to keep him company (story to follow!) and began the daily chores of an onsite horse owner, and yes, it is a lot of work, but I wouldnt have it any other way.

The day I walked Indy over to our house from my friend’s, I kept it a secret from Seoul man. I had my husband take him out so it would be a surprise when he got home. And yes, it was a surprise! He took one look outside and yelled INDY INDY INDY INDY INDY!!!!! Needless to say, I havent looked back or questioned my decision.

Its been 3 years since Indy “moved in” and he it has been a lot of work, but he has also been a lot of help. During those horrible Attachment meltdowns and anxiety attacks, I would wrap SM up in a blanket in the middle of the night and run him outside. Indy calmed him down. I would get a much needed laugh as I would watch SM slide down the slide of his swing set, only to be met by the 1000 pound nervous Nelly at the base of the slide. “What is he doing???!!! He’s going to get hurt!”. I see how the two of them have “grown”, to the point now where SM and Indy ride together, and I see how the two of them will do great things in the future.

So yes, my BAD decision was for a reason. Somewhere, somehow, these two needed to cross paths. I needed to help Indy heal, and then Indy needed to help my son heal. I actually look at Indy as my first “Attachment Parenting Case” as I needed to do right by him to make him better. Then he helped to make our son better, I can can say with confidently, that I could not do it alone.

********************************************************************************************

It took me DAYS to write this, and I hope folks can stick through it to the end. I discovered some more stuff about Indy that truly makes me believe in Karma and Fate. I have his Quarter Horse registration papers. I wanted to put him in  my son’s name, so officially, he would be owned by him. His papers say he was born in North Dakota, then was purchased in South Dakota to a rancher. He was then sold to another rancher in South Dakota, then somehow wound up at a sale barn in Minnesota. I have no owner information after Minnesota, but his Coggins paperwork had him under the “ownership” of a sale barn, who sends midwestern horses to a sale barn in Massachusetts once a week. Judging by his Hip Tag info that I received with him, along with his papers, I deduced that he was sent to this sale and that is how he ended up in the North East. So, he was never in Texas as I was told. I was then told when I called The American Quarter Horse Association, that I cannot change his registration papers, unless the previous owners listed sign him over. So I did some Googling, and was able to track down the 1st owner, who directed me to the 2nd owner, who directed me to the 3rd. All three people said “HE WAS LAME. THATS WHY WE GOT RID OF HIM”. Everyone said he was a good boy, but just lame, and in the industry, a lame horse isnt useful. To me, its amazing that he was shuffled from auction to auction, and never wound up in a kill pen. If you know how many horses, especially LAME ones, end up at the slaughter house, you would know why I say this. I wonder if Indy ever thought he would wind up in a back yard on Long Island under the care of a 5 year old boy.

And regarding his lameness. I pulled his shoes, which caused his hooves to strengthen and widen out. He also is a giant lawn ornament. I think this combination have allowed him to heal. Every once and a while, if he twists the wrong way, he hurts himself, but it is nothing like when he came up lame on me the first time.

Isnt he handsome!

Dear New Dog: Redux

Dear New Dog:

When the man is away on business, the Old Dog will take the opportunity to inhabit a greater majority of the bed as there is more room readily available. I welcome this more equal distribution of comfortable sleeping space as typically, I am pushed out of the bed or continually wakened by the movements of the dreaming Old Dog. When said Old Dog stands up at 12:30 am, he is simply repositioning himself into a more comfortable sleeping position, as typical evenings leave little room for movement. I would think you would identify that this was the case, as the dog specific, as I call it, “circle circle circle, drop” routine was invoked. Also called “Dont turn around, end up in the pound”, I do not know why you do it or what you yourselves call it, but it is very obvious that it does not mean that Old Dog is getting up to get ready to play. In fact, it is the polar opposite. Since you New Dog were walking excitedly with anticipation, it makes complete sense that you had to go out shortly thereafter. Thankfully, you opted to abide by the rules set out in my last communication to you and went out and came right back in. It did stop me, however, from falling asleep again.

Dear 5 Year Old Child:

Thank you for sleeping until almost 7am. If you decide to do that again, can you please communicate with me the previous evening so that I am not awake at 5am in anticipation of your usual wake up time.

Dear People Who May Be Casing My Home Since My Husband Is Away on Business:

I have authentic Samurai Swords decoratively displayed on my bedroom wall, but they are easily accessible (to adult sized humans) and I will not hesitate to use them. They are sharp. Old Dog is a 100 pound Akita/Pitbull Mix who would not be happy to see you examining my home from the exterior or interior. New Dog is an 80 pound Tamaskan Wolf Dog. Be afraid. If you try and enter my home through the back yard, you will trigger the “Goat Alarm”, i.e. human=food, food=LOUD yelling.

Here is an example:

My neighbors will know that this is not typical and will actively investigate.

Finally, my parrot can and does talk on the phone, so if I am unable, she will.

Thank You,

The Management

Dear Old Dog and New Dog

Dear New Dog:

I dont mind that you had to go out at 3:30 am. It is not uncommon for even myself to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Please go out, do your business, then come back in. Please do not stalk the cat, raccoon, or alien that may have been skulking around the yard prior to your arrival. Please do not try and swim in the Koi Pond. Walking on it in its frozen state is also not a desirable action. Also, 3:30 am is not the proper time to socialize. Everyone in the backyard is sleeping too. No one wants to play. And please come back when I call you. The sight of my silhouette in the doorway, coupled with my calling of you, is an association to expect hay and grain shortly thereafter. The neighbors do not want to hear bleating and neighing at 3:30 am, nor do I want to go outside in the shorts and tee shirt I am currently wearing, nor do I want to put my sock-less feet into the ice cold muck boots outside the door.

Dear Old Dog: I dont mind that you had to go out at 3:45 am. It is not uncommon for even myself to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. However, please do not alert me to your need to go out once I am back upstairs and comfortably positioned in the nice warm bed. You should know that getting into a comfortable position is essential to successful sleeping, and the acquisition of such position is a feat of properly placed pillows, proper length of sheet and blanket and comfortable distance from human and dog co inhabiting the bed with me.  And if you do need to let me know you have to go out, do not do so by laying sprawled out on said bed and continually whining and sighing. This is akin to sitting on the couch on a Sunday watching football and exclaiming “Oh MAN, I have to pee SO BAD, but I am just too lazy to get up”. This is not acceptable at 3:45 am.

Dear Five Year Old Child: Please work on your time telling skill set. Dogs running up and down the stairs at 3:30 to 3:45 am does not equate official waking hours. Please notice that it is still dark. Please notice there are no birds chirping. Please notice everyone going to back sleep.

Thank you,

The Management

Putting Money in the Therapy Jar

We always joke that we not only have a College Fund for little darling, but also a therapy fund for when he is a teenager. Not because he may need to synthesize his feelings about adoption, or reconcile how he is of different race from his parents and may or may not feel like he fits in, etc. No, we have this therapy fund set up because I am his mother. For instance, this past Tuesday, as a test to verify that his teachers read the MANDATED reading log that WE PARENTS MUST SUBMIT EVERY MONTH. The same reading log that is given to us in a blocked calendar format that doesnt leave enough room to write the MANDATED BOOK TITLE AND AUTHOR inside of it. Being as ornery as I am I asked (well, I asked but was going to do it anyway) if I could just list the books read during the month, as my ASD child enjoys routine and may want to read the same book over and over again and heck, Im not going to deny him that, yet, writing “Time Life Books for Kids: Why Does the Wind Blow” over and over and over and over again in the tiny little box is just, well, a pain! So at the conclusion  of the month of December, I wrote up my list, and included the “Victoria’s Secret Catalog” in it. I made sure to place it in such a position as to not garner attention, but rather, would require reading the list to find it. I anxiously awaited dear child’s return from school so I could see if I received a “Ha Ha” or a “Funny” or even just the usual sticker in the corner of the page that indicated the assignment was completed. I got nothin’. The page didnt even come home. I am thinking at this point, it has been placed in the “Permanent File” that seems to follow a child through their school career, and may be used against me to prove mental damage or unfit parenting. Oh well, I thought it was funny. $1.00 in the therapy jar.

Have Saddle Will Ride….

Seoul Man got himself a new Barrel Racing Saddle from the Man in Red. Thankfully Santa’s Reign of Terror did not carry over to objects given to him for Christmas, lest there would be some disappointed parents. With Daddy being home today we were finally able to make sure it fit everyone right. He is still a tiny bit too short for the stirrups, but we will figure something out….

Look out Islip Horseman’s Association, there’s a new competitor in town!

Old Dog in the Sun

Brushing the Muddy Mess - The giant tree branch that came down compliments of Irene has made itself into an excellent grooming, tacking and tie up section. When it had leaves, it was an excellent salad bar.

This horse emits dust. He is the "Pig Pen" of the Horse World....

New Saddle and Saddle Pad

Ready to Go!

Here I am thinking he wanted to kiss me or something, but it turns out he was just using me as a giant human scratching post. Whatever was itching him left remnants all over the side of my head and neck. Thanks Indy.

Just a Cool Dog

I usually hate looking at pics of myself and dont share them, but this one I kinda liked. Plus, you can get a nice shot of that new Bitless Bridle!

Day THREE of SANTA’S REIGN OF TERROR

I will preface that this post will probably be filled with poor grammar, bad spelling, missing words and poor punctuation. Day three of, what I will abbreviate as “SROT”, has sapped any amount of coherency and energy out of me. The 1st night we made the mistake, albeit good idea at the time, of letting dear little child sleep with us. Of course, the next night, it was all about “I want to sleep with you”. Ummmm no…..have you ever listened to Daddy’s tales of terror encompassing my walking around, having full conversations with imaginary entities, and frantic episodes of sheet removal, pushing out of the bed, and even the occasional scream? Yes, you dont want to share a room with Mommy unless you are 100 pounds heavier than she, or are wearing a cup.

Lets figure something else out then. If you dont sleep in your own room, Santa will come and…..yeah, thats not a good idea…

How about….Sleep in your room and I will keep my door open so you can see us. We wont forget. Promise…

Ok, sounds like a plan. I’ll even deal with the light in the hallway lighting our room up if it means a full night’s sleep. Cue 2:00 am knock on the door. Ooops, someone closed our door and little darling had to remind us that we said we would keep it open. Cue the “I want to sleep with you”, then the “OK leave your door open.”

So we leave the door open. Child goes back to bed.

Cue the puppy who now thinks its time to walk into child’s room, walk down the stairs, steal some things he shouldnt have, walk up the stairs and make a lot of noise, lay at the top of the stairs, get back up and go back down stairs, repeat…

This isnt a good idea….Shut the door….child’s radar immediately wakes him up. Open door, dog party….

Eventually we blocked said dog in the room with a door gate and he settled down, but of course, 2 hours have passed and by the time we (well, mostly me) can relax, its time to get up.

Repeat all of the above for night 3.

Damn you Santa….Damn you…

2012 Resolution/Santa’s Reign of Terror

My 2012 resolution is to write about irreverent, funny moments in life. If none are available at that particular time,  I will write about aggravating experiences in a snarky and condescending manner, therefore making it irreverent and funny.

So, for my first quipy (I just made up a word) log, lets talk about how our Christmas experience was. Oh yes, keeping it irreverent and funny….

Santa’s Reign of Terror 2011:

This was probably the first year where our darling little 5 year old “really” got “the whole Santa” thing. As parents, we were excited because he knew Santa was going to come on Christmas Eve, and that he had to be good because “Santa is always watching”, etc. We looked forward to the impending excitement that we experienced as children; being too excited to fall asleep, waking every hour on the hour and wondering if Santa had come yet,  our parents yelling at us to go back to sleep, the anticipation of venturing into the room with the Christmas Tree and seeing all that was there. “SANTA CAME! SANTA CAME!”

All interactions with little darling  regarding said Santa were positive, upbeat, and encrusted with a jovial expression. We couldnt wait to see the expression on his face when he would walk  into our pre-dawn living room, lit by the colors on the Christmas tree, with beautifully wrapped gifts strategically placed. We would not experience that. Not even close.

Why?

“Santa is going to COME INSIDE OUR HOUSE WHEN WE ARE ASLEEP”? “I DONT WANT SANTA TO COME IN THE HOUSE WHEN WE ARE ASLEEP!”

{{{sigh}}}

We were completely blind sided at this little nugget of information. Earlier in the day on Christmas Eve, little child met (as he does every year) the large man in red at a family event we host annually. He and said man exchanged conversation, talked about what may be delivered Christmas Eve because little child fulfilled his requirement of being good all year, and received an early gift. All good, right? Wrong.

As the festivities continued into Christmas Eve, little one liners would pop up:

“How does Santa get in the house?”: Since we dont have a fireplace, we concocted an elaborate scheme of where Santa would park his sleigh in our backyard under our apple tree. While the reindeer have a chat with the goats and horse, Santa will walk to our back door, and tap on the glass to alert our two dogs. The two dogs will open the door and let Santa in (I did not realize the significance of the dogs not having opposable  thumbs), where Santa will walk through our Den, into our Kitchen, and onto our Living Room where the tree is. After depositing gifts in strategic places, he will then walk back through the kitchen, where he will grab the cookies and milk on the way out, will pat the dogs in the den before exiting through the back door. He will go back into his sleigh, after leaving treats for the goats and the horse, and will take off to head to the neighbor’s house. Sounded good, right?

“Is Santa going to come when I’m asleep?”: Yes, you need to go to sleep or else Santa wont come. If you dont go to sleep, you will throw off Santa’s schedule and he will be late going to other people’s houses.

“When is Santa going to come?”: Expecting an exact time, just repeat previous answer

By the time we arrived home at around 7:30 pm, the above questions were repeatedly asked, with increasing nervousness and intensity. We answered the same questions over and over until about 8:30, even invoking 2 actual walkthroughs with me as Santa acting out each step of the arrival. Note to self: have shoes on when starting outside with Step 1 and have food ready when venturing outside, as all outside inhabitants will think you are there to feed them.

Darling child calming requested: “I want my door shut. I dont want Santa to see me.” OK, request approved, a request VERY unusual as closing the child’s bedroom door created mass panic. Door open and hallway light on – the status quo for about 3 years. Fine, no problem, door closed.

OK, so everything is ok and good to go! Commence bedtime routine! And do so quickly as we have to finish wrapping!

Being so tired from the day, little child fell asleep about 8:45 and we were good to go! Or so we thought.

At around 10:30, while trying to fall asleep ourselves, I hear the unmistakeable THUNK that is the darling little child jumping out of bed, followed up with the thud, thud, thud, thud of an awake child walking around their room. Lovely husband went into little darling’s room and, I hear faintly from my comfortably warm covers: “You didnt shut the door”! Oooops…..

I then hear the dreaded questions again: How does Santa get in, is he coming when I am alseep, and when is he going to come.

Roboticly, my wonderful husband recounts all the steps of the evening as little child gets back into bed. This time, as he leaves, he closes the door behind him, then ventures into our bedroom. As soon as he gets himself into bed and gets comfortable, the sound of uncontrollable sobbing is heard from little child (insert one sigh and eye roll – this is going to be a long night).

“I DONT WANT SANTA TO COME INTO OUR HOUSE” was made out between the hyperventilating cries. At this point I get up and whip out my great idea. “OK, here is what we will do. I’ll get Daddy’s phone and he will send Santa an email and ask him to put the gifts in the shed or barn because little child is afraid of his venturing into the house when he was asleep”. So, at 11:00, I was CC’d on said email to Santa, and all was good, right? Santa even responded back to the email to say OK, no problem. OK! Go to bed! We know on a good day you are up at 5am and we have a long day on Christmas and we are already burnt out already!!!!

Soooooo……email. Check. Door – we will still keep it closed. Check. No longer afraid. Check. Bedtime.

Once again, we get comfortable in our bed, and try to unwind and nod off. Then the THUNK, thud thud thud….then “knock knock knock” on our door. “COME IN” we yell, and little child is standing with his head peaking in the room. “What wrong”….wouldnt answer…”Santa said he will go to the shed”…..no answer….”Santa wont come unless you are asleep”….no answer….

“Do you want to sleep in here tonight” I asked VERY reluctantly. YES and he bolted into our room and within seconds was trying to nudge his way in between myself and my husband, and above the dog who is stretched between the middle and end of the bed.

Its not that I didnt want to have the child sleep with us….how sweet is that….its that he TOSSES and TURNS, KICKS and SNORES!  I have had SNORE FREE sleeping since husband was given a CPAP machine for Sleep Apnea – I have become used to SNORE FREE. Being that little child was a bit congested, I knew I would not be immune….

So thinking quickly, I ran and grabbed the his sheets, and the futon mattress, and said “SLEEP HERE” pointing to the floor. “NO I WANT TO SLEEP <you are going to sleep here or back in your room and Santa is going to come and….> OK, I’ll sleep on the floor”.

So OK, child is on the floor, husband and myself in bed, old dog in correct position, and surprisingly, young dog not completely out of his gourd because his favorite child is sleeping next to him on the floor. Time to go to sleep, right??!?!!! Yeahhhh, right….

Have I mentioned that the other reason why you dont want to share a bed with me is that I get night terrors, especially when over tired and stressed out, and occasionally when I take melatonin, like I did at 9:15 pm that evening? Yeah, I guess I didnt.

Well, at about 12:00, I started sleep walking, and thought that the puppy was laying on top of the child, and the child wasnt moving or breathing. Commence panic complete with tripping over TV cord stretched across floor, ripping off sheets and blankets on child and poking and moving him to see if he is still breathing. Mind you, said dog was at the other end of the room, and child was breathing, and thankfully slept through the whole ordeal. PHEW….

Cue 1:30. Child standing at the head of the bed. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. How does Santa get in, is he coming when I am alseep, and when is he going to come. GO BACK AND LAY DOWN OR Santa is going to come in the house…….

Cue 6:00 am. Child standing at head of the bed. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Did Santa come?

Being that it was regular wake up time, and the object of sleep was pretty much gone, daddy and child went downstairs. Even though I was awake pretty much all night as a result of over anticipation of having sleep disturbed, I opted to pretend I was asleep. I noticed the child was actually quietly standing and staring at the man for a good 5 minutes before he said something. Kinda Norman Bates’ish if you ask me….whatever….

A few minutes later….I hear the stomping up the stairs and knew my time in bed was over.

No excitement from the child. No exclamation of “SANTA CAME AND HE BROUGHT PRESENTS”, no “GET UP GET UP GET UP!!!”. Just a drone, monotone….

“Santa borrowed our wrapping paper”….

I guess thats my cue to get up….

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