Posts Tagged ‘guinea pigs’

As mentioned, Blitzen is exploring an array of conflicted and heavy emotions right now. And it is playing out, as these things do, in just about all aspects of our life.

One of Blitzen’s odd triggers is cleaning the guinea pig cage. I guess most children who own guinea pigs argue with their parents about cleaning the cage. I get it, it is gross, creating how to videos is whole lot more fun, and you know, the whole childhood – you are not the boss of me – thing.

But with Blitzen, every day parental disagreements are so loaded. So, during our weekly cage cleaning, Blitzen got pretty mad at me. And I told her that I wasn’t interested in being yelled at so she could clean the cage independently or call me when she was ready work together without fighting.

Her response,’You always bail on me. You just walk away. You’ve been lying to me since I was 8. And telling me that I can’t be what I really want to be.’

And I said, ‘Blitzen, what is this really about? I don’t think we’re talking about guinea pigs any more.’

Blitzen yelled, ‘you told me I could never be a mermaid and all I want is be a mermaid. I believe it but you don’t.’

Carrie replied, ‘Blitzen, that doesn’t sound like me. I don’t bail on you, I am here, right now, trying to help. And as for mermaids, some people believe in them and some people don’t. But you can believe it in and I think it is wonderful that you do.’

Oh boy, my poor Blitzen. It really sucks to be in this in between, insecure place.

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Blitzen and I took the day off of school and work to celebrate the day.  And a really weird thing happened – we had an amazing time.  Blitzen and I have never up to this point been able to sustain 12 hours of one on one interaction without some serious blow back.  It was obvious to me that she was trying  so hard – she was so engaged, so polite and pleasant. We actually had fun.

At one point during our adventure (which had a surprisingly low amount of guinea interaction) we were in the shoe department at Macy’s.  Blitzen wears women’s sized shoes now and this is a problem because Blitzen would like to wear stilettos and it is really hard to simply avoid them since we need to shop in the big lady shoe aisle.  We were attempting to find a compromise – a shoe with perhaps a little kitten heal that would feel grown up but not break her ankles.  At one point she sat down, sad bordering on mad but clearly exasperated with me and calmly said, “Carrie, I just feel like you are trying to the take the fun out of everything.  And I don’t see the difference between those shoes and these shoes!”  Well, the difference was about 4 inches of heel but that is not the point.   I responded that I didn’t want to ruin the fun and that I understood that she wanted something different than what I was offering.  Then I found a young, hip sales lady of color and asked her to help us. Well, I don’t think you can tip in the shoe department – maybe you can and maybe I should have — because this young lady brought us every sparkly, gawdy, golden, twinkling low heeled shoe on the sales floor plus some flats.  She went on and on about how high heels hurt her feet and she likes low shoes so she can dance and have fun.  And Blitzen recovered without a single rude word, with no snark or tears, no angry monologues about how badly I suck.

I do believe that it was the Guinea Pig Day miracle of 2014.

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Blitzen really hates going up the stairs in our very narrow, very tall house.  Yesterday, she invented a dumb-waiter of sorts.  Using her easter basket and some purple sparkly yarn, she now raises and lowers things from the second floor landing  into the living room.  Things that were airlifted this morning in one direction or the other:

1) tupperware of guinea pig treats (left over strawberry tops with leaves attached and celery)

2) ipod

3) deodorant

4) stuffed puppy dog

Her favorite part of this invention is getting Andrew and I to watch the action.  “Watch it float down, are you looking?!?”

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Carrie — Blitzen, your guineas are going to live for a long time.

Blitzen — But I really want a dog.

Carrie — Yes, I know.  But dogs are a lot of work.  You have to walk them at least 3 times a day.  You have to pay someone to come walk them while you are school and work, you have to pick up their poop.  And dogs are very expensive.

Blitzen — I’ll use all my money to buy a dog and get it shots.

Carrie — We’re not getting a dog any time soon but if we ever do, we’ll adopt it from the ASPCA.  We’ll get a dog that needs a home and some love.  But we’re really not getting a dog any time soon.  Dogs can’t live here, it is in our apartment lease.

Blitzen — What kind of dog do you want?

Carrie — I don’t want a dog but if we had to have a dog, a small dog.  I would want a small one.

Blitzen — NO Carrie, what KIND?  Would you want another beetle?  (and by beetle, she means beagle).  I want a yorkie.

Carrie — I probably wouldn’t want a beagle again.  They are not very good listeners – they kind of insist on doing their own thing all the time.  (Carrie to herself — and we already got plenty of that going on around here).  But of course they are very loving and they sure do like to be around their humans.  (Hmmm).  But we’re not getting a dog.



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Celebrate y’all!

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Blitzen has been calling her birthday independence day.  As we began preparation for the big 10, we spent a lot time talking about independence and what that means.  It means having the freedom to make some of your own choices, it means doing some stuff on your own and taking more responsibility for yourself.

Blitzen is careful to remind us that just because a girl is independent, it doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like a little company while she is being independent (say like having me sit on the lid of the toilet and chat about mermaids while she is showering, that kind of thing).  But we’re examining the schedule to see what she can do for herself, on her own and we have told Blitzen that as long as she does her work first (guineas, homework, reading practice), she can spend the rest of her evenings as she wishes, pretty much.  We are still trying to limit her screen time but truthfully, she would much rather play than watch tv.  So on at least a couple of occasions, she has turned on the television but then commenced imaginary play. It is amazing how much kids (everyone!!!) want something more when they think it is limited.  She thinks she wants to watch tv all the time but in reality, she would really rather play baby dolls with Andrew or have a story read to her and talk about mermaids.

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Someone asked so I am sharing.  The guinea pigs are doing well.  We had a very scary moment — Lucy got pneumonia, of all things.  When I got home from my trip in November, I noticed that she just wasn’t herself.  We all watched her pretty closely for a couple of days and noted that she seemed to be really struggling.  So we made an emergency appointment at the vet.  And Lucy had pneumonia.  The vet was wonderful and sad as she told us it was quite likely that little Lucy wouldn’t make it.  GP pneumonia is a big deal.

The vet gave us medicine (we administered shots and pills crunched up in applesauce and spread on a lettuce leaf).  We kept Lucy warm and quiet.  Irene was there the whole time, cutely snuggling with her sister and hiding out in the igloo hut, sharing guinea pig love and body heat.  The vet advised taking Lucy into the bathroom during shower time for a little steam treatment.

You will be delighted to know that Lucy recovered.  Blitzen was such a champ — following the vet’s instructions to the letter.  Checking diligently on her pet and being very brave about the possible outcomes and even planned what we’d do with Lucy if she died.  And now Lucy and Irene are getting spunky again, squeaking like mad the moment they hear our footsteps, squealing in guinea pig – gimme some lettuce!

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