Thursday, October 27, 2011

this week's adventures in motherhood.

So, L was attacked by a dog.

Yeah, that's the kind of mom I am -- I take my beautiful baby for a walk and allow her to be gnawed on by a ferocious animal. I always thought that becoming a mother would somehow make me this fierce warrior willing to sacrifice myself for my child at any cost. But it turns out that, in the face of danger, I royally suck.

We were strolling down a quiet little street near us, L nestled into the Baby Bjorn, and had just run into some acquaintances who oohed and aahed over L's cuteness (of course -- she really is the most darling little baby. No, I am not biased.) and I noticed a man working in his driveway up ahead with a dog running around in the yard. I should have crossed the street -- but I didn't. And suddenly the dog was charging at us, mouth open.

I don't know that he intended to do harm. He wasn't barking. But he leaped up and planted his mouth firmly around L's little arm (thank goodness I had her bundled up in a cozy little bear suit!). I tried to turn away from him and he just kept putting his paws up and lunging for her dangling limbs no matter what I did. Why didn't I throw my arms around her and let him bite me instead? What is wrong with me?

Moreover, what the hell was wrong with his owner? He called his dog back as soon as he saw what was happening, but you'd think he would have run over  to apologize and make sure we were okay. L seemed unfazed by the incident, but I sort of wish she had started howling so he would have felt worse about it. I was too stunned to do much more than keep walking, my daughter's arms covered in dog slobber and my confidence as Protector of my Progeny totally shaken.

I love dogs. I really, really do. I used to dream about having a dog growing up (I have horrible allergies, as does my brother, plus our landlord didn't allow pets). I met with an allergist in the hopes that I could start some sort of treatment so that we could adopt a dog, since my husband wants one more than anything (verdict: my allergies are some of the worst she's seen and there was no way any shots or pills would make me able to live with one on a permanent basis). But this totally freaked me out. At Thanksgiving this year, we'll be staying in a tiny little house with a Newfoundland. What if he sits on her? Even in all her chubby glory, she's the size of an afternoon snack to him. I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to put her down the entire time we're there.

In other, less overtly frightening news, L is now sleeping in her own room at night. I didn't realize how much this transition would pull at my heartstrings -- especially since I've been desperate for a good night of sleep for months now. Having her sleep next to me in a little bassinet and make noise all night long made even the few hours of zzzs I managed to catch barely worth it. And these past few nights, though I'm sleeping more soundly, I have felt a sense of loss. No warm, snuggly little body just a few inches from mine where I could reach over and lay a hand, very very gently, to make sure she was still breathing. No quiet little coos of contentment in her sleep. Sleeping in between the two people I adore most in the world was actually pretty magical. I knew this day would come -- clearly I wasn't going to have a teenage daughter sleeping next to me every night -- but it's one of the first times that I've felt the passage of time so keenly. I think it will be a while before I can pack up the bassinet for good. For now, it's the nighttime resting place of our baby monitor. Because, yeah, I'm just that sentimental.


  1. Oh wow! I'm so glad that she was safe, but I agree with your dad: what a jerk! BTW, I just checked and you should be getting the booties today or tomorrow - apparently there was some sort of mishap with a broken down truck? So sorry for the delay; I called and complained and they said they'd get them to you pronto! ;o)

  2. Laura, I am so pumped! A photo shoot is totally in order. :)