Thursday, May 19, 2011

Which Child? The Hairy One.

The thing about the title of this blog post is that it could be misunderstood to mean that I am referring to one of the children I gave birth too. What's worse is that if there was a distinction that could made between my two boys, one could very well be described as "the hairy one". Unfortunately, he most likely gets that from me. Well, not me in particular, our heritage. Although, I would like to refer to myself as a mutt, since I have a wide ethnic variety in my heritage, it is tough for me to deny that I am Portuguese. It's not that I would deny it, it's just that well...I couldn't. It's likely that when you see someone with porcelain skin, red hair, and freckles you might think they were Irish. Portuguese probably wouldn't enter your mind at all. I may be going out on a limb here, but when people see me I have a feeling they don't think I'm Irish. I know this for a fact actually because I once almost got into a fist fight with a girl on St. Patrick's Day who insisted that I could not possibly be Irish. I am Irish too, but it wasn't worth the fight since, in her defense, I look more like a Cinco De Mayo kind of girl.

I fit right in where I grew up. I looked like I belonged, with my black hair, dark brown eyes...and my hair. I could technically still have been viewed as a minority in my city in that I didn't speak Portuguese fluently. When I would visit out of state as a child I wondered if I was actually hairier than other girls, or if it was that my hair was so dark that it was more noticeable. I decided on the later...especially because it wasn't even an issue in the summer, since apparently the Portuguese tan well and you could barely see the hair.

When I moved to the city I live in now, I definitely felt like a minority. I had known a few blonds growing up, but there seemed to be an abundance of them in this particular area. I felt a little different...and well...hairy. I was able to get over it when I watched the fair skinned beauties getting torched on the beach in the summer while using baby oil to try to get "darker". I tried to let some of them know that purple did not equal tan, it meant third degree burn in their case. I on the other hand was getting less hairy by the minute as I tanned right up through SPF 15. Take that!

I've lived here for over ten years now and my friends still like to bust me up for being "different". It was funny at first because it was as if none of them had ever seen one of "my kind" before. Last year I even had a friend ask if she could dress up as me for Halloween. I'll admit, I wasn't sure if I should be insulted at first. I secretly prayed that she didn't come dressed like a gorilla and confirm my fear that I was noticeably hairier than "her kind". Then she showed up dressed like this:

I can live with that. She makes me look pretty cute, and thankfully she is unaware of my fear of being referred to as "the hairy one" and spared me a penciled in uni brow, which would certainly drive home the point that I have an abundance of hair. It's also possible that she feared my retaliation. That also works for me since I would have hated replacing her sunblock with baby oil and ruining her summer.

From what I know of Portuguese traits they are considered dominant. I never would have believed you if you told me I would have a light haired, blue eyed, boy. Turns out the mutt in me came forward in the making of my first child. He takes after his Dad. The second child, that takes after me, displays the dominate traits, and when he was born he looked like a baby gorilla. He was so hairy and dark. Even now, I try to scrub what I think is dirt off the back of his neck, only to realize he is tan. His brother needs SPF 50 applied every 2 hours or he may blister.

The actual child I am referring to in this post is not one of the ones I gave birth to. There are a lot of people who refer to their pets as their children and I've come to realize that I am one of them. I don't usually refer to my dog as my child, but I certainly treat him as if he were one of my children at times. I think I may have noticed the parent/child type relationship when I would ask things of other people that at I once I asked about my children. "Did he poop today? Was it diarrhea?" Naturally, if he did have diarrhea I would have to keep him home from daycare. Yes you read that right...I take him to daycare to "socialize" him while we are away from home. Whatever. I haven't gotten to the point of throwing him a birthday party or anything. I do love to entertain though...OK, I did consider it briefly and I can't rule it out in the future quite frankly. At the present time my dog/child is weighing 95lbs, at age one. I know about the dog years crap, but I can't refer to him as being seven. He has been alive for one year, and he is the size of a small adult human. This combination doesn't always work the well, especially now that I am his "owner" and I should be able to control whatever he does. 

When we first got him he was out of control. He would run and knock down small children...and small adults. The first thing we did was have him neutered to help control all the humping, however he was still full of energy and obsessed with other dogs. I would try to walk him to get some of the energy out, but it turns out that the lady he peed on in the pet store was right; a harness promotes pulling. We got him in November and there was snow and ice on the ground all winter. I seriously considered wearing a helmet to walk him because he would run toward anyone he saw. I decided my course of action to "control" this would be to take him to obedience training. When I told my mother I would be bringing the kids to these classes also, she misunderstood and thought I would bring the children so they could learn to be obedient. We laughed for a while...then brainstormed about how profitable an actual obedience school for children could be.

DISCLAIMER: Before you leave a crazy comment about how terrible I am...thinking that children should be obedient and blah, blah, blah. I'm joking. We didn't actually consider starting an obedience school for children. That said, if someone does happen to become profitable at doing such a thing, let the record heard it here first. Also, I am in a Judge Free Zone here. Advice is welcome, I have a suggestion box that can be used for highly opinionated views about what I am doing incorrectly as a parent. I call it my 'Bitch Please' bin. I am also trying to go green with it so I recycle the craziest advice to other mothers so they will not ask for any more help from me.

The first obedience class I brought him to, the children did not attend. The way that class went I may have had a nervous breakdown if I had brought them. My puppy was one of the youngest, yet one of the biggest, and apparently the one in desperate need of obedience. He barked constantly and pulled me around so much when we got there that the owner of the place put us in a little office by ourselves, almost like a time out. While we were in there I tried to get him to look at me and just asked "Why? Why are you doing this and making a spectacle of yourself" It reminded me of the times I was out with my two year old children and they would flip out in a full blown tantrum in the middle of the supermarket. In a familiar way I was looking at the people around me and apologizing as if I somehow had actual control of this scene.

The children joined me for the second class. I debated all day on whether or not to go. I was going to have to try and control this puppy while also trying to keep my kids focused on what they needed to do. At the suggestion of the trainer I brought lots of treats for the puppy. It definitely worked because he did not take his eyes off me the whole class, doing whatever I asked to get a treat. I then realized how much he was like me. Responding to food...and hairy. I then took notes on how I could get this dog to do whatever I desired by offering him food and put it in my business plan for the child obedience school...What?

Turns out we ended up dropping out of obedience classes. I don't need him to be obedient. He just needs for me to be fun, and active, and enjoy having him with us and he responds. He's like a child that way. He loves to be walked and almost seems to ask when he stands at the garage door and looks through it at his leash. When I don't really feel like it, I still try to force myself to go, because I know he needs the exercise, and it sure as hell isn't going to kill me to get some. He makes me walk in the rain, he gets me to run. He gets me to take a few minutes to clear my head . He brings me to places like this;

My kids do this too, when they bring me a book and sit, snuggled up against me, while I read. Sometimes when I have a million things running through my head in the car, they will yell for me to turn up the radio...and I do...and we sing at the top of our lungs without a care for a few minutes. My family reminds me to live every once in a while. This family now includes an additional, giant, hairy child.

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Jen said...

I love this particular post - maybe because I share the hairiness trait (although French, not Portuguese in origin) or maybe because I too have a hairy, 4-legged "child". Pets are awesome and there is nothing wrong with considering them members of the family. Mine certainly is!

Kelley said...

This was great! I think you are BEAUTIFUL with your pretty hair. I would LOVE to have skin that tans easily like yours. I feel hairy, too, actually. I have dark hair as well, BUT I don't tan that easily. Maybe I should shave my arms... They aren't THAT hairy, but you can see the hair. Am I grossing you out? I also liked the part about your dog. I love that he takes you to places like the beach and helps you relax. Well, relax is a strong word. He helps you "get away from it all". Loved the part about your boys, too. :)

Barbara said...

Ha! There's hope. You're not alone. I'm Irish, but have always had more than my fair share of HAIR. Hubby is Italian, but does not have the hairy trait. So, that older son of mine that you know so well, probably got that "sweater" that he always wears from me. LOL