Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Battle of the Chewies

I was talking on the phone with my mom yesterday afternoon and she could hear it in the background. "Is that Michael?" she asked. "No. It's Tucker. He's crying because Sweet Pea stole his chewie and is teasing him with it."

He was. Laying in the hallway, moaning and crying like a little child whose older sibling stole their toy, punched them in the arm and ran away. Mom laughed. It is ridiculous. Sweet Pea is now half the size of Tucker and can easily walk underneath him with plenty of clearance to not touch her back against his chest. But no matter the size and weight difference, she is that rotten older sibling who revels in taunting and teasing the younger, hoping to provoke a pitiful response-and Tucker plays the part every time, crying and howling so pitifully--it tears your heart in two, if only to just make it stop and restore peace once more! And, truth be told, Sweet Pea couldn't care less about the chewies. It's all about the torture. She'll walk around with the rawhide dangling carelessly from her jowls, slobbering on it like some prized puppy lollipop, but not be the slightest bit interested in actually chewing it up. Tucker, on the other hand, needs all the chewing distraction he can get if I'm to still have a house standing by the time he's done teething--the dog will seriously chew anything he can get in that mouth of his! Toys, shoes, furniture, fences, siding...he is decidedly unprejudiced in his destruction.

Oh, I can intervene. Step in and restore said chewie to the appropriate owner. That doesn't typically rectify anything, however. Sweet Pea will ensue a barking fit, similar to a teenager slamming their bedroom door, all the while hollering how much they hate you, the house, their life, blah blah blah...Poor neglected Pea never gets anything and Tucker always gets everything he wants...Tucker typically then drops his chewie, wondering what in the world would make her cease the racket, and Pea moves in for the kill, swipes the chewie and then the crying fit begins all over again...It's a vicious cycle that I don't have a chance of winning unless I stop buying chewies, but then run the risk of Tuck eating our house and everything in it...

I imagine this is what parenting is like when you have more than one child. Endless sibling battles, jealousies and rivalries. I remember life being that way growing up with my two brothers. Dale, the older bully, would vent whatever frustration of the day on my younger brother Tom and I: a punch in the arm if you were lucky, one in the gut if you weren't. Lots of doors slamming, tears crying, accusations screaming...makes me appreciate having only one human child when I think back on it! And to think I wanted twins when I was pregnant!! Not that we don't have our share of slammings and hollerings out of Michael--he certainly holds up his end of ushering those quite well. The dogs are just a little easier. I can toss 'em all out back for a while, shut the porch door and escape to peace inside once more...until they all come back in again...

Do you ever wonder how God feels, listening to the bunch of us whining and complaining all the time? He so generously provides all that we need and so much more every day, yet we're seldom happy with what we've received. Fussing and fighting rather than acknowledging and appreciating. Slamming the doors to our hearts and shutting out the only thing, the only One, that truly matters. From Him come all good and perfect gifts. Remember to give Him thanks today-in the very least for not tossing you out in the back yard and shutting the door on you for a little peace and quiet...Praise our Father who never turns his back on us, no matter how unappreciative we may be.
This looked prettier in the sunlight yesterday...just starting to turn.

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