23 April 2008

Topic for future therapy sessions

    Hurry little children
    Run this way
    I have got a beast at bay
      Gnarls Barkley*

There's a little thing we do at home, mostly after dinner and especially when the kids are antsy. We tell them to run in circles around our house. Our floor pattern is one of those where you can go in a circle from kitchen to foyer to living room to dining room and back to kitchen again. (If it were a Kill Doctor Lucky board, this would be where you pile up cards, but this isn't a post about board games.)

This week we are pet-sitting, so we have extra dogs. One dog is named Tawney, a pleasant small mutt of 11-12 years whose visits we always enjoy. The other Angie, a young energetic Border Collie. She likes to chase things and would prefer to be active 23 hours of a given day. This is not the kind of energy level we expect from our own dogs. We now have to fight with Darkman for space on the couch, and I'm pretty sure Shadow's activity won't change much even after she recovers from ankle surgery.

So, as I was saying, we tell the children to run in circles and burn off some excess energy. We did this a couple nights ago, but now we had Angie to join the chase. As might have been predicted, this did not go over well with our youngest. There was whining and fussing. How did we respond, good parents that we are? We told her to run faster, of course.

"But Angie's chasing me me," we were told.

"Run faster so she doesn't catch you," we responded.

Now let me be clear, this is not a snarling, one step away from mauling, Kujo wannabee dog. Angie wanted to play, which to be honest is what she wants to do all the time (even, say 4 AM). My children have played with her often, and they were certainly in no danger at this point. Yet even so, I could already picture my therapist's office somewhere in my child's future, where she would be recalling this incident....

"...And I'll never forget it. They kept telling me to run... run faster... run, run, run! I don't know why they wanted me to run. The dog was chased me and all they did was tell me to run. And the were laughing. Laughing! How could they be laughing?" At this point my now grown child breaks down. The therapist offers the tissue box, and she circles the word "laughing" in her notes.

Of course, the dogs were sent outside to chase one another or (more likely) bark under the fence at the neighbor's dogs. We explained everything was fine, there was nothing to be afraid of, Angie was just playing, yadda yadda yadda, and all was right with the world again.

Except for the screaming night terrors.

*Yeah, that is two GB quotes in a row, from the same song no less. It's just stuck in my brain....

1 comment:

Marsha said...

Imagining your child's future therapy session seems like a special kind of self-torture. Thanks for the laugh!