Tag Archives: Tiny-Small

My Child Is A Grass Hugger

Tree hugging runs in the family. It’s in our blood, but grass hugging? That’s a whole new thing for the latest generation. Tiny-Small is a grass hugger. Literally. I think it’s because she rarely sees grass. To her it’s a plant on the verge of extinction and when she finally gets her feet in it and her arms around it she is pretty happy.

For some reason her grass loving ways just seem so foreign to me, but I grew up on the East coast where grass is plentiful. So plentiful in fact I barely spent much time appreciating it while I was there. I mean, grass was a dime a dozen. I spent entire summers barefoot and running through it without a care in the world. I mean, I never thought one day there would be no grass.

Then, I moved to New Mexico where grass is a hot commodity. I mean, people try to grow it, but then they have outrageous water bills and all of the guilt that goes with not accepting a naturally landscaped lawn. Water is a precious resource here. People tend to go the native grasses route and invest their time in creating rock gardens instead. Because it’s easier, less expensive, and let’s face it…the critters eat everything anyway.

My Child Is a Grass Hugger In brown New Mexico.
Subtle shades of brown with spots of green.

Tiny-Small lives in an environment that has intricate shades of brown and sometimes spots of green. The trees surrounding her on a daily basis are more like giant bushes carved to look like trees. The grass is mostly brown too, unless we have a lot of rain and then it turns a little green, but not like the green you encounter in places where rain comes in abundance.

Luckily, we live near some National Forest where there are tall pine trees and sometimes luscious cotton wood trees. We took her there a few days ago to go on a hike. The tall trees create a canopy and grass grows near the streams. When we hiked down a hill and found ourselves next to a stream Tiny-Small started yelling, “Grass! I love grass!” Then she threw herself right on the ground and rolled around hugging it to her chest. It was long grass. It wound around her like a grass skirt.

My Child Is A Grass Hugger (Life In New Mexico)
New Mexico has some green too. You just have to go looking for it.

I sometimes worry that she is missing out on all of the wonderful things from my childhood…grass, fresh seafood, the beach, humidity (well, that might be pushing it), but lately I’ve started realizing that she is going to have her own childhood. It’s going to be filled with rocks and lizards and snakes and mountains…and the biggest blue sky in the whole wide world. Not to mention enchiladas (red or green?) and home-made tortillas.

We aren’t going to share the exact same childhood. Which sometimes feels a little strange, but she isn’t going to long for the same things I do (like Mystic Seaport and strawberry picking) when she grows up. She’s going to have an entire different version of “home” than I do. She’s a New Mexican, desert girl. Grass is always going to be something special because it’s so rare, but she will probably never long for humidity or the drastic changes in seasons. She won’t really miss snow and will probably find the idea of shoveling your car out to go to work each morning a major crisis she wants no part of. She won’t miss the beach and dream of falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing. She’ll be missing the howling of coyotes and seeing mountain lions cross the road on her way home at night.

My Child Is A Grass Hugger (life in New Mexico)
Pretending to fish.

I am just grateful I get to be a part of the making of her childhood memories. I’m also grateful that I have a little person in my life to remind me to stop and enjoy the little things. Like soft, green grass. I never appreciated it as much as I should have. Watching her enjoy it so much makes me realize it’s often the things we take for granted that really mean the most to us. I am becoming a grass hugger myself.

Also, I think we often idealize our childhoods and the place we come from. I know Jim thinks California is the cats meow and don’t even get me started on the debates we have had over which coast is superior. I, of course, prefer the East and he will always prefer the West. it’s just what we grew up with and what we miss. When we go back to our hometowns now we are almost always a bit disappointed. Things aren’t the same. That old saying “you can never go back” is true. The real lesson I am learning through all of this is that we all have our own memories. Before long, Tiny-Small will be old enough to join our debate. I am pretty sure she will be arguing that New Mexico is the best place to live and far superior to either coast. She’ll have a good argument too because we all know what we know and like what we like. Nobody can convince us otherwise.


15 Landscapes Day 1 Plus A Public Service Announcement About Toilet Paper

15 Landscapes day 1 is upon us. I won’t lie to you. 15 Landscapes was almost postponed because I have a serious, and most dreadful, case of the blahs. It’s a combination of the weather (it’s been threatening to rain and has been gloomy for days), my allergies, not getting enough sleep, and Downton Abbey marathon watching…which has a little something to do with not getting enough sleep, probably, but I digress.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with a half painted painting and no blog post.

15 Landscape - Work in Progress
Work In Progress: Deming, New Mexico

So, I did what any rational person would do: Muttered a few complaints under my breath and got to work. That’s right, I am painting rain or shine.  I might even be better than the post office. So, to save time, and because Tiny-Small is also painting today and underfoot, I decided to paint something small and quick. It’s almost like cheating, but not really. Well, yes it is cheating, probably, but I don’t think I can get an entire landscape painted in one hour, unless it’s of the petite variety. So here it is, straight out of my imagination and onto the paper!

15 Landscapes Day 1
15 Landscapes Day 1 painting #1 ( 3.5 x 2.5 inches) Available for purchase in my Etsy Shop :Dome Life Studios

I am really starting to worry about my budding painting career because Tiny-Small is outgrowing her naps. If I paint while she is awake she spends her time dismantling my studio when I am not looking. Today, alone, she got out some pink tissue paper and wrapped up a wire space saver shelf (after taking everything off of it) to make her baby a bed, unraveled a spool of thread, took everything out of a cabinet so she could hide in it, Painted her shirt, the counter, and some of her hair pink, and then emptied a box of crayons on the floor. That all happened in a matter of minutes, but there is even more….

Tiny-Small painting
Tiny-Small painting over one of my misfit toys collages.

I know, by now you are probably beginning to wonder about the toilet paper. Well, Tiny-Small went to use the bathroom during what can only be the eye of the studio-rampage-storm and then declared, “Mom, the bathroom is out of toilet paper.” I asked if she needed me to get some for her, but she said she’d had enough to take care of business so I didn’t think too much about it. Then, when I went into the bathroom to restock the toilet paper (my other part-time job) I realized she had neglected to give me some very valuable information regarding the sudden shortage of toilet paper. There, in the toilet, was an entire roll of toilet paper swimming and melting and doing what paper does when it sits in water for a while. I yelled, “What happened? Did you drop the whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet?” Tiny-Small admitted to it right away with out a worry in the world and said, “Don’t worry, Mom, I flushed it down.” Well, not exactly and thank goodness it was too big to squish into the hole or we would have had an even bigger plumbing problem.

So, my public service announcement is if you have a three-year old kid make sure you install a toilet paper holder that demands a little effort to get the paper on and off and then insist that all of the adults replace the toilet paper on said holder as soon as it runs out. That way you only get a few extra squares clogging up your pipes instead of an entire roll, cardboard tube and all.

Also, I am going to run up and down the stairs, ingest copious, yet safe, amount of vitamin D, and not watch Downton Abbey until Monday. All of that should help me get my motivation and energy back. Plus, the allergy medication might help if I can remember to take it. I’ve been resisting the urge to scratch my entire face off while simultaneously breathing through my mouth because of these wind-induced allergy issues I am having. I guess what I am trying to say, is expect great things from the next 14 Landscapes I am about to paint. I’ve already got something in the works for tomorrow so no more last-minute updates!

Happy toilet paper replacement strategy days, Batman!

Child’s Career Aspirations Thwarted By Anal Glands

Child’s Career Aspirations Thwarted By Anal Glands – I know it sounds like a headline from The Onion, but this is a true story. Tiny-Small has wanted to be a “dog doctor-princess-ballerina” when she grows up for a while now. She has two doctor’s kits and most of her favorite toys are covered in bandages. They are a sorry-looking lot! We recently visited Jim at work and the first thing Tiny-Small noticed was an exam table in his office. She was so impressed. She kept talking about how sick people would sit on the table or lie down and get shots. She loves to talk about shots. She does not love to get them. Jim found it all amusing since he doesn’t actually use the exam table. He shares office space with a doctor sometimes. Tiny-Small was not all that impressed with Jim’s computer or office with a window in it. She just wanted to get her hands on the looking-in-your-ears-contraption mounted to the wall.

Child's Career Aspirations Thwarted by Anal Glands
No photos please…I need to nap with this sock.

Anyway, Stevie Wonder had to go to the veterinarian to get a booster shot and I thought it might be the perfect time to take Tiny-Small. She could see a real “dog doctor” in action. Plus, she could see that the veterinarian, sadly, does not wear a princess dress or practice ballet while doctoring the animals. I know she’s young for that kind of disappointing reality check, but sometimes parents have to do the dirty work, right?

Well, we waited in the lobby like good dog owners. Stevie Wonder tried to show a Rottweiler who was boss. The lady with a cat chatted with Tiny-Small. Jim held the door open for everyone carrying a sick pet. I read People Magazine. (Don’t judge. It’s the only time I read it, I swear! I only recognized two people) Tiny-Small introduced herself to everyone using her full name, including both of her middle names, introduced me using my entire name and then introduced her dad as just “Jim” which must mean something, but I don’t know what. In short, she was charming the entire waiting room. The ladies were laughing, the men were smiling, Tiny-Small was on stage cracking jokes and practicing her ballet moves.

Before long, we found ourselves crowded into the exam room with Stevie Wonder, where we discovered he did not need a booster shot, there was some kind of computer typo, but he did have impacted anal glands. If you don’t know what anal glands are, just count yourself lucky…or do an Internet search, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you do know what they are, well, you know what is coming next, probably.

Child's Career Aspirations Thwarted By Anal Glands

The veterinarian put on some rubber gloves, the tech secured Stevie Wonder, and then the Veterinarian started squeezing Stevie’s butt. Tiny-Small was staring in rapt attention. Stevie Wonder was not happy. Then the veterinarian sprayed Stevie Wonder with what can only be described as “dog butt freshener” so he smelled like a powder fresh mongrel with a side of dog breath all the way home. I know because he sat on my lap for the entire ride.

On the way home, Tiny-Small kept saying, “Dog doctors have to touch dog butts? That’s disgusting!” She just couldn’t believe it. Jim explained that the doctor wore gloves, but Tiny-Small wasn’t having it. “He stuck his finger in Stevie’s butt, Dad, that’s gross!” She squealed with delight. She’s at that age where discussions about butts and poop are her absolute favorite. She even makes Jim sing songs about Stevie Wonder pooping on the floor before she goes to bed every night. It’s not classy, but when it comes to bedtime we will do almost anything to ensure she goes to sleep, stays asleep, and does not catch us eating all of the ice cream and watching Downton Abbey.

I wasn’t sure if witnessing the anal gland squeezing would change her mind about wanting to be a dog doctor at first. I mean, she thought it was gross, but she said so with so much glee that I figured it could go either way. Unfortunately, my fears were confirmed this morning when she announced, “I think I want to be a people doctor instead.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that people doctors sometimes have to touch butts too.

And that’s how my child’s career aspirations were thwarted by anal glands!