Simon likes to help feed our dog Miles.  

no miles is not secured to the car with some sort of doggy seat belt. i'm over it.

Miles is an 8-year-old West Highland White Terrier, and we got him about 13 seconds after being in Eastern Europe for the summer, 8 years ago.  Instead of a ring Europe is the gift  Marc and I gave each other after getting engaged, which I think is nice.  Apparently after returning I had to have a baby and Miles was our (temporary) solution.   At 21 and just entering my last year of university, I barely had any business getting married let alone wanting a baby, but there you have it.  (N.B. Miles never has been nor never will be, groomed as his breed deems appropriate.  I have no regrets).    

It didn’t take long for us to become that childless-couple-with-a-dog that seems to drive people who don’t belong to that category crazy.  Miles came with us everywhere, meaning we didn’t shop where he wasn’t allowed inside,  I came home from school in between classes to walk him at lunch in addition to the 2-3 other walks we took him on everyday, and my parents even referred (refer) to Miles as their grand-dog.  We were obnoxious.  Still, a dog is a dog, not a baby.  By 23 I couldn’t take it anymore damn it, and I told Marc whether he wanted to or not we decided to have a baby.  I mean looking after a baby can’t be that much harder than looking after a dog right?  Right?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller?   

So anyway, Simon likes to help feed our dog Miles.  He also likes to eat dog food- the boy not the dog.  Okay, yes the dog, but also the boy, the human boy, not the dog boy, er, the dog boy too, um, both boys, but not the man- boy. (I think).  Clear?  Ahem, so the desire comes and goes, and while it’s been going more than coming these days, it hits like a hurricane sometimes and the kid starts sucking back the kibble like it’s foie gras at Splendido.  When Kate was wee I believe we had to ask her twice not to eat from the dog’s dish.  I believe it went something like this:  

Me: Oh Kate sweetie, no touch Miles’ bowls.  

Kate: *crawls away*  

The next day, Kate crawls over and is interrupted mid-way  

Me: *likely using sign language because Kate was our first so we did that sort of crap * Oh Kate sweetie, no touch Miles’ bowls.  

Kate: *crawls away*  

Kate never touches dog bowls again  

Simon?  We’re still have that conversation with Simon.  He has so completely ignored us on this topic that he’s actually taken possession of the bowls entirely, merely allowing the poor pooch to eat and drink at his largesse.  It’s not uncommon for him to push Miles aside and take the bowl for himself, filling up his cheeks like a chipmunk.  Like here:  

boy steals dog food from dog, dog troubled by poor parenting

 And here:  

overtly smug + overflowing bowl + cheek full of Fromm = simon will be a pain in the ass when he's less cute

We feed Miles Fromm, which we’ve convinced ourselves makes Simon’s little habit not that bad, but if we’re being honest here, it’s probably not that good either.  

Those snaps are six months old now and represent the last of Simon’s great terrorizing of Miles.  We really felt we were in the clear – until a few days ago.  Naturally I retrieved my camera too late to capture the true earnestness of Simon’s declaration that “boys like to eats dog food”, but I think you will get the spirit of it with this:  

  

Kate coached him a bit, and Simon ate more dog food than spoke of his “like” for it, but the sound of Miles whining in the background pretty much paints the picture for you.  I also have a video of T-Rex performing on that trapeze you saw at the end of the clip, but I think I’ll save it for a day when I convince myself you give a shit about seeing it.  

While Simon finished eating, Kate and I went to The Nutcracker.  I really like ballet, and kind of go a lot.  Kate’s too little for anything other than The Nutcracker though, so I hope she didn’t understand my ulterior motive when I told her it was all about “Christmas” and “magic.”  It’s really an indoctrination so I’ll have a built-in date when she’s older.   

Here she is with her friend Maddie:  

huge stairs, no known reason, 2009

And since I’m never in pictures because I always take the pictures and Marc’s just a lawyer and an engineer and can’t figure out how to take pictures of his wife occasionally, I thought I’d post the only picture of me that I’ll ever have because it was taken by a friend.  With my camera.  

oh chrismtas, how you make children so happy.

Yes I’m wearing jeans, and no I don’t care.  Art is supposed to be accessible, and by accessible I mean not so pretentious as to make people feel stupid if they don’t have the right clothes on when they are patrons of  it.  Psst,  if you want the truth, my softer-than-usual (always soft)  tummy still had lines on it from wearing stockings the night before, and the idea of putting anything on my body not 100% comfortable made me throw up in my mouth a little.  It was also raining, proven by the wet toe of my boot, and I wanted to be warm:  I often find the better I dress, the colder I am.  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Buelller?  

The ballet was a great success for both girls who watched it first hand, and for Simon by proxy: upon returning home Kate regaled him with stories of Mouse Kings and Snow Queens, and the two proceeded to re-enact the ballet during an exclusive, invitation-only performance:  

the nutcracker pas de deux

I’m aware their limbs are blurry, please understand I hate flash a lot.  Burning-fire-of-a-thousand-suns a lot.  I like this better.  I can pretty much bet you Marc likes flash better.  We’re so right for each other.  

After dancing Kate decided to take ol’ Roger the Rocking Horse out for a spin.  Simon wanted none of that.  

roger made by kate's great granddad in honour of her birth. i wish someone loved me that much.

 This picture is both yellow and blurry, which I think really lets you feel Simon pushing Kate off Roger and understand why you should never, ever by this light.  Everyone in that half of the room looks jaundiced.  If you don’t use a flash.  Or set your white balance properly.  Or apparently know how to take a good picture.  Shut up Marc.  

After pushing Kate, Simon sucked up a plastic spoon-fork (spork? foon?) with our Dust Buster.  On purpose.  

a dust buster works better than a plastic chainsaw

They were in bed by 7:15pm.

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