Update on Auggie: he’s terrifically smart. Apparently, I formerly equated extreme stubbornness with stupidity, but if I judge myself and MY ENTIRE FAMILY by those standards, we would be classified as The Dumbest of All The Dumb Things. Now that I’m working with this dog, purposefully and lovingly, I’m able to see how flipping intelligent he is, and I’m so grateful that God opened my eyes on this one, and more importantly, changed my heart.
Brian was off last week, and we had a lovely time having him home with us. School looks much more like Unschool when daddy’s home, and last week there was lots of outside playtime (thanks to some finally gorgeous weather), helping us clean out the garage, playing Dragon Box (awesome app that quietly teaches algebra concepts), learning HTML (Bri, using Code Avengers), writing poetry and blog posts on her own little website (Bri), reading a million books aloud (me, to the 2 youngest), and reading books to himself (Eli, delving into reading on his own, for fun!). We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Yesterday was Brian’s first day back to work, so we all went through a sort of withdrawal, in addition to the normal Monday icks. I wasn’t as on top of the dog training stuff yesterday, nor was I all that engaged with anyone. I guess I was quietly mourning the loss of all that extra time with my husband.
Today was fantastic, in contrast with all the mediocrity of yesterday. We did some actual school. I took Auggie out for a couple of different training sessions in the yard, as well as some fetch, which he loved. He is now ignoring the kids when they play on the sidewalk outside the fence, whereas last week he would constantly bark at them as they walked by on the other side of the fence. So ridiculous the difference a week makes. We also worked on being out there and being peaceful while school was letting out. We live very close to an elementary school, so every day there are scads of kids and parents walking and riding bikes past our house. He ignored a lot of the commotion, and I was prepared for him to flip out, so when he did, I got him under control immediately and we worked through it. We also worked on having the kids give more commands, like making him sit before they would throw the ball for him, and we’re teaching him “drop it”. The kids were having a blast with all this, and Auggie handled the chaos of 3 kids and me all kind of talking over each other and being a little nuts. He’s like a different dog. I can’t even express how grateful I am for the change in the entire mood of the household and the tremendous shift we’ve had from utter chaos to relative peace.
Speaking of shifts, Fiona has started showing up in our bed in the middle of the night lately, and she insists on playing a koala bear and attaching herself to my side. She somehow manages to push me toward the middle of the bed, and the baby is generally already between me and Brian, so the poor man ends up hanging on by a thread to the edge of the bed. I made a deal with her tonight that if she stays in her bed all night, she can have a bite of her chocolate bunny for breakfast (dollars to donuts she takes a hunk off the bunny’s bum). I make exceptions for bad dreams or other frights, but she still has to go back to her bed after getting some snuggles for comfort. We’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping for some sleep and maybe the ability to roll over in my own bed without dislocating my shoulder. Pray for me.