So tonight I decided it was time to bake chocolate chip cookies with my 7-year-old.

Did you know that 7-year-olds are not, in fact, in possession of the best fine motor skills?

Also, they are not the best listeners.

This is a fantastic combination when you are dealing with dry ingredients.  I am considering suspending the dog, Mission-Impossible-style, over the stove so he can Hoover up all the spilled flour.  He would totally do that, because he is a dog.  More on that in a moment.

At any rate we managed to throw together some pretty decent cookies, and then she retreated to the Nintendo DS and yet another interminable Pokemon game.  I’m not sure why this is but she is incapable of hanging out playing her DS without giving a running commentary, often at the top of her excited, piercing 7-year-old voice, of the various things that her character is doing in the game.  Then she comes over and giddily shows me the screen wherein a tiny pixellated thing stands amid some sort of squarish map.  I HAD TO GO THROUGH ALL OF THAT MAMA AND IT’S A LOT AND I DID IT EVEN THOUGH IT WAS HARD AND A LONG WAY AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT A GROVYLE IS?  WHAT TYPE OF POKEMON IS IT MAMA IS IT LEAF TYPE OR GROUND TYPE OR WIND TYPE?  I have learned to nod and smile and back away.

In other news, the cat is almost talking to us again.  He is sleeping on the couch as we speak.  Eventually he won’t look at me with that haunted, accusatory YOU DID THIS TO ME look, right?

And the dog.  Oh, the dog.  You may recall that I recently mentioned that he was launching audible air biscuits left, right and center of late.  I invested a certain amount of thought in this recently and came up with a theory.

Otto is the kind of dog who has to have a wooby.  In the past he had a toy lawnmower that had once belonged to The Lovely Rhonda’s kids.  He had chewed the handle off and worked his way steadily through the superstructure until finally it was a rather unlovely sort of undercarriage with wheels, which eventually fell off.  He would get excited about a noise he heard outside and would run out, grab his beloved lawnmower, and race around the yard with it.

Sadly, the lawnmower finally disintegrated completely and so he scrounged around the yard and found a basketball, which he promptly deflated.  It had once been blue with an attractive Chuck E. Cheese motif, but over time and hard use (after deflation) had turned completely black.  Otto chewed it relentlessly and over the past couple of months bits of rubber and canvas could be found strewn around the living room.

Huh.  And in the past couple of months the dog’s flatulation had reached epic, noisy proportions.  He would tear one off and we would brace ourselves for the room-clearing stench that followed.

We took away the basketball, and guess what?  He found a super-tough canvas toy to chew, and the air quality of The Burrow has improved substantially.



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