I continue to channel my inner Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey (in the latter one’s case, I skip the part where she’s killed,) and I observe J closely. It seems to be working. I think, indeed, he is having issues digesting something, but until I start reducing and/or eliminating certain items from his daily diet I will not be able to properly ascertain which of them is doing what. So, as in SCIENCE!!!!, I have to take my time…
Yesterday was a fine day. When I say fine I’m not talking just about the weather. Yesterday J was fine. Not great. Not good. He was fine. When the opportunity arose to hit himself, he didn’t seem as into it as he had in the past. The same is true for this morning.
Granted, at 5 a.m.he came into our room asking for bandaids, but he hadn’t taken his brace off, and he hadn’t been hitting himself. After that I could hear him cooing and giggling over the baby monitor (yes, we have one of those up there, too,) and he stayed in his room until a little after 8 a.m.
There hasn’t been any overwhelming anxiety today. It has been there, lightly hovering over things, like fog over the river. It hasn’t, however, taken over and commanded control. It’s not so much an ingrown toenail as it is a small shard of nail that one has to go back and clip when one has a chance…it’s felt, but it’s not digging into any flesh.
Today being Election Day (the day we have all been waiting for…like that appointment for a colonoscopy, or going to the dentist) we are at home while Dada is working. We voted on Friday. J went with us. He cannot vote, but he was there nonetheless, a part of our process because, after all, we are his voice in this as in other matters. Today we are basically ignoring the news (I’ve posted a lot of baby animals and music on Facebook because people need to realize that there are other things out there, and not all are stressful,) and we will get through the day as we usually do. The fate of the Free World will resolve itself, and we have done our bit…damn the torpedoes…
Two things about yesterday: I asked J if he would let me use the stethoscope to listen to his tummy. He hesitated, but then relented. The gurgling wasn’t alarming, but -of course- it was there because our digestive systems are like The Journey to the Center of the Earth…cavernous, noisy in unexpected and expected ways, mysterious… I then put the stethoscope on him and allowed him to listen. When he heard his heart he raised an eyebrow and smiled as if he’d just heard from an old friend. It was pretty cool to see him react to that, to linger while he listened first to his own, and then to mine.
Second thing: the dogs have become an issue. No leashes are being used by a significant amount of pet owners. I am assuming the logic is “my pet is so well-trained,” but we can no longer go out with impunity. I used to be able to tell J “look, the owner has control of the dog with a leash.” Now I am usually in the middle of trying to distract J from noticing, and then scrambling to get him home.
Interestingly enough, we got a newsletter from the property management office yesterday. It talked about people not picking up after their pets, and talked about fees charged if the pet and owner were reported. I had looked at the lease, and nothing in it indicates anymore that animals must be on leashes. There is a county leash law, but if the management office doesn’t enforce it, the truth is I would accomplish very little by complaining. The actual property manager owns the St. Bernard that ran out of a unit and scared the crap out of J a few months ago. I have heard that said dog even went missing for a while because it escaped the confines of her townhouse. I have called the office in the past, and that has had the effect of NOTHING.
What makes me sad about this is that J is indoors 95% of the time now. That is when we are home. I can no longer say “let’s go for a walk” and expect success, or a lack of anxiety. We can take him elsewhere, and we do, but this is -for some really strange reason- very much a “leave your dog in the car while you shop,” and a “take your dog everywhere” town. I have nothing against dogs, and I feel uncomfortable complaining about this when I know how very little empathy there is among the neighbors here. These are, after all, the people who -because they used to see me sitting on a rock with a book in my hand all the time- subscribed me to Us Magazine for a laugh.
We are, as I said, basically confined to the great indoors. I open the garage door and we step out on our driveway, but we will inevitably witness a sudden presence of dogs that come out (curiously enough) as soon as J is out there. I don’t know if people are just dicks, or if our timing sucks. We don’t do this at the same time every day, and we don’t check the mail or take the trash at the same time every day. They just seem to suddenly appear when we’re out there.
OK, on to the rest of the day. Off I go… We are doing better. Let’s see if we can keep it up, and improve on it…