Monday, March 2, 2015

Parenthood – Week 92: Bup

Early last week, Ollie was sitting on my lap as I read a book to him. At some point, Buffy stood up and started chasing her tail. Suddenly, Ollie pushed the book away and started spinning in circles, emulating Buffy. Eventually Ollie stopped spinning, plopped down on his bottom and started giggling. As Buffy decided to start chasing her tail again, Ollie got up to join her.

From the first moment Ollie reached out and grabbed a handful of Buffy’s fur as a newborn, it’s been adorable watching Ollie interact with Buffy. Every developmental milestone and stage in Ollie’s life has been marked with some kind of interaction with Buffy.

One of Ollie’s first words was “Bup,” not, Buffy or puppy, which he uses to refer to Buffy. His first phrase was “good girl,” and Buffy was with him to “help” him learn to roll over, crawl and walk. Though Buffy was often weary of these developments and would often bark in concern about his new levels of mobility.

When Ollie started to eat in his high chair, Buffy was right there with him, eating the pieces of food that inevitably fell off the floor. Ollie got used to her presence and would often try to sneak Buffy food. If Buffy doesn’t happen to be at his feet when its time to eat, he will look down, point below him and say inquisitively, “Bup?”

A couple months ago we introduced Ollie to his first toddler pillow. Ollie was a little skeptical so Diana pressed the pillow against her head and she exclaimed “the pillow is so soft!” I did the same thing, but it wasn’t until we brought Buffy into the room and had her lay down on the pillow that Ollie wanted to try it himself. Every night for the next week, Ollie insisted that Buffy try out the pillow before he would go to sleep.

Probably the most adorable interaction between Ollie and Buffy is the hugs. Ollie’s current favorite book is Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell. It’s about a cat who goes around the world to hug different things. After Ollie got into this book, he wanted to give hugs to all of us. He started with Diana, then me and finally Buffy. Ollie toddled up to Buffy, put his arm around her and rested his head on her back.

I’ve written about how my relationship with Buffy is like no other relationship in my life. It’s becoming clear to me that the relationship between a boy like Ollie and a dog like Buffy is truly unique as well. They are not inseparable. Buffy isn’t always in the mood to play with Ollie and Ollie isn’t always interested in Buffy.  However, when they are in the mood to interact, when Ollie asks for Buffy to come up on the couch and watch television or when Buffy whines because she is separated from Ollie by a baby gate, I feel warmth and happiness knowing that they are there for each other.

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