My parents still live in the house I grew up in, and it’s awesome because I get to see my kids exploring the woods I used to explore, swimming in the pool I used to swim in, and sledding down the same hills I used to sled down.
And they do things that we never did, too. For example, my parents have this cast iron door stop in the shape of a little dog — I always thought it was a Chihuahua but my sister pointed out that it actually looks more like a French Bulldog or maybe a Boston Terrier. I don’t know where it came from, my family has never had little dogs and my mom hates knick knack-type things, so even though this technically does have a use, it’s about as close to tchotchke territory as my mom allows.
Every now and then Mary Virginia would crawl back to the bedrooms and look at the dog.
But it was funny because she hated it.
It was a completely masochistic habit. She stayed in the hall, looked at it and cried.
Once, because she wanted to see her cousins who were all in the bedroom, she mustered up enough courage to crawl past it. She gave it a wide berth — about three feet — and crawled past as fast as she could.
It was hilarious because she’s a baby, she’s learning and growing and trying to make sense of the world, and for some reason she decided this little guy was equal parts unsafe and fascinating. She couldn’t stay away and she couldn’t stand him.
Even when he was wearing this jaunty little hat.
Maybe it was her way of telling my parents how much she likes this cute bird doorstop?