"Why," I asked out loud, not bothering to check if others were also walking their dogs yesterday morning, "does the forbidden become irresistible?" I shook my head, tapping the toe of my right flip flop while I scolded Chienne once again for setting paw on someone's lawn. She gave me a look of disdain from her one good eye before setting off at a trot down the sidewalk once again.
"You know," I told her conversationally as we made our way down a side street in my perfect suburban neighborhood, "if you walked closer to the curb, you could find interesting smells in the grassy area where you're allowed to walk." Undeterred, she continued to keep her little white paws as close to the forbidden yards as she possibly could, tempted to drift just a tiny bit into someone's manicured grass, then a smallest bit closer to that shrub and then ignoring my tugs on her leash and hisses of "that's not yours!" to nuzzle some flowers.
I debated as we finished our circle, wondering if we should go clockwise instead of counter. Perhaps her blind eye should be facing out so she wasn't tempted to go toward that which she couldn't see. Maybe I was confusing her by allowing her on the lawn of the condos at one corner, but nowhere else.
Puzzling over it, I showered and selected an outfit, standing in a towel while I debated outfits. "Do not put on pajamas," I warned myself sternly. I've been suffering from a lack of motivation of late - I don't think I'm all that depressed, but I am moody and impatient. And I don't want to work - I just want to lie in my basement, reading books and watching television mindlessly. It's cool and quiet and comfortable.
"Work not couch," I repeated as if it were a mantra, putting on clothes and pulling my hair in a twist. I sighed as I threw items in my bag and tossed treats on the floor and checked bowls of kibble before beginning my short commute. Swiping my key card and moving briskly to my office, I settled in and began to work. I came home 15 hours later, exhausted and remaining cranky.
I did, however, feel some sense of pride that I'd avoided the forbidden couch and it's comfy cushions before falling into bed.
As far as the weekend, it was much better than I expected, yet bittersweet. The girls are too wonderful for words - so different and creative, bright and funny. I sat between them in the van during our drive to Brother's, swiveling my head from side to side as I admired coloring books and listened to stories. We swam in the hotel pool, and I praised Little One's flutter kick even as I was careful not to get her face wet (she hates that). Smallest One, in contrast, wanted to climb out the ladder and hurl herself into waiting arms with delighted splashes. Her small hands wrapped around my thumbs as she kicked her legs and bounced off my bent knees. I smoothed their hair back from their faces and helped with meals. I giggled and scolded, cuddled and gasped when Smallest hit Little with yet another toy. (She's surprisingly physical at times.)
When we had packed up and were leaving Brother behind, his eyes welled with tears and I watched him blink them back as I buckled the girls into their seats and they waved to their father, unsure of when they'd see him again. I felt this awful sense of grief for them in that moment - having young, selfish parents who both seem more interest in finding yet another partner than in parenting. Having no constant homes - the closest they come are the bedrooms each has at my parents' house. I comforted myself that they'll grow up stronger than I am, far less spoiled and afraid of change.
I smoothed Smallest One's hair as she studiously examined the pages of a workbook, looking for the big bad wolf among the 3 little pigs' maze. I leaned down to tell her she was being very good, and she graced me with a grin before cuddling closer.
I reached over to tap the tip of Little One's nose and smiled. "She usually wants what I have," she told me, glancing at her smaller sister.
"True story," I nodded. "It's hard not to want what we can't have."