Love’s imprinted

By Mir
February 25, 2010

Monkey is terribly interested in imprinting. Specifically, he finds it unfair that Licorice “knows” I am her mommy, but that she also seems to find Chickadee a suitable stand-in in the event of my absence. Monkey, however, is clearly forever a puppy in her mind, and this bothers him. Chickadee or I can reach into Licorice’s mouth and extract even the tastiest treat without a hint of protest, but if Monkey approaches when she wants to be left alone she gives him a little “lay off, kid” growl.

“Someday I’ll be adult-sized!” he complains. “She’ll have to act like I’m big, then!”

“Oh, I don’t think it’ll matter,” I tell him with a chuckle. “I think she rather likes considering you a puppy. You’ll always be her puppy!”

He does not find this comforting. I, however, find it immensely comforting. There are times when I appreciate not being the only mom in the house, you know?

On Monday Chickadee was home sick, and for a little while we curled up in my bed with her baby album, looking through all of the pictures of her as a tiny tiny infant, most often cradled in my or her father’s arms. “Look at your face,” she kept marveling. “Look at you looking at me like I’m the greatest baby on the planet!”

“That’s because you were pretty much the greatest baby on the planet,” I said. “And you will ALWAYS be my baby, no matter how big and obnoxious you get. SO THERE.”

I like to remind her, sometimes. Monkey needs no reminding; he’s prone to hanging off of me and declaring “I WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR BABY. THAT’S THE RULE.” You know, just in case I forget, or something.

During my recent office reorganization I ended up laying out some of my pictures and knick-knacks a little differently than before, and now I have space to put out a pair of picture frames that were hidden behind other stuff, before. The kids gave them to me for Christmas in 2004.

In 2004 I started this blog. In 2004 I was unemployed. In 2004 I thought I’d lost Otto forever. And in 2004, my babies were just 4 and 6 and I had absolutely no idea what I was in for with them. (And for the record, I fully expect that in 2016 I’ll be able to look back at 2010 and say much the same thing about having no idea.)

The picture frames each have a picture on one side, and then a do-it-yourself handprint on the other.

The outlines of their hands seem impossibly small to me, now. The fingertip smiley faces never fail to cheer me up, and even now I melt a little at “LOVE YOU MAMA” in the palm of each hand. They didn’t know what they were in for, either. But I suspect that love will see us through.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Neither snow, nor sleet, nor mean bus drivers nor IEP debacles shall erase the imprint on my heart of these marvelous humans I’m lucky enough call mine. That’s worthy of at least ten fingertip smileys, right?


  1. Heidi

    I tell you, you and Karen at Chookooloonks are doing me in this morning…

  2. Tracy

    Oh,WOW. How perfect is that?

  3. Kelly


  4. Dani

    How wonderful. What a lovely reminder of their love every day. Thanks for making ME smile.

  5. Cindy

    How’d they do those handprints? I’d love to get some of those from my tiny people…

  6. Nicki

    So great. Thanks for another much needed Love Thursday post.

  7. Nelson's Mama

    I keep telling my just turned 18 year old that she’ll always be my baby – I’m hoping that she’s hearing me…

  8. mamabird

    My daughter had her first haircut today. It was only her bangs but she’s growing up … and I’m holding on as tight as I can, smothering her in kisses and zerberts.

  9. Alicia

    I feel you…my 1st baby starts K in August. I weeped when the registration calendar was passed out at his pre-school while my husband gleefully cheered the reminder that we no longer have to pay for school.
    I’ve decided to counteract the growing up by telling him everyday that boys live with their mommies until they are 30.

  10. Katie in MA

    Your story makes me hope and believe in ever-afters. The ever-afters won’t always be easy and won’t always be happy, but they will always be together and they will always keep keep reaching for the “happily” part. Happy Love Thursday!

  11. Flea

    Happy Love Thursday, Mir. :)

  12. elz

    Are you trying to make me cry? Because you did. So sweet. I look at my girls (3,5) and wonder where the babies went. Thank God they still curl up to me…for a little while longer, I hope.

  13. Sarah

    Lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Liz@thisfullhouse

    Thanks for the smiley faces — I really needed that, today!

  15. Lynette

    They grow up too fast. I wish I could bottle these days up while they are still little. Thanks for the reminder to cherish every moment.

  16. Em

    I can see that those smily faces would work even six years later. They made me smile.

  17. J from Ireland

    I love Love Thursdays.

  18. Paulla

    I don’t want to sound like a spoil sport, but I’d nix Licorice’s growling at Monkey ASAP. Have him scruff her a few times (grab her by the scruff and hold her head to the floor until she submits by raising on of her back legs) so she’ll know that although he might be a playmate, he’s still “over” her in the pecking order. If not, she might bite him. Just some friendly advice. :)

  19. Brandi

    Awwww. :D

  20. Heather

    Beautiful :) I love Love Thursdays!

  21. s

    Awww I so missed the last couple Thursdays – I heart your Love Thursday posts.

    on the dog, I know this isn’t a dog advice blog but the growling is a concern and comments above concerning as well. Dominance responses often escalate, so I wouldn’t advocate any physical acts by Monkey in response. Instead, he should take turns training her, feeding her (with a sit and wait routine), and working with her with easy things like “touch” (she touches his hand with nose and gets treated so his hand isn’t seen as threatening) so she does recognize him as a leader – maybe not “mom” like you and Chickadee but she should always be the lowest in status in the household. 2-3 minutes a day or twice a day with simple commands will do wonders for their relationship – seriously! Being a leader doesn’t need to be through any punitive or physical means – its more an attitude. In meantime, there is no reason everyone should be extracting something from her mouth – avoidance is good management! Dr Dunbar recommends this to avoid escalation. Enuff said on the dog front!

    Keep up the Love Thursday posts – I look forward to them!

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