Surprises are way overrated sometimes.
My first example took place yesterday evening. Upon arriving home with Lena, I felt a sense of relief and calm. I unloaded the car and prepared to enjoy an evening of reading, relaxing and early bedtime. Lena had a long day of travel as well with zero nap time, and I was happy that she would likely fall asleep easily.
This calm was quickly shattered when I walked in and glanced towards Lena's food dish. As of late, my dog has decided that she does not want to eat all of her food at meal time. Actually, this is more of an afternoon meal phenomenon. I believe it is due to the fact that she expects a Dingo treat as well and cannot quite understand that the granting of said treat only occurs when she has finished her regular food. Basically, she will take a few bites before coming to me to gaze imploringly into my eyes.
Normally, I can stubbornly get her to finish her food. It takes a while. Last week when we were getting ready to leave, I noticed that she hadn't finished her meal. Normally I would have taken the time to get her to do so, but we were in a hurry. It didn't occur to me that leaving it out would be a problem. Boy was I wrong.
Over the course of the weekend, a colony of ants had discovered Lena's leftover food and was making a feast of it. I should probably clarify a bit as it may sound like there were hundreds of tiny critters covering her dish. This was not the case. But there were enough to be distinctly noticeable. I immediately emptied the bowl into the garbage, washed it thoroughly and began a frantic vacuum session.
I believe I was somewhat successful, but I still have to stop and pick up some trap/bait kits today to finish the job. Yuck. Lesson learned: when Lena does not finish her food, it gets put away.
My second surprise came from the ongoing coyote watch fiasco. After doing some research, I found the name and telephone number for the Edina Police Department Animal Control Officer. My mother called him to discuss the urban coyote infestation (of one) only to discover that he had recently been to our neighborhood on a similar report and based on a homeowner photograph believes that it is not a coyote but is in fact a fox. This does change my overall fear level, but I am still not 100% convinced.
OK, so that is it for the surprises. At least for the moment.
I had an interesting thought this weekend. I know, you are all shocked that I had any thought at all, ha ha ha, but seriously. My mom was showing me a YouTube clip of this little girl singing the song "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on the Ellen show. At the end of her performance, Ellen wheels out a pink Barbie Power Wheels Escalade for the kid. Sweet, right?
The episode took me back to some powerful childhood memories. No, I never had a Power Wheels and more importantly neither did my brother, Michael. He was the one who always dreamt of getting one but never did. I was not as vociferous in my interest, but I do remember quite vividly that I honestly felt that if I could just get my hands on one of those fine pieces of machinery that I would have total freedom. I could go where I wanted when I wanted and no one could stop me.
Technically speaking, my first bicycle offered similar benefits, but for some reason the idea of taking off in something that looked more like a car made it more legitimate.
As a result of well-targeted ad campaigns, I often found myself in "need" of certain new toys. Examples include: Barbie and the Rockers (my friends had them - I never did), She-Ra's castle, a Barbie Dream House complete with elevator, and Legos. You could not believe the number of awesome cool Lego kits I wanted to buy, build, tear down and build again. I reckoned that when I grew up and made my own money, I would be able to buy all of these items that were out of my reach financially as a child.
Now, I am an adult. I make money. I have the earning potential to possess these things. Yet I have bought none of them. Why? Because they are for children and I am not a child. I doubt I could call up any of my friends and invite them over to play Barbies without them seriously questioning my mental stability.
Truthfully, I can rationalize away a lot of my toy-free purchases using the above argument. The only hang-up for me is Legos. I still walk past the displays with a twinge of excitement and have even picked up a few, just to look. One of these days I am going to give in and get one. It won't be a small one either - it has to be one worthy of adult brainpower. Well, at least for ages 12 and up. Hopefully this will not start a snowball effect leading to a "Lego Room" in my house which leads to an intervention which leads to me making a massive donation to a children's hospital.
Although the donation aspect is pretty nice of me, if you really think about it.