Monday, February 14, 2011

The Slowest Way to Feed a Dog

 (Enzo playing at the beach during a recent trip to Capitola.)

Today is Valentine's Day.  Tami had the great idea of the three of us going to breakfast before I went to work this morning.  We went to Hobee's Restaurant.  I've come to like the place a lot.  For one, they bring all kids a fruit plate arranged like a happy face without you having to ask or pay for it and they bring out right away so that your kid has something to munch on.  Second, the faces don't always look the same so one can look forward to seeing how the cook of the day makes fruit faces.  And three, there are plenty of semi-healthy options to choose from when over eating at breakfast and somewhere in my mind that helps counter the fact that breakfast places serve entirely too much food on a plate.  A soft rain, my lovely wife and beautiful child for a leisurely morning breakfast was an excellent way to start the day.  I somehow managed to escape with out eating all of my omelet so I had a bit left over to add to my lunch.

Work was fine and amusing enough as well.  I've been contemplating, between tasks of actually working,  if the perfect job isn't being a PE teacher.  That may be the way to spend the days of a life.  You get to be outside all day, interact with the young minds of the world, inspire, and wear what basically comes down to glorified pajamas with stripes down the side every day to work.  Tempting career possibility.  Seriously, that could possibly be the way I spend the last years of my education career.  Anyway....

Then it was back home to play with my son while Tami went to pregnant yoga.  Enzo and I had a blast.  I watched him do his two newest cool tricks.  He spins now.  We don't know for sure where he learned this but he really enjoys spinning around and laughing and falling and doing it all over again.  Also, he likes to walk around with his water bottle now as he knows how to tilt it back all by himself.  We all have stainless steel water bottles and Enzo has one with a sippy cup top.  Until recently Enzo would hold his water bottle but we would help to tilt it up for him.  In recent days The Kid has learned to tilt it back for him self.  Learned may not be the right word.  It's a combination of acquired strength and increased dexterity as well, I would suppose.  Like all new things with him, it's neat to watch.

We played with blocks and made music sounds and read a book about a sparkly fish and counting.  We also played with balloons for the first time.  Linda from work sent home Valentine's balloons for Enzo.  She is always thinking of him.  These are the mylar balloons, not the rubber kind which would be a chocking hazard.  The interesting thing was that The Kid was not comfortable with the balloons at first.  He certainly stared at them but he did not want to get close to them.  That surprised me.  I know balloons seem foreign to him but everything is pretty new in his world so I spent several minutes of our play trying to figure out what it was about balloons or these balloons that made him cautious when he is usually confidently curious.  Balloons are obviously different then most things we deal with on a regular basis.  I started off by playing with the balloons and making noise with them, drumming them against the floor to make a rhythm.  In a few minutes of watching me interact with the balloons, Enzo began to play with them as well.  Later, he would occasionally return to them on his own to play with them and smile and laugh and sometimes just to pull the ribbons and stare as they floated back up.  Balloons have now been added to the list of partially understood and interesting to play with items in my son's mind.

And if that wasn't already enough adventure for one evening at home, I accidentally taught Enzo how to hand feed our dog Monte.  Enzo happened to pick up a piece of Monte's food that he found on the kitchen floor.  Concerned Enzo may eat it, not because the food would not be healthy at the price we pay for it but because the chunks are a little too big as dry food for a 13 month old human baby, I gently took it from him and showed him how Monte would eat it from my outstretched hand.  Enzo took that information and melded it with the his memory that dad has recently let him play with his hands in the dog food bag while I supervised.  I figured it must feel pretty neat and it makes a neat sound to swish around a hand in a large bad of dry dog food.  Enzo then went over to the bag and opened it, took one piece out, and walked over to feed Monte.  Super cool!  Then he walked back, grabbed another piece, walked 6 feet back to Mont and fed him another piece.  And then again, and again, and again for some time.  I had enough time to warm up a bowel of soup, eat it, pick up my dishes and then make a sandwich while Enzo continued to feed Monte one or two pieces at a time.  Sometimes he would drop the food and Monte would eat the pieces off the floor.  Eventually Enzo streamlined the process by walking over to Monte, dropping the food and going back to get one to two more pieces.

The funniest example was when Enzo dropped two pieces in front of Monte while Monte looked the other way.  The fact that the dog was distracted gave Enzo the time to consider something as he stared at the food that he had dropped for Monte.  What he began thinking I will never know.  But he decided these were not the pieces they should be.  As Monte turned around to the food, Enzo was already squatted down with the two pieces of food retrieved in his hands.  He patiently stood, turned, and walked back to the dog food bag, threw them in from above, and then shoved his hand back in to retrieve two new pieces that met his approval which he walked back and dropped for Monte.  I am so curious what he was thinking.  Did they look different?  Did he consider them ineffective since Monte did not eat them immediately as he did the others?  Was he on a rhythm that he needed to keep to?

Eventually Enzo looked at me on my second half of dinner, sandwich in my mouth, and pointed to me saying "uhhhhh" which translates as "I'm hungry too big guy."   20 minutes of feeding Monte had come to an end while Enzo ate his snack.  Tami came home and we had time to chat about our day.  This was a very good Valentine's Day, like no other we have had.  We finished the evening watching another episode of "Long way Around."  It is a multi-episode  documentary about a couple of actors who take some time off from movie making to go around the world on BMW GS motorcycles.  Tami is pretty into the series and that makes it even more fun for me.  Now, if only she liked watching Top Gear.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to borrow him for the feeding of my dogs! Three dogs, One Enzo..should be good for plenty of laughs. Maybe even a submission for America's Funniest Home Video?