Well, y'all have read my posts before about The Kid and how, at times, she can be a royal pain in the butt (getting worse, IMO, but that's probably due to her being almost 17 years old (gasp) more than anything else).
There have been times during the past few years when I've scratched my head in puzzlement over, not only her behavior, but, Mr. B's constant defense of her (with a few exceptions; he won't abide by her lying and he will call her on the carpet for that).
In addition to Mr. B and The Kid, I have, of course, routinely been involved in the throes of woe and angst my own parents have gone through WRT to my sisters.
Yeah, yeah; anyone can say (and some have), "Well, you don't understand because you're not a parent".
And, up to now, I thought this was pretty much true. I am NOT a parent and I DON'T understand.
But, after this recent incident with Lucy attacking Lily, I suppose I understand a bit more than I did before. Or, rather, I realized that I DO understand because I probably always did, deep down.
Ok, we're talking PETS here and not CHILDREN. But, they ARE my children, such as it goes. And, frankly, I felt all sorts of conflicting emotions (and still do) over what happened the other day. I'd imagine these emotions are not so very dissimilar to what parents of human children feel when there are issues/problems/drama with their kids. Here goes:
IT'S ALL MY FAULT! I SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING!
What parent hasn't thought this from time to time? I know it's what was running through my head over and over and over again like a nasty version of the movie "Groundhog Day". WHY did I leave that chewie on the patio? I KNEW I should have moved it, why DIDN'T I? I'm an idiot. I'm a bad mother. I allowed Lucy to fail and put Lily in harm's way.
I'M SO MAD AT THAT KID I COULD KILL HER!
Ok, not literally, but, in my life (not very often thank God) I was, a time or two, on the receiving end of parental anger (likely very much deserved). I sure as hell felt mad enough to really sock it to Lucy the other day. Luckily, I had the sense to put her out in the yard instead. I mean, I could have stood there yelling at her until the cows came home and it wouldn't have made any difference to what had just happened (sound familiar to any of you parents out there?)
OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! PLEASE LET HER BE OKAY! PLEASE LET HER BE OKAY!
This I was frantically thinking as I ran upstairs to check on Lily and then couldn't find her. Then, when I did find her and she seemed to be okay, I burst into tears.
EVERYONE MUST THINK I AM A TERRIBLE MOM
When I was at the vet and the story came out about what happened, I felt everyone there was thinking what a rotten, stinking mom I was. I don't think they really were, but, any parent that has had to take a child to the hospital or doctor because of some unfortunate accident can likely relate.
HER DAD IS GOING TO KILL HER WHEN HE GETS HOME
By the time Mr. B made it home Wednesday night (he had a Board meeting and it was almost 9:00), I'd calmed down somewhat, enough that I was starting to worry a bit about how Mr. B was going to deal with Lucy. I KNEW he was furious with her because this was the 3rd time this has happened and his tolerance is waning. I found myself telling Lucy through the screen door that, if she thought I'D laid into her, wait until her father got home! Of course, he didn't do anything to her at all but ignore her and tell me he thought she should stay outside several days.
I KNOW SHE DID A TERRIBLE THING BUT...I STILL LOVE HER
This, I suppose, was the biggest A HA that I had. No matter what, I still love her. She's my girl. Now, unlike a human child, we WILL have to find her another home if she doesn't come around because we have the cats' safety to think of (they, after all, have not done a thing wrong) BUT I still feel committed to Lucy and to doing everything I can to make her successful. Yes, she hurt my feelings, or, rather, really, really disappointed me. Yes, I'm a bit wary of her around the cats for now so this means she'll be spending more time outside until we can work through this. Yes, she's on borrowed time as far as Mr. B is concerned and I know I have to support him, too.
GAH! I should have got a fish!
Seriously, I believe after all is said and done, we'll get to a good place again with Lucy, Pete and Lily. It may take Lily quite a long time to forgive Lucy, but, we'll leave that up to Lily. I've had some excellent advice from several sources; thanks everyone! So, we're not the only ones who want Lucy to be successful. She's loved all the way around. Yes, others are also disappointed in her, but, willing to bet she'll do better from now on.
Most importantly, I've got even more respect for Mr. B and other parents who've had to deal with difficult/trying situations with their children.
My friend Luigi is fond of the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears".
(But you ass is still grass if you ever do this again!)