Lynn's Comments: Farley...the REAL Farley was both the source of dirt and the mop which picked it up. He would go about the house sniffing and rooting for crumbs and other household flotsam, his fuzzy face pressed to the floor. When he raised his head, his chin would be flattened and full of dust. A lot of the dust was his. He was so hairy that even with regular vacuuming, a slight breeze would cause a wave of grey to float across the kitchen. It was unending. Still, despite the responsibility and the extra work, he was loved and he was part of the family....and in retrospect, he was probably much, MUCH cleaner than the kids!
Lynn's Comments: When Aaron was born, Farley the dog was well established as part of the family. Certainly my first introduction to "training" another living thing was the DOG, and from time to time, I clapped my hands and shouted "NO!" to both kid and canine. (I stopped at spraying the kid with water or using a choke chain). Aaron was crawling around the same time he was teething, so kibble and other Farley fare was readily available. When I discovered Aaron teething on a Milkbone and enjoying the grit on his gums, I happily allowed him to indulge. Milkbones, after all, didn't disintegrate into mush like other teething biscuits and it was cheap. The smell of it on the breath of both my charges didn't bother me in the least. Compared to some of the other odors emitted, this was "kissing sweet".
Lynn's Comments: They say that "normal" means different things to different people. For us, normal morphed from one reality into another as the kids grew and changed and became individuals. When they were little, reality was toys - everywhere. Later, it was friends - everywhere - and the sounds of sports, music and video games. Normal didn't become tidy and organized and quiet until they both moved out. Then, normal meant projects and travel and missing them. I went to visit friends of my daughter's recently. Brooke and Matthew have twin daughters, six months old. The girls are just starting to toddle and their small living room is strewn with blankets and toys. Brooke apologized for the mess. I said, "Don't worry, relax - I understand. You have two little kids! ...This is normal!!!"
Lynn's Comments: I wasn't allowed to show "yellow snow," but the suggestion was OK.