Tuesday, September 11, 2007

That's not true, Mr. Spock, they give us love!

I have two wonderful cavies (guinea pigs.) Watching them interact is just like watching children. Ash is only a few months older than Ginny, but she's clearly in charge. She can also be a bit of a bully. Ginny is quite at her mercy, but is also very creative, intelligent and nurturing of Ash.

When Ash is in heat, she becomes even more ornery. One day, close to feeding time, Ash chased Ginny into the pigloo, then moved toys in front of the entrance, locking her in. I suppose she thought that she'd get the dinner all to herself that night. But Ginny, in her calm, thoughtful manner, waited for the familiar crinkle of lettuce wrap, lifted the pigloo with her nose, crawled out from under it and joined Ash at the supper bowl.

Come a thunderclap, Ash runs to find her protector, Ginny. It's so funny to see Ash, almost 1/3 larger than Gin, nosing her way under Ginny's tummy to hide like a baby would hide beneath her mother.

And, just like a moody teenager, Ash will sometimes lash out and nip a finger for no apparent reason. Getting offended and thinking "She's upset at me. What did I do?" makes about as much sense as asking her to explain herself. Sometimes you just have to forgive and move on.

I think there's a lesson for me there. I have one child that the more he is spoken to, whether in correction or humor, becomes more and more belligerent. He has a tendency to lash out with whatever words he knows will hurt the most. He hates me. I'm a terrible parent, teacher, human being. But he can't explain what the problem is specifically. I have done nothing to offend him other than to speak to him. So, I just have to forgive and move on. Not easy.

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