Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Ultimate Ootums

My boyfriend thinks it's hilarious that I'm always making comments about over-indulgent mombies.  They spoil their kids to the point where they can get away with anything, because in their eyes their little ootums can do no wrong.  Their kids are always the topic of conversation, they have a gazillion pictures of them, (which everyone they encounter has seen), and everything they do is for their kid because no other kid is as awesome or special as theirs.

He laughs at me because I am exactly that.

It's all your fault I am this way.  You started it.  I was just walking around the fair when I dragged my friends to go look at the bunnies (one of my favorite things to do at the fair).  All the other bunnies were cowering in the back corners of their cages, having had enough of  being poked by everyone sticking their fingers through the bars of their cages for several days in a row.  But when I did it to you, you hopped forward and licked my hand.  I knew then you were coming home with us.  It just took me a while of walking around the fair some more and trying to scrounge enough money to spring for your release (between 4 adults, we couldn't put together $15 - oy vey!  So I went to the ATM.)  I almost gave up hope when we arrived back at the bunny barn and the door was closed.  But your Daddy is not one to give up easily - he flung the door open and we went in.  Next thing I knew we were walking across the fairgrounds carrying you in a Build-a-Bear box.

It should have occurred to me that night how much personality you had.  We stopped at the Main Gate for a drink and put your box in the center of our table.  You kept standing up to look around and all these girls were coming over to look at you and pet you.  Since you were always charming the ladies and you would be living with 2 girl bunnies, I decided on a name that suited you - Hef.

And that's when I became one of them.  The over-indulgent BunnyMombie.  I had other bunnies before, but none that did the things you did.  You were the first bunny to run from room to room and binky (for you non-bunny people, a "binky" is a little happy jump bunnies do - and it's hilarious the first time you see it) in the doorway, then flop down by the door when you were tired, feet sticking out the back like you were a dog.  You were the first one to figure out how the Treat Ball worked, and you loved playing with it (even though I would scoop up the treats you missed and put them back in the ball).  You were the first to run to the refrigerator and beg for treats, and you were the first one to run to the door when I said "Daddy's home!"

You figured out how to open the food container and help yourself.  And when that didn't work, you learned to push the container off the table so it would pop open when it hit the floor and spill all the food out for easy access.

But I never got mad at that.  I never got mad at anything you did, because you were my ootums and could do no wrong.  Daddy and I don't eat in bed, but you, on the other hand...

I didn't get mad when I was trying to eat a bowl of ice cream and you jumped in my lap and helped yourself from the other side of the bowl.

I didn't get mad when I was getting the vacuum cleaner out, left the room for two minutes and came back to you sitting next to the vacuum with the chewed-off plug next to you on the floor and a wide-eyed look on your face that said "Who could have done that?"

I didn't get mad when you thought the bottom shelf of the bookcase was your chew toy.  Or when you thought my new magazines were put on the floor for you to shred.

I didn't get mad when we returned from apple-picking and heard a crunchcrunchcrunch noise and found your furry butt sticking out of one of the apple bags we had placed on the floor.  I wasn't even mad that you had taken a bite out of each apple in the bag.

I didn't even get mad when you decided to hump one of my bunny slippers.  While my foot was still in it.

No, none of these things made me mad.  Instead, they made me laugh hysterically, remark about how clever you are, and share the story with anyone who would listen.

And yes, you were incredibly clever.  You figured out exactly how to bite your cage bars to make it sound like there was a jackhammer in the room at 5:45 AM, and if you did that I'd have to get up and feed you so I could go back to sleep.  You figured out how to climb the stairs to get to the food I tried to hide on the top step.

You figured out how to get me to give you exactly the food you wanted by giving me "The look" every time I'd put the wrong thing in your dish.  I'd put a handful of pellets in and you'd sit there and give me the look.  Then a handful of oatmeal - and the look.  Then some veggie poofs - and the look.  Finally, I'd throw a yogie bite in there and I couldn't get my hand out of the dish because your head was in the way.  And when I didn't catch on, you'd let me know you were upset by flipping your dish so all the food would spill out and I'd have to start over.

You were so clever that when I'd take too long cleaning your litter tray, you'd find a piece of newspaper on the floor to use so you wouldn't pee on the floor.  We used to brag how you never pee outside your cage.  Which you actually did 3 times - once on Daddy in the car, and once on each of our mothers' couches (each time right after we said "He never pees outside his cage!")

You had us jumping through hoops every time you had that forlorn look like you might be sick.  We would run to the supermarket for any kind of fruit of vegetable that would help, and then rush you to the vet (sometimes 2 vets) to make sure you'd be okay.  You had more regular checkups than we did, had a better diet and were taken care of better.  You even got your very own room at FancyHotel that didn't allow pets when we begged because we had no one to watch you then.  You had a vacation home at Grandma's in PA, your own personal chefs and maid service.  You lived through several blackouts, heat waves, cold snaps and a flood without ever experiencing any discomfort.

Everyone who ever met you fell in love with you instantly, even though you would shut off the outgoing personality you had around Daddy and me as soon as a strange person was present - and we would call you our Warner Brother's singing frog.  Because we would brag about how personable you were and then it looked like we were crazy when you'd clam up.

But you did warm up to some people.  Like Grandma, who would bring you a big basket of fresh veggies every Easter.  Or Aunt Linda and Uncle Paul, who watched you while we were on vacation and didn't want to give you back to us when we came back.  Or Drew, who would ask "Did you bring the bunnies?" every time we went to visit - before he even said hello.  I have great memories of Calvin and Drew (who are now in their teens) playing with you when you were all little boys.  Some of these people got to experience the wonderful snuggles and bunny kisses that were part of our everyday life.  As soon as I'd wake up in the morning, I'd pick you up for snuggles and kisses.  Same thing when I got home from work.  I could have a really lousy day and I'd pick you up and you'd lick my face until all my problems were forgotten.  I'd sit for the longest time just petting your head.  I'm amazed that after nine years you still had any fur left from being pet so often.  And when all three of us were together is when you would finally start eating.  You were always happiest when we were all home.

I wasn't ready for you to leave us so soon.  I'm not mad at you - I understand that you had to go, but I am brokenhearted about it.  Even if you had lived to be a thousand years old I still would not have been ready to let you go.   I am glad you were able to wait until I got home - so you would not have to be alone, or somewhere strange and cold.  You had us right by your side, petting you and telling you how much we love you right until the very end. 

I miss you terribly.  So does Daddy.  You two were best buddies.  I still want to go look for you as soon as I get up in the morning and as soon as I get home.  Sometimes I can feel you nudging my ankle with your nose like you always did when you wanted to play.  My brain still adds things to the shopping list for you.  I still have the urge to pull into Pet Goods as I drive by to pick up a special treat for you.  When we pick out carpeting, i still wonder if it's soft enough for your little feet.  I just want to pick you up and hold you and make the tears go away while you lick my face.  As painful as it is that I can't do that anymore, I wouldn't trade it for one less minute that I was fortunate enough to have with you.  You are and always will be the most amazing little ootums.  And I will always be an over-indulgent BunnyMombie.  Because that's how it should be.

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