Living in a rural setting, you share your property. For many years, our yard has been used as a baby day care. Moms would drop their kids off, tell them to stay put and they’d take off. This ended during the time we had our Golden Retrievers. Even though the rule was not to bring anything home that began with the letter B… no babies, no birds, no bunnies, our cats and dogs would have a lapse in judgement and everything was considered fair game. Over time, the moms chose other places to leave their children.
Roxy has a different relationship with the wildlife. When she was a puppy, she didn’t chase and the deer didn’t run.
This morning, Roxy was looking out the front window. Something had caught her attention. All we saw was what looked like either tree debris, or a crouching rabbit. Then husband saw the head pop up. It was a fawn!
The Mom was not in sight. I walked out in my bare feet and had a blanket wrapped around me . At 6am, the grass was wet and cold between my toes. Baby must be a few days old because she didn’t move nor bat an eye. I read that the instinct to flee doesn’t kick in till they are a week old.
There are days I’m envious of the freedom mamma deer has. Except for the fact that mamma raises the child alone and the part that they eat the babies pee and poo, which removes any scent that would alert a predator, they get to drop their kid off and go. If the fawn is a buck, it will stay with mom for a year. If it’s a doe, then she may stay with mom up to two years. In contrast, Elephants nurse their babies for 4-6 years and stay with mom for about 16 years.
Our family dynamic is more like the Elephant, however, we’ve well passed the 16 year mark. Someday, Jessie will live independently with supports. When I say independently, I mean not with us. If this morning is an indicator of her life choices, Jess is going to need supervision to keep her honest. I discovered her in the midst of making a bowl of oatmeal. This is a good thing! The point I walked in, she was doing whipped cream shooters from the can. Fun things tend to bite you in the ass.
In some ways Jessie has the best life. We try to give her as much freedom as she can handle. This is a slow process because she’s a rebel (her middle name should have been James). She likes to test the line to see how far she can go. In hindsight, I’m okay with this, but when in the moment, my spirit isn’t as understanding.
This week has been a hard one. Jess needs to carry her Talker like it were a pocket book, across her body. Unfortunately, the case for her Talker broke where the carrying strap attaches. She’s pretty good about taking responsibility for her Talker, but I know what her limits are. If she were to carry it by a handle, it would be forgotten. I’m no different. if I set something down for a moment, the likelihood for it to be left behind is great. Like mother like daughter.
As for the case, it broke Sunday night. It was mailed for repair the next day. To be received the following day then shipped home by Friday. I’ve always been impressed with the AMDI customer service (thanks Mike). When we had another device, it was a minimum two-week turnaround.
For now, she’s using a necklace that has 11 words. Even though she hasn’t used this for three years, the transition was seamless. We talked about the case being broken and that for now she’d have to use the necklace. She pointed to “I use symbols to talk”. Then pointed to “I’m hungry” and then proceeded to use her back up Talker so she could be specific as to what she wanted to eat. After that, she pointed to “leave me alone”. This exercise proved that our low tech AAC would work in a pinch.
Yesterday, the first thing Jess did when she got home was get the backup Talker. She seems to appreciate having all of her words at her fingertips. Recently I added the phrase “guess what” and she says this before sharing about her day.
This afternoon when Jessie returns, I want to tell her what happened with the baby deer. Just as a watched pot doesn’t boil, a mamma deer doesn’t return for her baby until no one is looking. All that was left was a warm indent in the grass. Fawns are to be left alone and not touched. Mom may not be a helicopter parent, but she always comes back.
Yes, there are times I wish I were …
a female deer…
My mind thinks in song…I believe The Sound of Music is in order for tonight’s entertainment.
PS- did you know the most common name for a deer was Abby?