A Girl and her Dogs

Madelyn loves stuffed animals as I am sure most children do.  I had quite a collection of animals as a child that I slept with every night.  Madelyn has 2 main favorites – Rufus and Calvin.  Rufus is her large  golden retriever dog from Ikea that she got first.  She was about a year old when we visited and was really taken with him in the store.  He was about twice her size and sleeps in her bed with her every night.  This was the first night we got Rufus….

… and this is over a year later, and her loyalty has not faded 🙂   Rufus is still her best dog.   (I don’t know what it is with her and sleeping with something across her back.  She sleeps with Rufus or another animal like this every night.)
But, obviously, he’s a big dog, so it was readily apparent that Rufus would be too big travel and would need to be just a ‘bedtime’ dog.  That Christmas, we introduced Rufus’ little brother, Calvin, who has been an important part of her life ever since.
Calvin has been there in good times and bad.
Walking the trails in Germany…
At Children’s Hospital with RSV…
Every trip to Virginia… This one he has a collar on from when he went with her to get her tubes in 🙂 

 And even the flight to Germany.  He needed a drink in the Heathrow Airport in between flights.

Recently, Calvin has become an even more active participant in her life.  While in the hotel room, they play together all the time.  He’s her best buddy.

 They play all over the hotel room… on the couch…

Dancing around the living room
Snuggling before nap time…

Walking out of the hotel…

Relaxing before bedtime… Calvin is always there.

But sometimes Calvin gets a little crazy.  If you look closely, you will see Calvin’s leg and tail at the top of the picture because he was ‘going up and down’ as Madelyn puts it…

… and when that happens, Calvin needs a time out.  (She totally did this on her own!  This is the ‘time out corner’ in our hotel room.  He’s in time out because instead of me asking her to calm down, I asked Calvin to calm down, so she took him to time out.)


When we do time outs, we have a ‘talk’ before coming out.  So Madelyn and Calvin ‘talked’ before he came out of time out.

 We also have her do ‘hugs and kisses’ in addition to saying sorry, so she is leaning in to get her hugs and kisses from Calvin.

She and Calvin are best friends 🙂

As another fun Calvin story, we also overheard her talking with Calvin on the way home from the castle on Friday.

Madelyn: “Calvin, you gotta listen.  You gotta listen to mom.  You gotta listen to dad. (Pause)  You gotta listen to Madelyn.”

It was VERY hard not to audibly laugh in the front seats. 🙂

Sometimes being a parent is GREAT 🙂   She is going to make a fantastic big sister in a few weeks 🙂