Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nigra's Hierarchy of Needs


Each night, we must go through Nigra's list of needs. It's sort of like Maslow's list. You know that whole hierarchy thing? But Maslow isn't sitting in my face whining at me. 

Nigra's vehement whining only happens when Steph and I are home together. If it's only one of us, Nigra acts like she is content.. She lays quietly on her pillow. 

Our powers combined must bring out the Captain Whine. 

Steph will spend her Fridays and Mondays at home with the Girls. She has no issues all day, but the minute I walk through the door, Nigra approaches me, after I have relaxed onto the couch from standing all day,  looks up and begins to whine a la Oliver Twist. 

"Please, sir, can I have some more?"

To understand Nigra, you have to know that this girlfriend has intense eye contact. It's powerful. She will stare you down until she gets her way. She cocks her head and bores into your soul with her little brown eyes. She is determined. She is unrelenting, and she will not give up until her bidding has been done. 

I told Steph that she must imagine me wearing an apron and says Nigra's on it. I'm the one that must always do her bidding. She will sometimes whine at Steph, but really, it's me she always wants. 

After a few whines, she will, then, back up. The minute she backs up a little, and whines, you know it is so important. The whine is important enough, but when she backs that thang up: game over.

After about 50 different whines, we realize it's time to go through the list to make sure our Nigra is satisfied. 

Yes. There is a list. 

In order to make sure Nigra is happy with life, we double-check the list -- it needs to be made into a print-out, really, because we're always forgetting something. 

If it's 5:00 p.m., then she must be hungry. If we haven't fed her yet, then that is it. For a couple minutes, after she dines, she is satisfied. 

Then, right after dinner, she must have Number One. This is her first treat for the night. This is the first of three. At about 7 p.m., Nigra will whine for Number Two, and at about 8 o'clock, she'll ask for Number Three. 

You see, there weren't always three goodies each night. This is something Nigra has decided. Nigra knows how to change the rules, and she uses her whine to do so. 

Every once in a while, she'll try to eek Number Four out of us, but we're on to her games.So, with some of those whines, we need to make sure she has had all of her treats. 

If it's nice out, she wants to be with her squirrels so she can commune with them until nightfall. If it's too cold, then she will perch on the sofa and gaze out the window, watching and guarding. The minute someone walks in her peripheral vision, she woofs. She's content for a bit...

Whine.

After that, she just continues to whine at me all night long. The next item on the list: I have to make sure she's got water in her bowl. We used to give her ice cubes in that water, too, but Maeve bobs them all out, so now we put the metal bowls in the freezer with some water at the bottom. 

If the bowl if full, then I check to see if Nigra has to potty. Maybe those goodies just went right through her. We can never be sure. I let her out for a little while, and she is right back at my side, gazing lovingly at me as I am smothered in her whines.

"Pretty please, Daddy, with cherries on top?" Her eyes say.

"Pretty please, whaaaaaaaat? What do you waaaaaaaant?"

She's eaten dinner. She has a full bowl of water. She's had all three of her treats. We're both home. After going through the hierarchy, at this point, usually it's time to take her out to play. 

I will take Yertle the Turtle outside with us (yes, that is Dr. Seuss' Yertle I speak of) and go crazy. Nigra runs around the yard, chases after me with my stuffed turtle and plays catch. She growls violently, and playfully wags her tail. She'll pounce and jump and soar and bark. She'll sprint and spin and dance and sing. For about 10 minutes (or depending on the temperature), I do my best to wear her down. The goal is to make her over-pant, to get her so crazy-tired that she will come inside, get a long drink and then collapse on her pillow in pure bliss that her Daddy played with her. 

If she persists after that, I am at a loss, and slowly descend into madness.