Puppies and babies
I‘ve gotten into a new TV show recently: Dog Whisperer. It’s sort of like Super Nanny, but for dogs. Cesar Millan probably understands dog language better than my own dog does. He walks into a room and the dogs just seem to know he is not someone you mess with. The last episode I saw was on Friday night. This one was about how to raise a puppy the right way. Probably more than really understanding what that right way is, I realized that there are a million wrong ways. My dog is an “old man” now. Lazy and not even vaguely interested in being active (at least not more than for short bursts). When he was a puppy, he was a handful. I think it was at least 4 years of puppy insanity before things finally started to settle down with him. And right around that time, we came home with Rachel. I’m not sure if he just grew up, or having a baby in the house sobered him. Either way, it’s been a long time since we had to deal with the crazy puppiness.
Ironically, you’d think after watching a show about puppies, it would make you want to run out and get one. “To see a puppy is to buy a puppy.” But something about highlighting everything involved in training a dog, especially when it’s a puppy, made me glad to have my older, mellow, old-man of a dog.
There’s a lot of truth in that with kids too. I’m not the kind of parent that cries because my kids are no longer babies. Each age leaves behind one set of challenges and exchanges them for another. I loved when my kids were babies, but I don’t miss all that went along with it. The spitting up, the nights without a good sleep, the diapers, the not-knowing if they were eating enough, etc. etc. They were cute, and I have the pictures, and I love looking at them, but I’m actually pretty happy to not be living in that moment anymore.
Zach especially. He was a somewhat easy baby in the beginning, but things quickly turned around, and he has really become one hell of a challenge. It’s not just because he’s a boy either. Even though most 4 year olds have very little impulse control, I still see other boys his age that seem to be able to control themselves better than Zach can. This is not a phase I’m loving right now. I’m taking pictures, and I’ll look back on how cute he was, but when we get past this crazy phase he’s in, I will not be sorry to be on the other side.