Of Infants, Toddlers, and Puppies
I recently came face to face with some old memories.
First, came the memories of my infant daughters’ unwillingness to nap. I went two for two in this category, as neither daughter deemed napping necessary for her wellbeing, or mine. Placed lovingly in her crib, each baby girl would cry—then scream. Showers were never the peaceful respite I hoped them to be.
I also recalled my younger daughter’s tendency to wake before the sun. By the time most babies were stirring, she—and I—had been up for several hours. (And still, napping was not an option.)
Finally, I remembered the day I caught my older daughter, then a toddler, quietly and determinedly drawing on my bedroom floor with a favorite lipstick. My takeaway: if your toddler leaves your line of sight, find her. Fast.
Why the flood of memories? Carson. He’s led me to conclude that puppies are at once infants and toddlers. They are lucky they are so darn cute.
Perhaps this is why they are so darn cute.
Sleep? Not in his crate. On my lap, sure. Just like my infant daughters. But place him in his crate, and cue the crying. And let me tell you, puppy whining tears at your heart just as mightily as an infant’s cries. And there’s no rationalizing with either of them. “Please, mommy just wants to take a shower,” means absolutely nothing to a baby or a puppy. Nor does, “please sleep past four (in the morning).”
Toys? Carson loves his toys. He will happily chew on a bone or pull the stuffing out of a stuffed toy. But what he loves more, is anything that isn’t a toy: a shoe, a sock, a cardboard box, any piece of clothing on the floor of my daughters’ bedrooms, a plastic water bottle, anything he can snatch out of a bathroom garbage can… If he could get hold of my lipstick, he’d certainly steal that.
Fortunately, puppies, like babies, settle into a daily routine. And puppies do so more quickly than their human counterparts. Carson is nine-months-old now. He sleeps better than he did when he first arrived in our home, but he’s still a thief. In time, he will grow out of that. Galen did. As did Gryffin. For now, I try not to let him out of my sight.
I knew bringing a puppy into the house wouldn’t be easy. What I didn’t anticipate was that doing so would open a flood gate of memories, reminding me that the tough times, like all good times, are worth remembering.
Jacki Skole is an award-winning journalist, author and adjunct professor of communication. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she spent a decade as a writer and producer at CNN before turning to teaching. Jacki launched WRITE Now to assist students in writing the college application essays that will chart their future. Read More...