San Pellegrino in a Sippee

I’ve decided that house-training your dog is not the same as house-training your twins.

Before Delaney and Hayden, I had neither dogs nor children. With Mike, I gained two large “babies” named Montana and Cassidy. I quickly learned how to feed, tuck in, walk, scold, coersce and otherwise manage two dogs. Then we adopted our own first-born, Sonoma, and my education continued.

With Sonoma, we went to Doggie Preschool.

We got homework.

We got handouts.

We got home and pretty much forgot everything we’d learned. But still, we felt on top of the situation.

I truly thought there would be some transferable skills in all this parenting of pets. For instance: “refill water dishes daily”/”refill baby bottles daily.” Or: “Let dogs out for exercise”/”Let babies out to give yourself a break.”

No, scratch that.

Let babies out to give them meaningful outdoor activity.

Of course that’s what I meant.

But I’ve concluded there are some big differences. With dogs, if you find it necessary to reprimand them for licking a twin’s plate while she was elsewhere distracted, just because the kiddie-table happens to be at doggie-eye-level, then you give him (the dog) a firm slap on the rear. You can add for emphasis, “Bad Dog. Bad.”

With kids, a different approach is encouraged. In the pool yesterday, after an incident involving a plastic car being hurled at Hayden’s face by Delaney, Mike said firmly, “Bad Girl. Bad.”

I gently corrected him: “You’re supposed to condemn the behavior, Sweetie, not the child.”

“Bad Behavior. Bad,” Mike told Delaney.

She just looked at him and picked up the plastic car again. (This time, we all ducked.)

But the biggest difference between dogs and babies has to do with expectations. Dogs are trained to appreciate the occasional left-over, or the special treat off your plate that you didn’t really intend to eat anyway.

Hayden and Delaney, on the other hand, have come to expect to eat Daddy’s cereal right out of his bowl instead of their own, or to demand “Ships” (potato chips) in the middle of the afternoon. Imagine.

As the ultimate in nervy, they have just figured out that Mommy’s Agua comes out of a pretty, green bottle. No more tap water for them. Now they, too, want San Pellegrino as the sun sets. At least they consent to drinking it out of their sippee cups. Offering them my Riedel glasses seems just a bit much, even for this out-numbered Island Mama.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alecia,

    I have enjoyed reading your posts. We are on vacation in Barbados. This is the email checking hour so I thought I would take the opportunity to say hi and Happy Birthday! Best to Mike and the kids,




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