In our household, in order for some things to be accomplished, others must remain status quo for a while. Until the day that it becomes increasingly (or sometimes alarmingly) obvious that those things are due for a change.
Kids and pets bring a certain schedule of requirements in their development and care. In recent weeks, it’s been on my agenda more and more to set a plan to get our youngest son out of diapers. He is age appropriate now, and I’ve suddenly gained more motivation to move him out of diapers since we will be having another baby this coming September.
In an unrelated training topic, our dear pet Ollie (who we got as a puppy about a year ago) has become quite a handful lately. He, unlike my son, is potty trained, however is completely nuts in all other aspects of his behavior. I only have myself to blame really. We never did officially “train” him, or better yet attend puppy school with him.
The constant barking, garbage rummaging, biting, and the sight of the legs of my expensive dining chair chewed to bits have all become one large and heaping sign that this dog needs some help.
So my mission is clear: train child, train dog. This would require a plan, certainly. I do have a good idea how to potty train Matthew, having already done this with his older brother Andrew a couple years ago. However, the dog training is completely new to me.
So, after a watching a few “how-to” videos on You Tube, and reading a variety of advice online, I felt I was ready to try a few lessons with the pup. Some basics like sitting, letting me walk him instead of him walking me, and helping him calm his barking at the neighbor’s dogs.
The plan with Matthew had much to do with the outdoors, and allowing his “accidents” to occur there rather than in our house. Unfortunately, our weather didn’t get the instructions to its part of my plan and it rained enough over the following weeks to float Noah’s arc again.
Being trapped inside, the boys’ behavior naturally turned into “creative” play (in this case shredding styrofoam blocks and using a fan to make snow in June) and the dog’s restlessness and boredom translated into more barking and biting. My plan was not off to a good start.
Fortunately, during this break in my motivation, I found a little insight.
Both of my training endeavors were large enough to require my undivided efforts. Therefore, in the interest of not loosing anymore of my sanity than I already have in my five years of mothering, I decided to split these projects up.
My first objective, as the weather has perked up again, is to finish working with the dog. Then, once the weather rises up to the temperature where my little one is running naked around the back yard through sprinklers, then it will be time to employ my potting training plan.
My hope is that by summer’s end, we will have a tamer dog and a toilet-minded child. But, as many things in mothering, I may be working at this for a little longer.
If Rome wasn’t built in a day, then I’ll take comfort in the
fact that neither my children or my dog will learn a series of life skills in
the same timeframe either.