Some days as a stay-at-home mom can be more challenging than others. Take the day that Tyler insisted that he was a dog, for example. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m a tad strange as I go out to call my children in for lunch: “Here, puppy, puppy, puppy. Puppies, it is time to eat.”
“What are we having,” one puppy asks.
“Dog food,” I reply. Really, we’re having leftovers, but puppies don’t eat table food, you know, especially vegetables.
Once, I made a healthy snack of a banana covered with peanut butter and wheat germ sprinkles. (I didn’t have any nuts). “Hey, what’s this,” my puppies demanded.
“A bone. Chew it up like good puppies.”
I will go along with this game, but there are rules. For example, my older puppy is not allowed to have a dog brawl with his brother, and all puppies have to use glasses when they drink their water, not a bowl or bucket. In addition, all puppies must shake sand and grass from their paws before entering the house.
Sometimes my eldest, Nathanial, is the farmer. The farmer makes up rules of his own for his puppies, including the mommy dog and the baby puppy (Isaac). For example, the most important rule the farmer made was that the baby puppy not roll over and knock down the doghouse walls. Needless to say, Isaac—I mean the baby puppy—rolled, but he didn’t knock down the walls. The farmer did when he was driving his tractor and round baler around like a weenie or when he got too close to the walls to inspect his puppies.
Tyler—I mean the puppy—was quite content playing this game, which he usually starts. He was curled up in the doghouse for quite a while, barking or whining every now and then. He stayed in the doghouse a long time, even when the farmer went to work and never remembered to come back from the sandbox where he was busy building a city. (By the way, the doghouse is made of cardboard blocks and blankets. Tyler would cry if the blanket roof fell in on him.)
Tyler took this puppy game quite seriously, and once I had to argue with him that he wasn’t a dog—snap out of it, child! Isaac seems to enjoy these crazy games too. As for me, I’m holding up well; I only feel like howling at the moon when the puppies get out of hand.
This Reflections column is reprinted in honor of the boys’ birthdays. The older boys were around six and three when this happened. While searching for a picture to go with this blog, I found Nathanial’s list, “Ten Reasons I Want to Be a Dog”. I have decided to include them below. LOL
- I won’t have to go to school or do chores.
- I can play with a ball all day.
- I can play in the mud.
- I only need a bath twice a year.
- I can wolf down my food and not hear any complaints.
- I can swim without supervision.
- I will have my own house, and I won’t have to clean it.
- I can pee outside, and no one will complain that I’m killing the plants.
- I wouldn’t have to wear a headgear or get braces.
- I wouldn’t have to eat fruits and vegetables.
He was ten then.
Did any of your children want to be a dog?