I’ve been reading old journal entries about my experiences with my stepdaughter’s children when they were young. On one particular occasion, I note that they ran screaming into the house and within minutes were into everything. Nothing was safe. In no time, Brandon, the youngest, had unscrewed the knob off the cover on my piano. As soon as I got that out of his sticky hands, he grabbed my stapler and refused to give it back. Meanwhile, Stephanie was rearranging all the papers on my desk.
How is that different from my 11-month-old pups, who have grown considerably larger than the puppy in my profile picture? They don’t scream, but they do run full-out into the house, and within minutes they’re into something: papers set aside to recycle, laundry that hasn’t been folded yet, my husband’s shoes, and their favorite, anything made of cloth or paper.
The other night, I came out of my office to find papers scattered all over the floor, giant claw marks in our new tablecloth, and Annie, the blonde, sitting on the big chair, with potholders and napkins spread out before her like a banquet. After screaming at the dogs, I hollered at the husband about how he should have been watching “the kids.” He got mad and closed himself up in his office.
This, I imagine, happens in homes with toddlers, too.
I know dogs are not the same as children. They won’t grow up, move away and hopefully take care of themselves when they reach adulthood. But at this age, they’re both discovering the world and don’t understand why I keep prying things out of their mouths.
Would I rather have children? Not at 56. I don’t even plan to have puppies again. I just can’t run fast enough. But a couple of grandchildren who actually look like me? I’d go for that in a heartbeat.