It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Babies of various sorts


We’ve been talking a lot about poop in the MaryP house these days. Frequency, consistency, appearance.

We’ve been discussing sleep patterns, and brainstorming solutions to potentially problematic social developments. We’ve been ensuring adequate exercise and play time. We’ve been working out some discipline issues. We’ve been reading books on psychology and behavioural conditioning.

All this while I’m having my two weeks off. There is not a toddler in sight.

We have a puppy, and I tell you, it’s just like having a baby.


It is NOT.

I have had a baby. Three of ’em, in fact. There are a lot of parallels, and parents can learn a LOT about toddler-wrangling from the principles of puppy-training…

but it is NOT the same.

Any non-kid-owning dog-owners reading this? It does not matter how much your puppy whined in the night at first. It does not matter how delicate his digestion, nor how socially needy she is…

Human babies leave puppies MILES in the shade.

You have a puppy and you need to go out for a couple of hours? You put her in her crate with a chewy bone, and you leave.

Try doing that with a baby.

The puppy is whining in the night? You put her in her crate with a hot water bottle and a ticking clock, and you close the door.

Try doing that with a baby.

The puppy needs to play, but you don’t feel like going to the dog park? Toss the puppy in the back yard with a tennis ball.

Try doing that…

you get my point.

Still! If you are a dog-lover who has never had children? And if (this is important!) your dog is well-trained and well-behaved, you are getting some valuable pre-parent training.

We are NOT talking neurotic little mama’s-baby pooches, the type who need to be carried in bad weather, the fat little waddlers who won’t run in the park, the whiners and the nippers and the tearers-up of library books. But if your dog is cheerful, healthy, active and essentially well-behaved…

It’ll help. More than you might realize.

But please, don’t be calling the dog “my baby” in front of the parents of a human baby. Who might smile weakly to your face, but will mock you eternally behind your back. Who will be fighting the urge to beat you senseless with a sippy cup, and, on particularly bad days, switch the baby for the pup.

And me? I’m just love, love, loving our new puppy. Who I would never trade for a baby, thanks.

August 29, 2008 Posted by | my kids, parents | , , , | 13 Comments