Why Having a Dog is Like Having a Perpetual 2 Year Old

My kids are 12 and 16. Old enough to sleep through the night on their own, too young to be out driving around all night. They don’t wet the bed and they rarely have nightmares. On the weekends, I’m the one waking them up, not the other way around. Still, I only get about 5 or 6 hours of sleep every night and that’s not even in a row. I’ve got that dull headache in the back of my brain most days—I’m walking around in a new mommy stupor half the time and I’m not even a new mommy.

Why in heaven’s name am I not getting at least 8 hours of pure and blissful sleep, you wonder? It’s because I have a 2 year old…well, sort of.

The problem has four legs and barks. And barks. And barks. Right in my damn face. Every. Single. Night. It’s like having a two year old. And I can’t even close the door and pray he stays in his crib like I would if he was an actual two year old. Nope. He’ll just bark. And amazingly, no one else will ever hear him. 

He wakes me up with such thought and consideration for everyone else in the house—it’s as if he doesn’t want to bother them. In fact, he doesn’t want to bother them EVEN IF THEY’RE STILL AWAKE! He will actually trot past my husband to come wake me up out of a sound sleep. He creeps to my bedside, puts his cold snout next to my ear and lets out the most muffled little woof you could ever imagine. It’d actually be kind of cute if I didn’t want to duct tape his jaw shut or if he was barking to wake up someone else. He knows mommy is the sucker who’s gonna always get up for him. I mean, the kids have been known to actually ignore the poor guy in the middle of the day when he’s standing by the door barking. I guess I would go for the sure thing, too.

He also has an incredible knack of waking me up at the absolute worst moment, too. Like a half an hour before my alarm goes off, so that even when I get back to bed, I can’t really get any more sleep, can I? Why can’t he wait a half hour to smell where the cat next door peed on the bushes? I’m always hissing at him to hurry up and come back inside, but His Highness cannot be rushed. Yelling at him just makes him prance around more. He knows I’m not coming outside in my pajamas and slippers. And what if he gets skunked in the night? Ugh! I’ll never get back to sleep then—bring on the tomato juice and nose plugs.

Anyhoo, even when he’s not waking me up to go potty in the middle of the night, he’s like a toddler (he’s 7 by the way). He plays with his food for hours before he eats it. He has no concept of personal space or boundaries—he’ll crawl into my lap when I’m trying to read (he’s 100 pounds) and forget it if you happen to have a skirt on (I hope you like a wet nose on your underwear).  Clean laundry doesn’t stay that way for long—he just scatters that around the house. Safety shmafety. He has no concept of danger—if we’re going in the car, he gets so excited that he nearly breaks a hip flying down the staircase. And never mind putting a leash on him—I have nightmarish flashbacks of trying to shove my son in his car seat while he kicked me in the boobs. We still have to barricade rooms in the house because the dog will wander in there and pee if he’s mad at us. I have to leave Paw Patrol on for him to watch when he’s alone. Anything that falls on the floor, he thinks is food (even dish detergent pods for the dishwasher). I can’t leave gum in our jackets or my purse because he will chew a hole in the pocket to get to the gum. We have child proof locks on the garbage and the cabinets…for the dog. If he could take his clothes off and run around naked like most two year olds I know, he’d probably do that too.

And these clowns I live with keep pressuring me to get a puppy. A puppy! Asif. I haven’t lost my mind yet! Of course they want a puppy. They’re not the ones who have to clean up the entire roll of paper towels that he’s shredded or pick up all the coffee grounds he dumped out of the garbage. They’re not the ones getting up in the middle of the night to let him out or the ones who have to buy new bookbags after the dog chews a hole in theirs (trying to get any food they my have in it).  They’re not the ones cleaning up the puddles he’s created from splashing in his water bowl. They’re not the ones chasing him around the table, trying to get my shoe out of his mouth. A puppy! What comedians! At this point in time they’re better off asking me for a new baby. At least they grow out of the terrible twos.

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