By Heather O.
I am, of course, talking about my puppy, who is actually a lovely little dog and has real potential for being an awesome dog. But, he’s a puppy. Puppies are the worst.
We have finally figured out the night. The first week, we suffered through his howling and barking in his crate. We even locked poor Maggie, who looks like a long-suffering grandmother, in with Winston in the garage, in the bathroom, even on the landing of our stairs, and he still howled. What a nightmare.
Through trial and error, we accidentally stumbled upon the fact that he likes to hang out in *our* bathroom at night, and we can close the door and he doesn’t howl. So, our bathroom it is. Nobody ever sees our master bathroom, and it is my least favorite room in the house, so it’s okay if he chews on the walls, or whatever. And last night, he actually slept through the entire night, or at least most of it, whining at 6am to go out. And he went out and peed in the backyard like he is suppose to, which always gives me hope that we can someday put our carpet cleaner away. Of course, that hope was dashed when he pooped in the playroom once the kids got up (I swear, the kids make his bowels go “Free play!” It’s awful.).
But he’s like a little kid when he gets up. I remember this about my own small kids. If they woke up at 4 or 5am, then there was a good chance I could coax them back to sleep. But if their hunger or dirty diaper or boogeyman dreams woke them up after 5am, forget it, they were UP.
My son was particularly bad about this. Up until he was around 3, he was a 5:30am kind of guy, which pretty much almost broke me. He took lots of good naps during the day, and did go to bed between 6:30 and 7:00pm, but holy rollers on a cheese stick, getting up with him that early every day was brutal. Luckily, it was a time in our marriage when my husband could help in the mornings (which hasn’t always been the case), so we would rotate mornings, letting the other person sleep until 8am every other day.
And how did I handle having a child up at 5:30, you ask?
Simple. A bottle, my lap, a large armchair, and Blue’s Clues. A LOT of Blue’s Clues. I swear on my life that’s how my kid learned his colors, because for a long time we only had one DVD that was about colors and shapes, and he must have watched those 4 episodes on that DVD at least 100 times. (And my son may or may not have been attached to a bottle longer than was completely appropriate.)
I freakin’ love that little blue puppy.
However, with our real live puppy, there is no Blue’s Clues DVD.
So when he gets up at 6am, chipper and ready to play, and has done a great job of not pooping or peeing and has hung out in the bathtub all night (I know, he’s weird, but he likes it, it keeps him quiet, we never use that bathtub, it’s a long story why we don’t, don’t judge me) I can’t exactly force him back into confinement. He needs to play, to start the day, to go for a walk or something.
Ugh. It’s like parenting a two year old, all over again.
The good news is that, like a 2 two year old, he still needs naps. And he’s perfectly happy to take them in the bathtub with the door closed so he can’t get into any trouble. Which means I can take a nap, too.
Which I’m off to do, thanks. Because I get grumpy in the mornings when I’m up too early, and my actual real live children deserve a mom who is cheerful at least once a day.