Bad Puppy Mom.

Jan 23, 2012

I have to set the stage here, I promise this post is about much more than having a new puppy. For those of you that don't like animal blogging, give this one a chance. 

These past few weeks have been wonderful/maddening/crazy for me. For the new year Aaron and I got a sweet little puppy we call Twink. He's precious and adorable and we love him. He's also a little hell-raiser and likes to make my life extra difficult. He has been very hard to house train and if you know anything about chihuahua's know this: they do not respond at all to negative reinforcement. They don't understand the word no. If they do something naughty in the house and you catch them and say no they look at you like you are crazy. It is maddening. Every time that I feel like I'm making progress with him, he does something extra naughty to remind me that I cannot tell him what to do.

Well, Aaron couldn't figure out why I was so hyper-sensitive about training the puppy. Sure, he wasn't quite getting it. Sure, he was naughty sometimes. Sure, Aaron wasn't reinforcing the rules I was trying to teach Twink. But why would that make me so crazy? Being the emotionally-sensitive, crazy-with-worry-about-things-that-will-99.9%-surely-never-happen person that I am, I felt like everything Twink did wrong was my fault. It was my fault he couldn't learn.

Which leads to my real concern here (which Aaron laughed at and then felt bad for laughing and had to apologize when he realized I was being serious). If I can't even train a puppy not to do his business in my home, what makes me think I could ever one day be fit to take care of a child? That's when Aaron laughed. Then realized I was serious. Which I was. It had been bothering me as long as I'd been trying to train Twink. What makes me think I'll ever be able to take care of a baby if I can't take care of a puppy? Puppies are easier! You can leave them in a kennel when you leave the house and no one calls social services on you! While Aaron calmly pointed out that puppies and babies are two very different things I protested that they weren't different enough. They both require a lot of attention (babies require more), they both keep you up to all hours of the night (again, babies do this more) and they both do naughty/terrible things that make you crazy and they see nothing wrong with it (once again, babies do this more). So if you think about it, puppy equals kinda-fake, kinda-lame training for baby. And I fail at puppy. Or failed. 

During this discussion Aaron pointed out Twink to me. On the floor, playing predator with his toys (I call it playing predator when he growls/barks/tears his toys to pieces, which he can't do very well yet because he's a puppy). When he does this it melts my heart. And Aaron's argument for why it's all worth it was "But look how cute he is." Okay. He scored a point there. Then, as if knowing I needed some help, Twink climbed into my lap, licked my fingers in the way that says "I love you" and curled up to fall asleep. Aaron's second argument was "Look how much Twink loves you." Which he does. That scored him another point. And I love him, too. Which scored him many more positive points than negative ones and made me feel a whole lot better. 

I guess the point of this very long story is this: I felt weighed down with doubt and failure. I had to look at the positive side of things. And the positive far outweighed the negative. I'm still not ready to have kids (this post was in no way an announcement) but I'm a tiny bit less scared of the idea. I know that when we do decide to add children to our family we will be nervous and anxious and probably do a lot of things wrong. But we will do it with the best intentions and all the love in the world. And I'm happy to say Twink is now (pretty close to) house trained. Score one point for the puppy mom.


  1. Kids are hard. No denying that. But it seems you have a good man who knows you will be amazing. He is right. What you need is someone to vent to, someone to distract you and it makes it all so much easier. I wouldn't have survived with Ezra if it hadn't been for you. I don't think parents perfect parenting until they are great-grandparents and have watched themselves and then their children struggle with it. But it is so worth it. When you're ready, I know you will be a great mom. Until then.. you will just be a great puppy mom.

    1. Thank you Amber! I miss you so much. You always make my day just a little better, even when we're thousands of miles apart. I love you!

  2. One thing about being a mom to a baby is when you as the mother, feel that precious life inside of you, you begin to get your mother instincts which will tell you exactly what you need to know! The puppy is a different baby of sorts, but you won't have the same motherly instincts. But all will be well!

  3. Haha, I love this! I've been a "puppy mom" and a mom and guess what?! I think being mother to a human child is EASIER! Love you!

  4. I can say that they are 1000% different- and that's a good thing! :) I was never a kid-obsessed girl, really, and Millie is my world. They have a way of settling in and you adapt. :)

  5. I have no kids yet, but I definitely full out failed the house training my dogs and I worry about the same thing! We have two yorkie mixes, one we've had for a year and I just gave up and decided to just let them be paper trained and go on puppy pads because my sanity couldn't take it any more. But, if I can't make a dog poo in the yard, how am I suppose to make a child an upstanding citizen?! But, then I also figure since we worry about things like this, we are already than a lot of mom's could be.

  6. Awe sweets I've been there and glad I'm past it. But always know you aren't alone and that its normal. I'm just glad you got to a normal area for you ;)


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