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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dogs and Kids

When we first had kids, or even before we had kids, Patrick was talking about the similarities between having dogs and raising kids. I must say, I initially found this quite insulting. How kids possibly be so similar to dogs?

In our four-and-a-half years of parenting, I"m afraid to admit that I've actually discovered a lot of similarities. And tonight i couldn't believe I heard myself say, "Patrick, the kids need more exercise. An hour every day. Just like the dogs do." Geez. Could he be right?

Dogs and kids both need love, care, food, water, sleep, consistency, discipline, follow through and as Patrick puts, "The Pack Mentality". They need to feel like part of the pack--with attention and love.

When I first met Patrick, I wondered why he didn't put his dog Katie on a running line.
Patrick said, "Oh thats so sad. Katies' part of the pack. I could never put her outside by herself in the cold"...(so much so that she slept on the bed with us for years until she passed away. And Patrick believes that dogs should sleep on the bed-even 90 pound black labs...I had to put my foot down on this "pack" behavior when my sleep was disrupted by the dogs having nightmares, going in and out of the room, etc...)

Kids and dogs are quick to pick up on body language and are very sneaky as well-another important similarity. You say, "walk" around the dogs or go for your shoes and the dogs are already headed out the door. You say, "popcorn" around the kids and they are planted on the couch ready for a video. The Pavlovian response!

As of late, the kids have a hard time going to bed unless they've had seriously good exercise-such as a walk down the road to the park or a trip to the pool. Lately because of the weather (RAIN RAIN RAIN RAIN RAIN) we haven't been great about the outside time and I haven't taken them to the pool for about a week. So that leaves us with Stuey and Nora playing games and giggling at bedtime not wanting to go to sleep. Argh. The joys of parenting. Kids that won't go to sleep.

(And yes, Ella---I take your advice to heart. This post is dedicated to you because I believe you're right!!!...she always recommends hard core exercise to make bed times easier. This advice comes from my twin who would know-she has 4 boys under her roof!)

Tomorrow I get off work at noon. I"ll be packing up my car with some beach treats and taking them for a drive to a beach or park or someplace where we can do some mileage-by FOOT. Burn off some energy and maybe tomorrow night bedtime will be easier. And come the weekend, getting back into the pool with Nora and Stuey will be hopefully remedy the bedtime blues at the Saltonstall house.

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