All The Ways Having A Toddler Is Just Like Having A Dog

by Sharon Green
Originally Published: 

I have always been a dog person, and until about 8 years ago I always had a dog in my life. My husband and I had thought about getting a new dog, but put it off to have children first, figuring that one new addition at a time was best for everyone. After our second child was born, our refrain became that we would get a dog when I started to get the itch for a third child. But the refrain has since changed. We now say we’ll get a dog when our 3-year-old stops acting like one. I present you with:

The Strange Similarities between a Toddler and a Dog

1. They both perform for snacks.

Sit, stay, clean up this mess, go hug your Great Aunt Myrna. An M&M is the dog biscuit of the toddler world.

2. They are both obsessed with their privates.

Thankfully licking is physically impossible, but there’s nothing to stop them from constantly touching, exploring, and asking questions that my 7th grade health book didn’t cover. Will I miss hearing, “Look what I can do with my vagina!” shouted from the bathroom? Not so sure.

3. They both get underfoot while you are cooking.

“Seriously. I hate cooking. You are in my way. Do you want to eat tonight? Are you hoping to catch scraps of raw onions and broccoli? Why must you stand there???”

4. They both eat out of the trash.

I once caught my toddler snacking on Goldfish right out of the trash can. Goldfish that I had just picked up off the floor of my car and thrown out along with all the other trash I had found on the floor of my car. Eating found raisins off the floor and from between the seat cushions also falls into this category.

5. They both occasionally piddle on the floor.

Which is why a new living room rug is also on the long list of acquisitions we are putting off until the children are older.

6. They will take up all the space in your bed, leaving you to curl around their sleeping bodies, and climb on you without regard for your pain and discomfort.

And, suckers that we are, we just let it happen, tails, elbows, crushed loins and all. I’m supposed to be the Alpha, dammit!

7. When going out, a leash is a good idea.

Why do we laugh at the parents who actually do this? They are practicing smart pet-ownership. The rest of us irresponsibly trade keeping up appearances for breathlessly chasing our untrained animals all over town, coupled with intermittent panic attacks when we can’t immediately locate them. Who should be laughing?

8. Neither speaks much English.

Am I the only one who can’t understand my toddler half the time? I just smile and sometimes throw in, “Oh really?” if it seems appropriate. I figure if it’s really important, she’ll either repeat it or learn to speak more clearly. Except for the cute words. She will be the only college freshman who sleeps in jamamas if I have anything to say about it. Don’t screw this up for me, School!

9. Bath time gets messy.

They don’t want to get in, then they don’t want to get out. They won’t hold still, and then they complain that you are getting water in their eyes. And how do they manage to soak the entire bathroom every time? We go through a bath mat a year.

10. They are impossible to stay mad at.

They instinctively know how to look at you with the cutest, sweetest, most innocent face just when you are ready to sell them on eBay. If they are really in trouble, they may even throw in, “I wuv you, Mama,” while wrapping those little arms around your neck. Evolution at its best. Stupid Darwin.

So, as much as I yearn to fill that doggie-sized hole in my heart, I’m all set for now. There is already a 3-year-old filling that space, leaving a trail of raisins and muddy footprints all over it.

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