Friday, April 18, 2014

Lessons on motherhood, from my 3 year old dog

This little cutie is my 5.5 lb Yorkie-mix, Kirby. She is 1/2 Yorkie, 1/4 Maltese, and 1/4 Pomeranian, and she is totally and completely spoiled rotten. Kirby answers to many names --  Kirbles, Kirbles and Bits, Bee, Bee Bear, Kirb-Kirb, busy bee, Bee Bee, Bee Boo... to list a few. She actually answers to just about "bee"-anything. Kirby just turned 3 and I think she's out of the puppy stage... finally. Most of the time, I just want to hit the pause button so she'll stay at this age and never grow old, but on the rare occasion that she tries to recapture her puppyhood and misbehaves, I'm ready for her to be at least 10 years old.

Kirby is the best thing that has ever been mine. She has taught me so many lessons about motherhood that will come in handy when the day comes that I become a mother. She has taught me that God has a sense of humor and will give you a child just like you as payback for what you put your parents through. For example, we're both strong-willed (she's worse), opinionated, overreact, and are usually really sweet until we're tired or having a bad day... and then you should probably just let us stay in bed where we belong.

Kirby has taught me that children (and dogs) are who they are, not necessarily who you want them to
be. They each come with their own unique personality, likes and dislikes, and talents and interests. I might have wanted a sweet little lap dog who I could dress in cute clothes and put bows in her hair while she would follow me around and never leave my side and always come when called (on the rare occasion that she actually stepped away from me), and who would have a favorite little stuffed animal/ baby that they drag around and sleep with, but that's not what I got. Instead, I got a dog who wants to play all the time (although she does snuggle with mommy sometimes!) and will pout if I put her in clothes (and will not get over it until I take them off) and who pulls out the bows I put in her hair. I got a dog who definitely follows me around and wants to know where I am at all times, but is independent enough to leave my side... and not always come when called. She is obsessed with balls instead of a baby doll and she doesn't want to snuggle with it... she wants to chase it and toss it in the air and catch it.

Kirby has taught me that while children (and dogs) can be taught to be respectful and obedient and polite, knowing the "right" things doesn't always translate to doing the right things. Some children need more reminders than others and require an abundance of patience.

Kirby has taught me that there isn't one single discipline method that works for all children (or dogs). They are all individuals. While positive reinforcement may be a great motivator for one, another may need to feel your disappointment in them. While some respond the first time you tell them something, you will feel like a broken record with others.

Kirby has taught me that children (and dogs) do not know what "sleeping in" means.

Kirby has taught me that children (and dogs) really will still love you after they get over the fact that they just got in trouble and may not exactly like you.

Kirby has taught me that a person really can be woken up 3-4 times a night and manage to feel like they've gotten a full night's rest.

Kirby has taught me that you can have a love far greater than imaginable for something far smaller than you thought capable of containing that love.

Kirby has taught me that your children (or dogs) WILL embarrass you when company is over by misbehaving much more than normal right after you've bragged on their good behavior... or by completely inappropriate behavior... or by pulling your underwear out into the middle of the living room floor.... or worse, your guest's underwear.

I obviously know that having a dog isn't exactly like having a child... but if you pay enough attention, they'll sure teach you a lot about raising one!

I love my little Bee Bear. <3


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