I can't say I've raised children, because I haven't. Well, not in the cradle-to-the-grave sense of the word "raising." But I've done a lot of nurturing, we'll call it, so parents, don't be offended when I draw some comparisons between my 10-month old 80-pound German shepherd and your 2-year old 25ish-pound kid.
Everything Skye likes, notices, does is 150 times more interesting than anything he could be doing at any moment.
Peeing in private is nearly impossible without worrying about what he's chewing up, or having a big German shepherd head peak around the corner, or in Skye's case, come in and jump on my lap.
Little victories are occasion for magnificent celebration. "That's a good boy to come when you're called!" and you would have thought he was the first man on the moon. Or, dog. And then in the very next breath, an exasperated, "really?!" and I try to reattach the sprinkler head to the watering can that he just drug off through the yard.
There isn't a lot of down time when Tuck is on the loose. I become a human vacuum, following behind his every footstep and picking up the messes he makes.
I say "no" a lot.
I also say, "Tuck, that is TOO rough. She doesn't want you on top of her and you're hurting her."
When I think about it, I say a lot of things to him.
"Tuck, there are two bowls in this house and you can't eat out of both of them at the same time. Let her have one."
"Tuck, I know you're excited, but jumping on me is not acceptable."
"Tuck, you're such a good swimmer!"
"Tuck, do NOT chew the dustpan."
"Tuck, get that out of your mouth. And do not take any more books off the bookcase."
"Tuck, if you start that, you can go in your room."
Every dog has challenged me in different ways, and he's no exception. He's a lumbering oaf, he's (accidentally) bitten me, knocked me over and chewed a Blackberry and two pairs of glasses.
But he's a quick learner who wants to please and the bond between him and I is physically noticable. Yes, he's brash and rough and he doesn't know how to control his puppy energy inside his massive body, but when he's sleeping, he's adorable. And when he's tired, he's calm. And when he nuzzles my hand to be pet, I pet him, and when he wants to lick my face, I let him. And when he grabs a stick, which is attached to a tree branch and takes off running with it, I laugh.
And when he disconnects my Internet I might yell a little bit. And for the umpteenth time: leave my flip-flop alone.