Is there anything cuter than an child petting a fluffy dog? I mean, besides a large number of children petting a high volume of fluffy dogs (while bunnies hop at their feet, obviously). I mean, it's a truth universally acknowledged that people love puppies and babies. I do, too, though I'm coming from a place of pseudo-experience when I say that having both can be challenging yet awesome. Most new parent pet owners have seen that the resources for preparing your dog for a new baby are plentiful, long, and occasionally contradictory. As awesome as it is, it can also sometimes be a hot mess.
Like most parts of parenthood, my partner and I tried to guess how the relationship between our dog and our son would go, and we did our best to follow as many guidelines as possible, but there was really no way to know until we experienced it ourselves. Now, like 95% of the time I wouldn't trade it. I love seeing the interactions, I love seeing my son find a dog toy in the hallway and run to the living room to offer it to our dog, I love seeing my partner take the two of them out for walks on sunny afternoons because it's super cute to see them all together (no, it has nothing to do with the fact that it gives me a few minutes of free time, why do you ask?). Still, it's not always easy to have a dog and a toddler under the same roof, and here's why:
You Are Constantly Managing Their Interest In Each Other's Food
Which is typically followed quickly by the endless reaching into their mouths to retrieve what shouldn't be there.
You May Never Know Where A Mess Came From
Who found the toilet paper roll and left shreds all over the bathroom? Why is there half-chewed bread on the floor in the kitchen? Why are everyone's socks spread out on the bedroom floor? What is life? We may never know.
Dog Toys And Small Kid Toys Look Exactly The Same
I like to think that manufacturers on both ends get a good laugh over this one. I mean, someone should.
DIAPERS NEED TO BE DISPOSED OF PROPERLY 100% OF THE TIME YOU GUYS PLEASE #NEVERFORGET
They Are Endlessly Curious, But Confused By One Another
The dog shows this by sniffing and licking, while the toddler stares and squeals, "dog!" And neither quite knows how to respond.
Dropped Snacks Can Require Immediate Action And Constant Vigilance
We've gone from "get it, quick!" to "oh shoot, the dog got something," to "what was it? Was that chocolate or raisins? No? OK, meh," whenever something hits the floor next to our son's high chair. The dog, in the meantime has developed a taste for cheese crackers.
You Are Forever Fighting Cuteness Overload
I've lost count of the number of times I've been forced against my will to stop what I'm doing and watch my son attempt to pet our dog.
Water Bowls Double As Tiny Wading Pools
Oh hey, did you guys know that kids don't like having wet socks? I know, crazy!
Yeah, It's Kinda Tough For Kiddos To Sleep Through Barking Fits
Granted, we're a bit lucky in this area since our dog doesn't bark that much. However, we can always count on him to alert us whenever the mailman comes to the door, which conveniently always seems to happen right around nap time.
You Have To Clean Double The Messes Involving Eating & Digestion
I'll spare everyone the details, because who really wants to know the specifics of our household's digestive messes? Just please trust me when I say: gross.
The Occasional Catastrophe, Like When The Delivery Truck Arrives
You guys, it goes DOWN at my house when we get packages. We are all-hands-on-deck since the dog goes into protect-and-serve mode, while our toddler goes bonkers over the large trucks idling outside.
So. Much. Vacuuming.
I mean, vacuuming is pretty high on my preferred list of chores because it's fast and it gives immediate results. Still, it's a chore, so I consider it a struggle.
You Don't Have Enough Arms For All The Snuggles
You haven't lived until you've used a fluffy dog as a pillow and snuggled a sleepy toddler at the same time.