Small children are scavengers, like Tasmanian Devils, or like me when I'm rifling through the $1 section at Target. Cookie and the Pork Lo Maniac have always been on the hunt for anything to use in an art project. Just when I thought they were old enough to play upstairs by themselves, I found them doodling on my wallpaper with ballpoint pens they had
The Peanut Butter Kid was also one to mess with stuff that didn't need messing with, but her target was always the refrigerator. Her favorite activity as a toddler was to get a carton of eggs from the fridge and drop them, one by one, onto the kitchen floor. We got a lock for the refrigerator, and by the time she outsmarted it, she had moved on to damaging other things. Things made out of wood. With her teeth, like a hamster. She gnawed on the banister, the dining room table, and her sisters' bunkbeds. Apparently the teething rings and frozen bagels were insufficiently sharpening her incisors.
Along a similar vein, I've been wondering why she still can't take a bath or shower without an insane amount of drama. There is always either soap in her eyes or shampoo in her mouth. I don't know how she gets shampoo in her mouth, but she does, and then there's crying and flailing and foam at the mouth like a panicky, rabid raccoon.
Are you seeing a pattern here? They're wild animals.
Seriously. This is probably not the most politically correct take on things, but my children are like wild critters, except they mature much more slowly than other animals. In order to make them into functional members of society, I have to tame them. So basically my husband and I are Siegfried & Roy, but without the spray tan and hair products. At any moment now, I expect a camera crew from Animal Planet will show up to document my attempts to
housebreak potty-train my youngest child.
Don't tell me you haven't noticed the similarities between potty-training a child and housebreaking a puppy. When they pee where you want them to, you give them a treat: a Skittle or a Milk Bone, your choice. You pet them and praise them and call them "good boy." When they pee somewhere else, like on the rug, you don't hit either a puppy or a child with a rolled up newspaper, contrary to what your grandmother told you. You redirect them to the correct peeing spot and then break out the carpet cleaner.
Like many couples, before we had kids, we had a dog. A dog is kind of like a Starter Baby. Our dog was a miniature dachshund. She was adorable. She was also super-excitable and had the tiniest bladder in the whole history of dogs. When she would see me, she would literally be so excited she would pee. And she was still quicker to housebreak than any of my kids.
Maybe Siegfried & Roy could offer me some pointers.