When my husband and I decided to start having kids, we took what I like to call the “Chaos Approach”. We decided that, if possible, we wanted to have our kids close in age. Yes, we wanted to have them to become buddies and play together; however, we had a different primary motive. We realized that raising kids would add an element of chaos to our calm lifestyle, and we wanted to lump all that chaos close together.
Wholeheartedly, we made the decision to have our three children close in age and be washed into the turbulent sea of parenting by a tsunami-sized wave.
Prior to having kids, my husband and I adopted two puppies within one month of each other. We were young, finally on our own, and had no adults to tell us that we were crazy.
Now that we are right smack in the middle of what is most likely both the greatest and most insane years of our life, I made a quick realization. Raising kids is just like raising a litter of puppies in these 10 ways.
1) There is more butt-sniffing than you are comfortable with
Don’t act like you have never sniffed your toddlers bum to check for a poopy. We have all done it. It is a quick and efficient method to test the waters before a diaper change.
2) If you turn your back for a second, they will make a run for it
As a toddler, my son was, what we called, “A Runner”. It didn’t matter where we were – our backyard, a parking lot, the middle of a grocery store. If I blinked, he was gone. He was just like a puppy being let off the leash for the first time. Young kids and puppies are both anxious to explore and will stop at nothing.
3) They have two speeds: 100 mph or sleeping
Have you ever seen a puppy run circles around a room for 10 straight minutes and then sit down and fall into a deep sleep within seconds? My kids all emulate that exact same behavior. They are either in a full speed sprint, or completely passed out.
Check out these awesome picture books about dogs, too!
4) Both want to be outside CONSTANTLY
It can be pouring down rain, and both my kids and our puppies would be scratching at the door, crying to get out.
They both love to roll around in the grass, soak up the sun, and get dirty.
5) The amount of dirt they can get into is shocking
You just have to accept that when you bring your kids or puppies outside, if there is dirt within a 1 mile radius, they will find it. They will roll in it. Then, they will try to run through the house with it on their feet (or paws).
6) They have no volume control
They both have a lot to say, and they want to be heard at all times. The problem is, both puppies and young kids have a hard time communicating. They make up for that by raising their voices. Whether barking, crying, or laughing- you can bet they will express their emotions at ear-piercing pitches.
7) They will keep you up at night
Our first night at home with a newborn baby reminded me exactly like our first night with our dogs. We thought that these young, fresh creatures would be exhausted and ready for a good night sleep. In reality, our puppies howled through the night just like a newborn baby. Sleepless nights were had during the first few weeks of raising our babies and our puppies.
8) Eating is a free-for-all
They want to eat when they want to eat. They want to eat what they want to eat. And if you get in their way, they will find a way to the food.
Our dog, Oscar, used to find ways to jump onto the table if we left a scrap there. Surprisingly, my daughter would do the exact same thing.
9) Constant touching and wrestling is their way of playing
I never could have guessed how many time I would say “Don’t put your sister in a headlock!” or “Stop biting your brother!” I learned that, similar to puppies, kids like to play physically. Most siblings like to wrestle each other. The ones that do not like to be tackled are forced to get a whole lot tougher from it.
10) The cuddling is out of this world
At the end of the day, after the mud is cleaned off the floors and their little bellies are full, all they want is to be close to you. Puppy and child alike, they will climb up on your lap, curl up close, and make you realize what all this chaos is about.
Lucky for me, after raising two puppies, when my kids came along there was much less of a surprise factor. I was ready for the messes, constant wrestling, and all the love that came along with it.
And yes, I was ready for the butt-sniffing, as well.