I love our dogs, but I wish they didn’t have to be fed and watered.
It’s not that I’m cheap or lazy (not too lazy to feed the dogs, anyway). The problem isn’t with feeding and watering the dogs per se, it’s that their food and water needs to be accessible to them in case they need to, you know, eat or drink.
But of course leaving the food and water where it’s accessible to the dogs also means it’s accessible to Nathan, and therein lies the problem. Water is meant to be splashed. Kibbles beg to be tossed in the air. It’s a vicious cycle that I can’t seem to break without imposing hunger and thirst onto my four-legged companions.
Sometimes the splashing and throwing isn’t even undertaken for its own sake.
The sound of kibble-tossing is enough to send me running in the direction of the food bowls, which is the ideal diversionary tactic for a small boy with a passion for electronics who wants to make a run on a freshly relinquished iPad.
Last Friday, I heard the familiar clink-clink of kibble on aluminum (for the third time before lunch) and, exasperated, dragged a now-crying small boy away from his prize. He had a piece of dog food in his mouth, again for the third time before lunch (he shares his food with the dogs, so he presumes they should return the favor, I guess), and all I could think was:
Sure, it’s a novelty. Yes, it’s (technically speaking) food. Yes, it makes a nice noise when it moves around in the bowl. And, finally, yes, playing with the dog food is a sure way to get the dogs to pay attention to you.
But dog food doesn’t taste good (at least I assume it doesn’t…I haven’t tried it). The house is full of better, more entertaining toys, some of which make awesome noises, and there are other ways to engage the dogs, who are both energetic and ready to play whenever, wherever.
Yet Nathan made pouty faces and cried – real tears! – that I wouldn’t let him play with the dog food. It didn’t make sense to me.
But then I realized that I all too often do the same thing. I gripe and complain about things I don’t get to do, even when those things may not be all that good for me, and when there are lots of better alternatives. Just last week, I was angry because the DirecTV DVR in our living room burned up (literally…the whole house smelled like burned plastic) and I had to wait Two. Whole. Days. to get a replacement.
What a hardship!
So what did we do without TV in the living room for Two. Whole. Days? We watched a lot of Baby Signing Time, and we’re still doing it this week, and even when we aren’t watching it, Nathan is signing non-stop. He is so pleased with himself that we know what he’s saying that he fires off words in rapid succession…hot, pear, airplane, horse, friends, music, potty, yes, dog, book…and he isn’t just signing them, he’s saying them, too.
When I wasn’t allowed to play with the dog food, something else even better came along. Maybe a little less crying over forbidden dog food would do me some good this Thanksgiving.