Thursday, September 16, 2010


Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Proverbs 29:17 

Training my new dog reminds me invariably of training my own children. And I don't mean that in a bad way. I like dogs.

Let me backtrack a moment. Yes, children's eternal souls are knitted together by God and given a destiny, a future. Dogs, well, they return to their own vomit and what not. Their value is not measurable in comparison to the inestimable value of one's own child. However, there are similarities.

My dear little dog will tend to relieve herself on my nice white rug if I do not watch her closely and remind her as soon as she starts sniffing, that we definitely, ahem, allow that sort of thing to be done outside. And I must be watchful, swift, and decided or my nice white rug will be not so nice so very soon.

My dear children are the same. If I don't remind my sweet two year old son that no we do not fall on the floor crying in a heap when a cookie is refused or a favor asked or nap time mentioned, then my sweet refuge of a home will quickly spiral into a chaotic unlivable spot on earth where many will think to curse the day. And this is not the point. Of having children or days.

It must be swift and decided, I must be watchful and quick, or the whole decadent delight in experiencing the full range of terrible emotions will be my son's, and the whole range of woe-is-me experiences will be mine.

A happy home this is not.

My dog, and yes, again with the dog, is one who responds favorably to the training. After several weeks of said consistent treatment I have found her to make it outside for all things doggie nine times out of ten. And the tenth time being when the door is closed, a doggie door would be nice.

My dear son, and other children who have been trained thus far in like manner, that of consistency not doggie doors, are responding in kind.

Because they know there is no wiggle room, and because they have me ever at their heels when wiggle room is attempted, and because the consequence of wiggling (of course here wiggling would mean the refusal to nap, the inability to cheerfully agree to chores, the sneaking of a forbidden cookie) has been noted to be unpleasurable, down right painful in fact, they find themselves in a home of harmony.

Moments of digression from norms aside, for the most part, theirs is a home of smooth family relations that include giggles, sillies, sharing, and merriment of all kinds.

The poop and pee are out of doors.

The unfettered emotions have found their master.

The child has been released to enjoy life in his home. As has the parent. And the dog.

All is well with the world once again. Ahhh, the joys of a well trained child.

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