Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sibling Squirmishes and The Puppy Accords

While driving my children around in the Big White Ford Tampon recently, I noticed a break in the near-constant bickering between my five year old son Hawk and his seven year old sister Thumbelina.  It was an Ominous Silence.  Hawk suddenly started raising his hand and screaming "Mommmy! MOM! MOMMY! I have to ask you something!"

Here it comes.  "What is it, son?"

"I want a baby brother so much. Please can I have a brother?" His little voice started to break. The next thing I knew he was crying.  "You just have the baby and I'll take care of him and he'll be my brother. OK? I asked Daddy and he said fine so can I please a brother, PLEASE?"

Before I could answer him, his big sister hollered: "NOOOOOOOOO!"

Hawk was devastated, as he interpreted this as Thumbelina not loving brothers and therefore not loving him, so he began wailing and keening like an Irish widow in a Joyce novel while simultaneously trying to explain to his sister why she was so hurtful and mean.  She appeared to feel bad for causing his histrionic meltdown and began to explain herself...

"Hawk, I love brothers and I love you but every time mom has another baby it's that much longer I have to wait until we get a new puppy."

It was like she'd turned on a light switch.  Suddenly, he got it.  But let's take a good look at this statement:  "Every time mom has a new baby it's that much longer I have to wait until we get a new puppy."

First of all, every time I have a new baby?  What am I - a Dugger? She only remembers one baby being born.  One!  That's not even plural.  What the hell is she talking about?  Second, it's that much longer she has to wait until we get a new puppy? Whuck? Our beloved Woody dog died four months ago.  She acts like I've been breeding younger siblings in a long-standing plot to avoid getting her a puppy.  But in her world, the enemies of the canine world include cats, Michael Vick, and my womb.

Before I could address this, she started talking again: "See, Mommy says we can't get a new dog until Mini-mini-me is bigger and going to preschool every day.  That's in two whole years.  Oh and also, that you and me are bigger so we can help take care of it and stuff."  (That last part was sort of a throw-away).

Hawk began giving the matter some serious consideration.

Hawk: "I want a puppy, too. MOMMY! Can we get a new dog and a baby brother?"
Lydia: "No."
Hawk: "Thumbelina, let's say I want a dog, too... Would it be a girl dog or a boy dog?"
Thumbelina: "I really don't care. As long I can put bows on it."
Hawk: "Hmmmmm... gross.  Would it be a dog or a puppy?"
Thumbelina: "A puppy."
Hawk: "Big dog or little dog?"
Thumbelina: "Don't care."
Hawk: "And you really want a dog more than a brother?"
Thumbelina: "I wouldn't mind another brother.  As long as you can promise me that he'll hate Star Wars."
Hawk: "You have to be kidding me."
Thumbelina: "I'm serious. If there are two Star Wars boys in our house, that's all I'll ever hear about and then I'll get annoyed and then I'll have a bad attitude and then I'll get in trouble with Mommy and that's why I want a dog instead of a brother."
Hawk: "Wow. Well, you should know that when I get my brother I'm going to teach him to be exactly like me.  And we're going to play Star Wars and build ships with Legos all day long."
Thumbelina: "Then I vote for a puppy."
Hawk: "You know what you don't understand about puppies? They get big and then you have to deal with them."
Lydia: "You know that even if we decided to have another baby right now and God decided that it would be OK, it would be years before the baby was born and grew big enough to build Lego ships."
Hawk: "How many years?"
Lydia: "I don't know. Maybe three? Also, the baby might turn out to be a girl. Or a boy who likes Barbies or Thomas the Train or something.  Maybe the new baby would hate Star Wars. We don't get to pick.  Think about Mini-mini-me, you can't make her do anything.  You probably couldn't make a little brother do stuff either.  He'd probably do what he wanted.  Or what she wanted."
(long, silent pause.)
Hawk: "Then let's get a puppy.  Right now."

Hawk and Thumbelina looked at each other as if they had just solved the Middle East peace problem.  "Come on, Mommy.  Let's go get our dog!"

Sigh... At least they're in agreement for once.  Let's call it "The Puppy Accords". 

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. Even IF I the slightest desire to have another child (which I do NOT... hence the tubiligation after Thing 2 arrived 16 months after Thing 1 and five years after the Toxic Tween Princess).... with my luck it would be another girl. And a Trio of Princesses is quite enough for me. And for Grumptastic. He is the ONLY male in our house. The dog and cat are girls too.

    OH... and to quote Grumptastic... we have three kids because we don't want four. The end.

  2. I SWEAR that conversation happened in our house. Kid 1 wanted a dog and I said not until Kid 2 was potty trained. Then I got pregnant with Kid 3. I think there is part of Kid 1 who is convinced that I got pregnant JUST to avoid a dog. When kid 3 was 6 months old, Kid 1 started asking when he was going to be potty trained so we could get a dog. When he finally was trained, I heard, "Can we get a dog now??" every day. Then I dropped the bomb: NO DOGS. We got cats. Kid 1's cat happens to follow him around the house, chase balls, and wake him up by licking his face. Pretty good compromise, I think.

  3. Sounds like my house. Sassafras Lovelylashes has been begging for a dog for AGES. So, I teld her that "Mad Scientist was 3 when we had you, You were 3 when we had Captain Destructo, so he needs to be 3 before we can get a puppy." (Because on child -- furry or otherwise -- having accidents on the floor is quite enough thank you) So Sassy says about a month ago, "I can't wait until Destructo's birthday!!" I'm thinking wow that's so nice and then she follows it up with "because then I can get my DOG!!!" Oh crap, I did say that we could add to the family when he turned 3 didn't I?? Yeesh, that is this Saturday! One problem, this one is adamantly REFUSING the potty, despite telling me every day in a very articulate manner that he is a big guy now. This may be why last night Sassy took Destructo into the bathroom and announced that she was going to teach him all about going to the potty. To which he replied, "But doggies don't wipe or use the potty, they just sit down and go."

  4. Great post. Loved the Joyce reference. And that happy puppy / happy baby pic made me *literally* laugh out loud.

  5. As always, hilarious. And Woody Dog? What a precious sweetheart and totally irreplaceable!

  6. See the reason this is *especially* hilarious is because . . .

    I hate dogs. *Hate* them. He finally *almost* had me talked into getting a dog when, lo and behold, our beautiful surprise popped into the picture.

    To this day my husband tells people that I had our daughter so we wouldn't have to get a dog.

  7. I love babies and puppies, it's a win/win! C'mon Lydia! I told them it wasn't up to me. It was up to God, and to let me alone and pray about it. I was then surprised with baby number seven. I told them to start praying for money!

  8. Awwww, sweet Woody dog. They are irreplaceable.

    The conversation? Funniest fricking thing I've read in a while. Do they actually start to reason with each other like that? Currently they are 3 and 1 (boys) and I have only seen glimmers of warmth from Son 1 towards Son 2.......*sigh*

  9. @ Chacha - it does come, just wait for it. Remember that kids are nothing if not practical, and a 3 year old simply has very little USE for a 1 your old (except possibly as a scapegoat). Once the younger one is a bit older and can play in ways that interest the older one, things will change...a bit. Just last night DD1 says to me "It's like there are two [DD2]s. One is TERRIBLE and I hate her, and the other is cool and fun to play with." You can't expect them to be the way most of us are with our grown-up siblings - that takes time in the trenches together.

    On the actual topic, I played it safe and said that we can't get a dog until we have a fence around the back yard. My DD1 is OBSESSED with dogs right now, so it seemed...prudent to make it something that is under my control ;>

  10. Woody Dog is perfect.

  11. I feel like I should have something more important to say than "LOL," but this post cracked me up so much that I just have to LOL anyway. Good one!

  12. Your kids are GENUSIS. (I can't even spell it!) Mine have conversations about vagina's and 'peanuts' or why their imaginary friend is better than the others. Woody is beautiful!

  13. haha...ive had similar conversations with my kids,the last one was last night with my son whining about how he wanted a puupy,even tho we have a cat who hates dogs so much she actually faced down an 100lb chocolate lab(may be slight exaggeration there)oh i forgot..hes 15,it never ends people it never ends..............

  14. I love your kids. Seriously. Almost as much as I love you.

    And you are right, it is too soon to replace the wonderful Woody dog... not that such a dog could ever be replaced.

  15. There will never be another dog like woody. No dog as smelly, no dog as clumsy and no dog that will put as much effort into following you're wonderful sister Lucy around the house. CONSTANTLY. That being said I will miss him and feel bad for all the times I called him a douche

  16. What is with little boys wanting babies? We are so not going there.

  17. RIP Woody Dog :(

    LOVE your kids' Doggy Accord conversation. HILARIOUS ;)

    DD#1 has been lobbying hard for another cat since our oldest cat passed away last year. I know I can't put it off much longer. About a month ago, her bestest friend got not one but TWO kittens...(free to a good home) and I thought "oh man, I am SCREWED!"

    I SO do not want a kitten. I have 2 daughters and between 3 to 6 daycare kids here everyday. Our old pets hide (the cat) or cringe (the dog) when the kids gallop in the door...a new kitten would be so tormented...

  18. Loved. This. LOVED IT!

    My oldest (DD) gets baby fever as much as she gets pet fever. She gets the big not-on-your-friggin'-life response to both those requests. ;) At least none of our close friends have pets and they are both kind of scared of dogs (and DH is allergic to cats). Zhu zhu, anyone? ;)

  19. I found you guys because you did a guest appearance on Danoah... And that's it. I read this post. I'm hooked. Consider yourselves bookmarked.

    I just married my fiance of 7 years last month, and we're going to stop trying NOT to have a baby this coming spring. We've both been hit by The Bug hard.

    We also have two GIANT dogs (one is 12 years, the other is 7 months) and an Angel Cat and a Devil Cat.

    This... will be an adventure. I'm going to need blogs like this. :D Please keep being awesome, and I'll check back here every day!

  20. Great post! Just read your post on SDL and couldn't resist checking y'all out. You definitely have another fan, although, I don't know how much a middle-aged lady with grown kids who talks too much will do for you. But, I'm an up number, anyway.

  21. i have several puppies...we call them malamutts. they need reallllly wanna puppy don't you? really. i know you do. and i know someone who could even deliver it to your fair city...she visits often...caryncauseyrupert on facebook :D




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