It’s true, my only real parenting experience had been with raising my own pit bull and fostering for BAD RAP. When I was pregnant I joked with friends and family about needing to get a crate for our daughter and how I hoped that she would be as trainable and well behaved as Spencer, our pit bull. As luck would have it, she is!
There are a lot of similarities between raising a puppy and having an 8 month old. They both need a lot of attention, put everything into their mouths and generally keep you on your toes. As I did with our dog, I try very hard to be positive with our daughter, Piper. I rarely, if ever, use the word no. Instead I redirect her and say things like ’that’s not for touching’ and ‘please stop taking Spencer’s ball out of his mouth’. As it so happens, I occasionally slip into dog mode and say ‘leave it’.
Well, maybe it’s more than occasional. I realized just how often I must say it when, the other day, as Piper was reaching to take the ball from Spencer’s mouth yet again I told her to ‘leave it’. Piper pulled back her hand. Spencer, being such a well trained boy, also responded by spitting out the ball. I convinced myself that it was just a coincidence. She had been distracted and that’s why she pulled back her hand. I couldn’t have possibly taught my 8month old to ‘leave it’. But I had. The next time that she reached for a forbidden object, this time the phone cord, she again responded to my instinctive ‘leave it’.
Apparently my dog raising skills are serving me well in my new role as a human mom. Now, if I can just get my husband trained….
Bambi @ BR