|SI, RH, and DD- the crazy people who live with me.|
I had been warned. "Your older children may begin to regress," they said. "Potty training might take a giant leap backwards," they said. "Language might suddenly seem to disappear," they said.
I held my breath, and I waited.
But nobody had warned me of what might truly happen.
Nobody had told me about complete and absolute devolution. Nobody told me that my child would turn into an animal.
I remember the day it happened. I was nursing RH, and DD and SI had begun a standard argument. DD was a princess, and SI didn't want to be the prince anymore. I wasn't available to play prince in her stead, what with my breast's preoccupation as a milk bar. When suddenly, it happened.
SI looked up at DD, and said, "Woof."
"Don't be a dog, prince! Be a prince!"
"BE A PRINCE!"
"Woof. Woof woof. Woof."
"MOMMY! THE PRINCE IS BEING A DOG!"
"SI? Are you a prince?"
"Oh. Are you a dog?"
"DD, I think that SI is a dog today."
"BUT I WANT HER TO BE A PRINCE!"
"But I think she wants to be a dog. Is that right, SI?"
"Woof! Woof! Woof!"
"BUT THAT'S THE PRINCE! I WANT THE PRINCE TO STOP BEING A DOG!"
"Maybe if you use a magic wand you can turn the dog into a prince again."
"BIPPITY BOPPITY BOO! BE A PRINCE!"
"Well, looks like we turned the dog into a cat. Do you want to be a cat?"
"Okay, bippity boppity boo. Now you're a dog again."
"Woof! Woof! Pantpantpantpantpantpant."
SI barked and woofed for the rest of the day. She didn't stop until she was brushing her teeth at bedtime. She has, in fact, been a dog ever since.
She's a friendly, personable dog. She plays fetch. You throw a ball (she has a favorite little football toy for this game) and she scampers to it on all fours, picks it up with her mouth, and carries it back to you.
DD has begun taking her for walks. They walk up and down the hall, DD holding the "leash," and SI crawling on all fours, panting and woofing.
They've named the dog. It's Lisa the Puppy.
Lisa the Puppy does tricks. She rolls over. she plays dead. She begs. She sits.
She loves to have her heat patted, to be scratched behind the ears, and to have her tummy rubbed.
She wants to go outside to use to potty, because puppy dogs don't poo and pee in the potty.
She licks people. If she really likes them.
I'll be sitting or cooking or going to the bathroom, and suddenly SI will run over and start panting.
"Hello, Lisa," I say.
And so, now my family has a dog.
One baby, one preschooler, and one dog.
This has been going on for more than four months. FOUR MONTHS. That's half of RH's life.
Hopefully she'll get over it before I try to put her in Girl Scouts. I'm pretty sure they have a "No Dogs Allowed" policy. But for the time being, I keep putting her snacks in a bowl on the floor, and she keeps eating them there.
And believe it or not, DD has gotten over not having a prince around. Turns out, having a dog is better.