Monday, September 22, 2014

The Truth About Kids and Dogs

Okay, I don't really have a truth... unless it's that kids and dogs are a lot of work. Sometimes more so than others. This is one of those times where they're being a lot of work.
And don't get me started on the cat. The cat that has decided that I'm not allowed to be in my bed past 4:00am. I can be asleep; I just can't be doing it in my bed. Yeah, I'm not going to explain that, right now.

So everything has changed this year.

My oldest, who is 18, graduated last spring and is taking classes at the local junior college. We're trying to allow him to be as adult as he can be... Um, no, wait. We're trying to teach him to fly, not that we're not letting him stay in the nest, but grown up birds fly. Which means he gets to make his own decisions, something he really doesn't like to do in a general sense. So far, the one he's mastered is "the decision to stay out late." And he wakes me every time he comes in. And over and over again for the half hour to hour after he comes in as he goes in and out of the bathroom and takes a shower and whatever else it is that's he's doing at 2:00am. Probably eating.

Yeah, between him and the cat, sleep is beginning to wonder why I don't hang out with it anymore.

The middle kid, my younger boy, has started high school. This is a big change for him, of course, which is compounded by the fact that he's only 13. He has to get up earlier than he ever has before which, I think, has turned out to be more difficult than he thought it would be. For me, too, because I'm not used to having to get him up. He's always been really good about that, but having to get up before 6:00am is proving to be impossible without my help. And that's okay. His brother was a junior before I stopped having to get him up.

Are you getting the time frame, here? For me, that is.
In bed and asleep some time around 11:00pm.
Awoken at 2:00am and repeatedly for the next 30 minutes to an hour.
Awoken again at 4:00am and repeatedly until I move to the couch where I sleep for about 30 minutes until I have to get up at 5:15am.
That's on a good night.

But, anyway...

My younger son is also taking the city bus to school, this year. This is also a big change for him, his first really big foray out into the world on his own, but his brother took the bus for four years, so it's his turn, now. At any rate, his mother and I were very trepidatious about him taking the bus in ways that we never were when his brother was a freshman. If you knew him, you'd understand. But he has done a great job with the bus; he hasn't missed it; and he hasn't done what his older brother did a few weeks into his freshman year and forgotten to get off at the right stop and ended up in a place that might as well have been the moon for all he knew. Except for the lack of cheese.

My daughter's now in middle school. The big thing for her is that she's biking to school this year. Alone. Because biking to school is not new to her (or any of my kids), but she's never biked alone. Probably, we would not have made that choice except that she was desperate to exercise some independence and go it alone. She hounded (mostly) my wife about it all summer and whittled pieces and chunks off of her until she broke and said yes. Yes, that's how my daughter does it. She has inexhaustible persistence.

She's also discovering homework. heh

All of this has changed our morning routine. My oldest used to get up first (well, before everyone other than me) and be out the door before anyone other than me was awake; now, he's the last out. Usually, he's not even up before everyone else (but me, and sometimes me) is gone. The younger boy and the girl used to go at the same time (with me), but, now, the younger boy is the first out, sometimes before anyone other than me is up, and the girl is last.

And this is where the dog comes in.

It used to be the younger boy's job to take the dog out in the morning before we left for school, but he doesn't have time for that anymore, especially with having difficulty at getting up before 6:00am. The oldest can't be roused due to his late nights. Actually, we're not sure he actually lives here anymore; we're more like a... flop house. Or something. So that just leaves my daughter.

Actually, my first idea was that I would do it; the only problem with that is that I can't do it until after everyone is gone (except for eldest son who isn't conscious) and, two mornings a week, I actually have to go into school to read, so I'm not home and able to take her out until 9:00am. She's been up for three hours by that point and, I don't know about you, but going to the bathroom is the first thing I do when I got up every morning. The dog has been handling it okay for the most part.

Until a few days ago.

I was busy trying to get everyone's stuff together. Okay, mostly, once my son is gone, that's my wife's stuff I'm getting together. At any rate, I was working on getting stuff together and pushing people out the door and all of that and the dog came up and poked me with her nose. That's dog for, "Hey, I need to go out." A moment later, she did it again. Since I was not at a point where I could take her out, including not being completely dresses. I hollered at the girl, who was completely ready to go except for her cereal (which takes her about two minutes to eat) and still had more than 20 minutes till she needed to leave, "Hey, come take the dog out to go pee."

Now, my daughter loves the dog. Probably not as much as son-the-younger, but she does love her and, actually, plays with her more than anyone else (plays with her more, not spends more time with her; that would be son-the-younger). However, when I asked her to take the dog out, the response I got was, "That's not my job!"

We are currently ignoring the fact that my daughter is currently the only one of the children who consistently asks for "help" with her chores. By "help," I mean she asks someone else to do it for her, basically, because she doesn't want to (and there's a whole other story involved in that that I'll consider for another time). So we argued about it, her contention being that I could just take the dog out after everyone was gone. So the dog peed.

When you have to go, you have to go, even if you're a dog.

And I got to clean it up, because, by that time, my daughter had to leave for school.

On the other hand, she didn't argue with me when I officially made it her job to take the dog out to pee before she leaves for school every morning.

But what I really want to know is, "Can I go back to sleep, now?"


  1. You need to go to bed earlier. Crap, I can't stay awake after ten.
    When do you leave for work? Or did I miss that?

  2. Just reading this made me tired, and I don't even have kids. So what you're saying is... enjoy my sleep while I can, because once I have kids it'll be gone?

  3. My son has to be at school at 7am. Which means I have to get up at six to make sure he's up at six. He's a senior this year, but luckily hasn't mastered coming home late (or at least not past ten). I don't think I'd survive 2am feedings again. :P

  4. Alex: I have no good way of going to bed earlier than I do.
    And work is at home, so I only leave on the mornings I have to go do stuff at my kid's school, which is school time.

    ABftS: Yes, you agree to give up sleep for a couple of decades when you have kids.

    L.G.: Just wait till the end of the school year. I think it's something bestowed upon them at graduation.

  5. Up before 6 a.m.! The poor kid. I'm not surprised he needs help.

    Good luck adjusting to the shift in your routine. It sounds like your working on it. I just hope the kids don't drive you crazy.

  6. Oh, boy... That's a whole bunch of transitions at once. Poor dog. Poor dad.

  7. I feel for you, my brother-in-arms.

    I remember when our older kids started coming home late after nights out. The noise! And the extreme lateness!

    I never figured out why they were showering in the middle of the night, either. Have you?

    I've got to read "Teapot," by the way. I didn't forget. Yesterday was the kind of day that I really should understand is the norm in my life, but after 45 years I'm still not adapted to the fact that my life is actually my life.

  8. Jeanne: When he starts having 0-period choir, it will be even worse.

    And I'm already crazy, have been for years.

    TAS: It is a lot of transitions. It's kind of weird.

    Briane: I think the showering in the middle of the night is because they know they won't wake up in time to do it the next day. That's always been my reasoning for taking a shower at night, anyway.

    I totally understand what you mean about not being adapted to your life being yours. In my life I stay up late every night like my oldest kid and roll out of bed whenever I feel like it. What happened to that and the jetpacks?