About a week ago, as I was pulling some random piece of paper out of my 9 month old son’s mouth, I found myself calling him “puppy.” Over the past few days, the more I think about it, the more I believe that my youngest son Micah, really is part puppy. So, I’d like to share 5 ways my 9 month old and I submit, all babies are like puppies.
1. Both want to be where the party is: Just like a real puppy, if our baby is out of our sight for more than 10 seconds, he’s doing something dangerous or destructive. So, we put up baby gates all over our house. The thing is, when Micah’s two older brothers head upstairs or downstairs, he’ll stand at the baby gate and whine or try to call to them, “Ah…..Ah…..ah!” Like I said, part puppy.
2. There’s just something about the dishwasher: Both puppies and my 9 month old want to be “helpful” whenever someone is doing dishes. I feel like my son has “Washer Radar”. He could be waaaay in the other room, but as soon as I open the dishwasher, here he comes crawling towards the kitchen at full speed, ready to stand up on the dishwasher and try to pull all the silverware out. Now, with this, puppies and my son do differ on one point. We try NOT to let our son lick the dishes clean before washing them. (emphasis on try)
3. They’re lord of the floor: From time to time I might slide off the couch and onto the floor to sit and watch t.v. Apparently, just like a real puppy, that’s the universal signal that I want him to crawl over and launch himself headfirst into my lap. I’m apparently giving the non-verbal cue that I clearly want to give him attention. And this is all fun and games until I’m wrestling with either my 6 year old or 4 year old, holding them down while I tickle them. Apparently, similar to a real puppy, this is the universal signal to my baby that he must come over and try to place his hand/mouth on or in my son’s mouth, nose, or eyes. While incapacitated, my older son has learned that, similar to puppies, blowing gently into his brother’s face holds him at bay just long enough to escape his curiosity.
4. There’s just something about the stairs: Both puppies and my 9 month old seem fascinated with the stairs. For my son, I imagine it’s partly because the stairs seem like the most dangerous thing he can find, so naturally that’s the first place he motors toward as soon as we release him. Puppies also seem fascinated by the stairs, but with one major distinction. Real puppies are usually terrified of the stairs and look at them like a venomous snake. It looks like something fun to play with, but it could also kill you. My son also looks at the stairs like a venomous snake….. because they look like something fun to play with. I’m glad real puppies have some common sense in this area.
5. Both will eat anything: Many a nerf dart have turned into a baby chew toy and had their heads chewed off in our household. I’m not sure how many darts have even survived up to this point. Like a small beaver gnawing on a tree, my older son’s Thor hammer recently turned into a favorite chew toy. It’s always “fun” to look across the room and see your 9 month old chewing on something with a determined look on his face when you have, in fact, not given him any food. Apparently when babies and dogs are teething, everything in reach becomes a possible chew toy. Socks, plastic, paper, shoes, moms and dads, and sometimes even food. A few days ago I removed a large piece of paper from my son’s mouth that he had somehow found on the floor. This gave me an idea. If he likes eating things from the floor, what if I gave him some food on the floor to eat- like a baby puppy picnic? So, I pulled a blue plastic kid’s plate out of our cupboard, poured some banana flavored puffs on it, and placed it on the floor in front of my son. He promptly picked up the plate, spilling the puffs all over the floor and began to waive the plate in the air- like he just didn’t care. Experiment fail. (It’s important to note that this experiment was attempted when my loving wife was not home.) Also, as I was attempting my little baby puppy experiment, I couldn’t help but notice that puffs are in the shape of little “x’s”, very similar to the shape of some puppy or cat food. Coincidence or conspiracy?
All in all, I would say that this is a special stage and I love seeing our 9 month old son motor around the house, exploring his little world. We don’t have a dog right now, but with Micah around, I don’t think we need one.