Tiny-Small did not want to go to the store with us the other day. She came up with quite a brilliant argument in an attempt to convince us that we should let her stay home with Rosie, our dog. She said, “Rosie watch me, like Peter Pan.”
I had to break the news to her that we are not starring in Peter Pan part two, where the parents go off to Never-Never Land and leave their three-year old at home, alone, with the dog. I mean, seriously, if dogs could babysit, and wash dishes, and fold laundry…and stop shedding, I’d probably be ecstatic. I’d also have a life that involved more grown ups and sushi eating in restaurants. I would certainly get more sleep and my skin would have an almost youthful glow. It sounds like a little slice of heaven to me.
Unfortunately, in real life, the dog is not a nanny. Even if dogs could be nannies, Rosie wouldn’t be a very good one. She’s impatient and selfish. She’s also a little ruthless. She would definitely be running some sort of military dog training camp if she had opposable thumbs and a few more brain cells. Tiny-Small would spend her days doing push-ups for the most minor infractions. She’d also be well-trained in the art of home defense and rodent murdering. I am not sure Tiny-Small has what it takes to survive a day with Rosie. That dog is hard-core.
Still, I am with Tiny-Small, it is kind of dreamy to imagine being able to go to the store and leave your kid at home with the dog, who only wants to be paid in dog treats and pats on the head or maybe just a couple of belly rubs. If dogs were more responsible and this were an alternate universe, or if we were living in a Peter Pan movie I would be blissfully buying art supplies in an art store somewhere right now. I would walk up and down every aisle as slowly as I wanted to. I would read labels even. I would be a dog lover of epic proportions.
Instead, we made Tiny-Small go to the store with us and she threw a full on temper tantrum in aisle seven. I was in aisle five looking at markers pretending I was not related to Jim or Tiny-Small when it happened. I was just a single gal, out on the town in search for the perfect shade of purple marker…. Then I started to feel guilty because I could sense Jim was about to curl up in the fetal position and cry himself to sleep right there in the craft store. I went down the aisles until I bumped into Jim carrying Tiny-Small, Superman style, while she kicked and screamed, “Put me down!” There were only a few cranky onlookers giving him the stink-eye. Usually there are two types of people who give you the stink-eye. One is the parent with grown children who thinks you should control your child better, the other is a younger woman who thinks you are torturing the poor child even though you are the one getting kicked in the head, repeatedly. The men just back away slowly and give you looks of pity and hope they never have to be you. This is parenting in public. If you are single and childless, pay attention. You will be the bad guy no matter what you do. Usually, when Tiny-Small throws a tantrum with me, I just step over her and keep on walking. I try not to give it too much attention. Jim is still sort of new at this because he isn’t usually alone with her at the store. So, he panicked and picked her up. This was like pushing the escalation button and Tiny-Small went into horror movie mode and she was loving every minute of it.
Anyway, I am the rule enforcer in this family. So, I took Tiny-Small and handed Jim my basket full of paintbrushes. I told him to check out. Then I marched Tiny-Small straight out to the car and put her in her car seat. That’s what all the parenting books say to do. When your kid throws a tantrum you leave the store. The problem is she didn’t seem to mind one bit. She was happy to sit in the car and wait. I was the one who was fuming because I never did get my perfect shade of purple, paint marker.
So here I sit today fantasizing about dog babysitters and Peter Pan because seriously, how awesome would it be if your dog could be a babysitter? Or if a little fairy dust could make you fly? Or if a mom could buy a purple marker when she wants one and eat some sushi without having to share? I am guessing pretty darn awesome.
If you like reading about my failed attempts at disciplining Tiny-Small you might enjoy reading: Time Out: A Cautionary Tale.