Sunday, March 18, 2018

I'm Not Going To Apologize. Our Kids Live Here. You're Just Visiting.

Like with Lisa and myself, our kids have their own handful of idiosyncrasies. If Coco doesn't know you well, he'll jump on you and bark. Sometimes he'll try and steal the stocks on your feet. Sophie's gentle curiosity will have her glued to your side. Or, laying on your lap if you sit on our sofa. Lobo barks incessantly when people arrive or leave our home. He also likes to sit on the table and be the center of attention. On occasion, if no one is paying attention to him, he'll pee on the kitchen floor. Willa will jump on your lap and lick your ears. Then, she'll bring you a ball and demand you play fetch with her.

At one time, I apologized to guests for their quirky behaviors. I apologized for the dog hair on the sofa and throw blankets despite frequent vacuuming and washing. I apologized for Lobo's barking. I apologized when Sophie was adamant about sprawling out on someone's lap. I apologized when Coco barked loudly for the first 5 minutes when he met someone new.

One day, a few years ago, shortly after we adopted Lobo, we had a very special woman visit our home. She's a Dog Mom and a Mom and Grandmother to human kids. She is surrounded by furry kids and human kids every single day.

We absolutely adore her.

During the visit, all of our kids were out. Coco barked. Lobo barked too. He took a tiny break to piddle on the kitchen floor. Sophie perched herself on our guest's lap and begged for a nibble of what I had made all of us for lunch. I apologized for the commotion.

"Why are you apologizing? These are your kids. They're not doing anything wrong. They're not hurting anyone. They're just being themselves. This is who they are. This is their home."

Her words caught me off guard. She was the first person to ever say something like this to me. I was rendered speechless. That doesn't happen often.

"I'm a dog person. I have been a dog person for decades. Nothing surprises me. Barking doesn't bother me. I don't care how much dog hair I have on my clothes. I've lost count how many times a day I wipe up dog pee from my kitchen floor. It doesn't matter how many times the pups go out, they pee on the floor. Nothing that's happening right now bothers me."

She paused for a minute.

"I have a lot of visitors in my home. With some, I have to gate the large dogs. My small pup is usually crated because he likes to pee on people's shoes. With other guests, I don't have to worry about a thing. I will tell anyone who enters my home that they'll leave with dog hair on their clothes. Or, if they pet my largest pup, they'll get a lot of juicy kisses. But, I don't apologize for any of it. Neither should you."

What she said made sense. From that point on, I stopped apologizing.

Most of the time, Coco will bark. After 5 minutes, he's fine. More often than not, he stays in the bedroom though. He likes his alone quiet time.

Sophie will be glued to your side or on your lap. She'll expect you to give her a nibble or two of something that's on the table.

Lobo will bark and one of us will probably have to wipe up a puddle of pee. He'll also bark and try to follow you out the door when you leave.

Willa will jump on your lap, lick your ears, and then expect you to play 43 games of fetch with her.

When you leave our home, you'll have dog hair on your clothes.

Our kids are allowed on the furniture. If you sit on the sofa, you'll probably have at least 2 kids wanting to be on your lap or curled up beside of you.

The list goes on.

I no longer apologize for any of it.

Our kids live here.

You don't.

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