Just when I had started to think that the o‘pawnion’ pieces are discontinued, I got notified that I have exactly two hours to share my expert o‘pawnion’ on how to deal with a toddler?
What, say that again? How to deal with a toddler? Why should I have to bother with that? Even if I have dealt with frisky toddlers, high-energy and talkative ones and even one who had proposed to me with a flower (t’was quite sweet).
I was told my piece might help other doggos to understand the responsibilities of an elder sibling to a hooman toddler. Basically, my hooman threw me at the deep end of the pool, and I do not even like water. I get a strange feeling that perhaps she did not have a story for today. What to do – there is always a curveball for a Paw-in-Chief, I guess!
Enough rant – now let me get cracking. So, how to deal with a toddler?
My answer is – do not react. I have done this ever since my hooman sibling was tiny. She does all kinds of things – from singing lullabies, reciting rhymes (which I silently enjoy) to feeding me hideous plastic eggs – but I do not react. That is the secret weapon to stay sane around a toddler. Hoomans call me a ‘zen dog’, by the way.
Now I like to live a gadget-free life. You will never see me on video calls, hence. But this sibling of mine is thrilled about acquiring a fake smartphone and one day, insisted that we should call gramps together. And, boy, she was relentless. I had no choice but to fake sleep. Eventually, she too lay down next to me on the sofa. That is how we keep the peace.
While you are at it, read my last o‘paw’nion piece here
Another thing is toddlers tend to be as frisky as my friend Bella, the Frenchie. And some doggos are not appreciative of frisky toddlers. So, over time, I have taught my sibling to be calm around and gentle with doggos – never pull ears or tail or poke fingers into eyes. It is only when animals feel threatened that accidents happen. As a family, we have taught our toddler to be gentle and never behave roughly with an animal. I feel so proud that she is growing up to be such a gentle kid, never mind the friskiness and non-stop jabbering.
I think I have done a fair job of sharing my real-life experiences on how to deal with a toddler. Given that, I had only two hours to put this piece together. Before wrapping up, summarising three tips for fellow doggos:
- Be nice and share your food – toddlers are only curious about what is in the bowl; they will not eat your food. The reverse, however, happens sometimes; my friends Bella and Zorro are living proof.
- When you are tired of all that energy, fake sleep. I bet my turkey meal that the toddler will do the same, except that s/he will really fall asleep.
- Finally, elder siblings like us have a huge responsibility of teaching toddlers to be gentle. Do that. Nobody wants an embarrassing pack member, do we?
Mr. Popo is the Paw-in-Chief of PawzNRead. He contributes o‘paw’nion pieces for the blog.