I should preface this post by saying that I promise to keep expletives out of 99% of my posts, because frankly, I normally find them unnecessary in my writing. If I’m dropping f-bombs left and right then I’m not trying very hard as a writer in finding the right verbs, adjectives and nouns. But today I couldn’t think of any other way to describe the behavior of both my toddler dog and toddler human. They’re a$$ holes.
I don’t mean this in a permanent sense of the word. I know this is a normal stage in their behavioral development and they’ll grow to be loving, caring, wonderful people that will one day make wonderful contributions to their fellow (wo)man. At least Olive will. Blue is not a person. Also, he may be a lost cause. We may have to chalk him up to the “first pancake” of the batter. Basically a throw away (and no we’re not going to throw away our dog).
Unfortunately, Blue is not a stupid dog. He is a goofy looking specimen, super drooly, with about a foot of extra skin that collects in wrinkles around his neck, face and jowls (do your jowls hang low, do they wobble to and fro? Blue’s do!). He is super intelligent, to the point that he realizes he can get away with not listening to me 85% of the time. It took about nine months for him to realize he was bigger than I was. That meant that if I tell him to go outside or go to his crate and he doesn’t want to, he will just lay down in front of me and look up at me like, “Well, now what? You gonna pick me up and carry me?”
The only way Blue will actually go outside or his crate is if I present him with a treat, which becomes problematic because 95% of the time he hasn’t earned said treat. I don’t have high expectations, but I don’t consider laying down on your bed to take a nap or squatting to poop worthy of reward.
The last three times I have tried to make him go outside without a treat, it ended disastrously. When we get to the back door and he realized that I wasn’t going to give him anything; he turned around and shoved his head in between my legs. Then he proceeded to lift me off the floor and carry me back into the living room with me on his back, facing the wrong direction. Nothing quite puts you in your place more quickly than a piggy back ride against your will. In the words of Bob Peck (Jurassic Park), “Clever, girl” (even though you’re a dude dog).
My saving grace has always been Olive, who has always been sweet and cuddly even if she is a little unpredictable and a bit of firecracker. I think this is part of what makes her unique and I hope she never loses it.
But lately, those terrible twos of toddler hell have begun to set in. She is defiant. She throws temper tantrums over the smallest things.
*she ate a piece of candy and now it is gone.
*She wants to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on YouTube all day, everyday and I said no.
*I’m trying to change her diaper so she’s not sitting in her own feces.
You get the picture.
And she likes to make the kind of trouble that only an a$$ hole toddler would think to do. For example, earlier this week I decided to let her color in her coloring book with her crayons at the coffee table while I started to load the dishes in the kitchen since she seemed content in this activity. I was sure to check in on her every minute or so to make sure she wasn’t Picassoing the flatscreen and for the first ten minutes she did great.
Then it got quiet. So I snuck back to where she’d been coloring only a minute before to see her coloring book was now closed and her crayons were scattered and she was hunched over with something in her hands, looking very Gollum-esque.
“Olive, whatchya doing, sweetie?” I asked
Olive looked up at me with a “I know something you don’t know” smile on her face with her mischievous brows furrowed and eyes laughing kind of way. There was also a smattering of crayon gravy (the purple and orange variety) smudged on the side of her cheek and lips, mixed with toddler spittle.
“Olive, are you eating crayons?”
“Uh……no.” (One of the only responses she has at this age).
Right. I grabbed the wipes, put her on my lap and proceeded to dab the inside of her mouth, creating quite the rainbow array. I began to wonder if it would be this colorful on the other end.
It was quite clear she had been busy. Of course, she then tried to chew and eat the diaper wipe I was using to clean her mouth and when I went in after it, she bit my finger. Hard.
“Sh#^&$%T!” (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. Those little teeth hurt!)
To which, she laughed hysterically, chortling and giggling, like a little evil gnome, mouth open, and molars chock full of Crayola.
And then there was the incident today, which brought the realization that indeed, my daughter is also too smart for her own good. And a mean girl.
Olive and I had been playing and cleaning in the living room. Let’s be honest, I was doing the cleaning. Her idea of cleaning involves dumping chocolate powder on the floor and spreading it around with her hands while wearing my panties from the clean laundry pile around her neck like a scarf). I needed to go tell my husband something, but he was working in the yard. Olive of course threw a fit when I made her stay inside by the front door, but I was only going to be a few seconds and I didn’t want to deal with the even longer fit she would have when she couldn’t play in the dirt hole in the yard that Matt was making while he was trying to pull out a stump.
I finished conversing with Matt and turned back around where Olive was still waiting by the door.
Which it turns out, she had locked.
“Olive, sweetie, did you lock the door?”
She looked up at me all sweet and innocent, and it was then that I realized she also had my car keys in her tiny, diabolical hands.
And that’s when the panic alarm went off in my car.
Luckily, the garage door which is usually locked, was unlocked because neither my husband or myself had our house keys with us or otherwise this would be a much different story.
For some reason, when I got back in the house, Olive was upset and started crying (I can only assume because her evil plans had been thwarted). In an effort to cheer her up, I put on her little toddler sunglasses and asked her, “How do I look?” This is a game that we usually play with her that she finds hilarious and then takes off the sunglasses and begs to have them put on her face.
But this time she didn’t laugh. I asked again, “How do I look?”
That is when she brought back her fist and punched me in the face.
I had to hold back my laughter since luckily, almost two year olds don’t have a lot of upper body strength. But that did earn the little Evander Holyfield a time out in her crib.
This got me thinking about toddler behavior in general and how both my little minions are developing into obstinate little/big crazies. I know I need to curb them of this behavior because it won’t be cute when they’re eight (although by then, Blue will be quite old in doggie years).
But thank goodness this appears to be quite normal. In fact, if you google “toddlers are a$$ holes” you will find a myriad of websites, tumblrs, pictures, blogs, Facebook pages, etc. dedicated to this exact theory. Hopefully, this means this is all a phase (at least for Olive) and one day she will understand that it’s not nice to steal keys or sucker punch people. At least she’s spritely.
Normally, I have some kind of life lesson or “the world is really butterflies and roses in disguise” behind my stories and long-winded posts. But today as it turns out there really isn’t a lesson to be learned here. And life is not sugar snaps and lollipops.
The only thing you really need to know is toddlers are a$$ holes.