It’s tough to resist this face.
I’m not sure if it’s the freckles that lightly dot across his cheeks and nose, or his eyelashes that go on for days? Probably it’s his beautiful hazel eyes that sparkle with joy and innocence. Or perhaps it’s the total and complete unconditional love that radiates from him at all times, whether he’s happy with me or not.
Regardless…I’m a sucker for this kid!
His latest WANT is for a puppy.
The boy is puppy crazy. Every where we turn, he sees a puppy. He wants a dog so badly. In fact, I’m thinking that he’s talking to God about it. Why else was the sermon at church on Sunday about our pastor impulsively buying a dog for his son (among other things)? My son must be talking to God about his puppy love.
However, we’re just not ready for a dog yet. Too much going on in our lives and honestly, I’d rather just have another kid (here’s where my husband decides to stop by the pet store on his way home from work).
I get it though. I had a dog growing up and so did Colin. It’s part of growing up, and we’re definitely not going to deprive our children of all the wonderful-ness that comes along with owning and caring for a pet.
Our kids are still young though. Noah’s only 4. I think teaching a child to care for an animal is a wonderful thing, but I also want Noah to be ready for the responsibility. So while we were in the car last night, Noah yet again asked for a dog.
This was our conversation:
Noah: “Mommy, look at the puppy! Oh Mommy, I so want a puppy. We need to get a puppy!”
Me: “Are you ready to take care of a puppy Noah? Feed the puppy, give the puppy water, take the puppy for walks?”
Noah: “Oh yes Mommy, I will take good care of my puppy.”
Me: “Well, Noah…you refuse to clean your room or help pick up the playroom. If you can’t take care of those things, why do you think you can take care of a dog?”
I stopped abruptly after that sentence, and look at my husband. He looked at me and we both laugh.
You see, we are HORRIBLE housekeepers. Our room looks like a bomb hit it. We can clean our room and a day later…BOOM! I’m not sure what is wrong with us, but the “keep things neat and orderly” gene bypassed both of us.
I joked with my husband and said, “Yeah we can’t be trusted to keep a dog alive, but we’re doing pretty good with these kids!“.
It did get me to thinking though. I often talk the talk, but in some areas…I am horrible at walking the walk. I never thought I’d be a “Do as I say, not as I do” type of parent, but honestly? I am sometimes. And I don’t like it.
What’s my solution though? Should I never teach my children to do things that I haven’t mastered simply so I avoid looking like a hypocrite? Well that doesn’t seem fair to them at all!
I suppose I could try harder at the things that don’t come as naturally to me, so that way they at least could say I tried?
Whether I keep my room clean or not, I do think asking my child to prove that he’s ready for a big responsibility (like a dog) by taking responsibility for something else in his life first is a valid life lesson.
It does raise some interesting questions though. Should we push our children to accomplish things that we ourselves have not? Is it wrong to want better for them, while we slack ourselves? One day when your finances are out of control, will you be able to look at your children and encourage them to do better when you still don’t have things figured out for yourself?
Do I have the answers to these questions? No, I actually don’t.
I do think they are worth asking though.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
PS: Noah said he was going to keep his room clean and help clean up the playroom from now on. He was very excited to start on his new goals! First thing this morning I asked if he wanted to help me clean his room. What do you think he said? 😉