“I have just realized, our dogs would make great parents.”

February 1, 2014

Notable Stats

Waking Hour Ratio (WHR) – The ratio between the time you are awake when your kids are awake versus the time you are asleep when your kids are awake. That is correct, unless your kids are 10 or up, this is zero.

Zombie Nights per Month (ZNM) – The number of nights per month your sleep is interrupted. Reasons could range from your child nearly drowning in their own pee (while staying asleep) to a stuffed Tweety Bird having the power to turn into his evil twin at night….I curse you, Tweety Bird.

When you are running round corralling multiple children, you do know that it is a blessing. You also know that it makes you work hard to figure out a way to step off the rollercoaster when it is moving at full steam, even if for just ten minutes. If you don’t take a breath, you will be running a marathon that has no finish line, so think of it as a hamster wheel that is rolling down a mountain… and you are a gerbil.

Gerbil or not, you begin to learn from your pets. We have two dogs, somewhere in the range of 50-75 pounds each, and they seem to be parenting without us even knowing it.

For starters, the dogs are always awake when we are awake. Interesting. Someone gets up to go to the bathroom, the dogs get up. Walk upstairs, one dog follows. Do they ever sleep? Yes, when you sleep.

Some call it loyalty, but I call it something else. Parenting.

When you have three kids five and under, you come to the realization (kicking and screaming) that you can never be asleep when they are awake. Never. It is not your option to see your two-year-old toddling down the stairs in the morning and say, “Oh cool, she will make her own breakfast. I am going to sleep another two hours.”

And even when you have a five-year-old, you still do not have that option. He may be mixing shampoos; he may be in the backyard (of your neighbor five houses down); he may decide that it is a good idea to sit on the baby’s booster seat and slide down a flight of stairs. In fact, he may be more likely than the two-year-old to get hurt simply taking the straw out of the wrapper.

It is constant vigilance. Constant. And when the day comes that they do not have to be watched like a hawk, you will know it to your soul. Until then…. don't doze off. For now, we can let them play alone for buckets of ten minutes at a time as long as they are doing well with it, even the two-year-old. But, would I let that happen while I was asleep? Absolutely…. not.
Parents sleep when children sleep or parents get in trouble. And trouble could range from police coming to your door to your daughter trying to dress the baby in Styrofoam peanuts.

I am not sure when that day will come when we can just go back to sleep and let our kids roam the house and make all their own decisions, but if the dogs have it right, and I think they do, the answer may be never because, after all, the dogs are not parenting our kids, they are parenting the parents and they probably know something about us that we don’t know.


5 things likely to happen if you decided not to wake up after all three kids are up:
1) The TV ends up in the tub.
2) We find out that toothpaste is flammable if you lick it five times with your sister’s tongue.
3) Your best pair of shoes only fits the dogs “feet” when you stuff them with passports.
4) $50 bills rip at the same rate as $1 bills, only if you jump off the counter while ripping them.
5) Apple juice mixed with raisins and dog food take the frizz out of the baby’s hair when applied generously.

- Doug Glanville

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