Don’t be offended. I’m not saying your toddler is actually a dog. Okay, I am. But what I mean is that he acts like a dog. He thinks like a dog. He may think he is a dog.

You know it’s true.

Think about it:

1. Fetch is his favorite game. What, you’ve never played fetch with your toddler? What are you thinking? Try it — it will soon become your favorite game too. Because it’s a game you can play for hours while your toddler gets exercise and you sit on the couch. If you feel bad telling him to “fetch,” call the game “go get it.” Throw the ball and then tell your toddler, “Go get it!” He will. Laughing with delight. And then he will do it again and again and again.

If you really want to be Supermom, get your older child to throw the ball. Then you will have your hands free for surfing Facebook and eating bon-bons.

2. He chews on everything. Toys, books, walls, wires, your boobs — you name it, he chews on it. If he can reach it, he will bite it. You like to blame this on teething. Keep telling yourself that.

3. He will eat anything. Including trash, grass, dirt, and poop. Who else does this besides dogs and goats?

4. He’s thrilled when your happy and miserable when you’re not. Like dogs, toddlers are highly tuned in to your emotions. They’re little radios, amplifying whatever station you set. Smile at your toddler, and he’ll laugh back. Groan at him about how exhausted you are, and he may burst into tears. Or he may just sit down next to you and rest his head on your knee. Which is even sweeter from a toddler than it is from a dog.

5. He likes to do tricks. Maybe he’s more like a cat than a dog and will only do them when he feels like it. But he still probably loves to show off, at least when he’s in the mood. Why do you think Simon Says is so popular? Touch your toes. Touch your belly. Reach up to the sky. See? Now we’re all having fun!

6. He’s good at eating off the floor. You don’t feed your toddler off the floor? You’re missing out. It’s much safer than a high chair (he can’t climb down), less messy than a plate (he can’t dump it all out at once), and it may even be healthier for him (builds the immune system). Try it for dinner tonight. You can thank me later.

What does all this mean? Your toddler doesn’t just act like a dog. His mind is eerily similar to a dog’s. Which basically means he has a scary, almost-magical ability to discern exactly what you’re thinking and feeling at any given moment. He senses your energy aura and reacts to the exact emotions you’re trying to keep hidden from him. In other words: He can smell your fear.

So stay calm. No matter what happens, stay calm. Breathe deeply. Calm your energy. Be Supermom.

And then, redirect to a game of fetch. That will fix just about anything.

Photo by JasonTromm

2 Comments

Kelly TaylorJune 25, 2013 1:09 am

This is so true! My toddler and the parrot at our house seem to have a lot in common. However, birds tend not have as much empathy as dogs do.

lcbaker June 25 2013 01:27 am

Ha! Parrots. I don't have any birds. Maybe I need one.

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