So here goes: He'll soon need braces, and he's comfortably cruising Colfax. Naturally, he's now reading at a sixth-grade level, while his athleticism is nothing short of Olympic. But that's not what I came here to say. What I've noticed lately is that my 11-month-old son is not much different from a highly intelligent puppy.
Full disclosure: I don't have pets. I don't want pets. In fact, part of the reason I opted to father a child this late in my life (I'm nearly 72, is what I tell my students when they ask; they often believe me) was so that I wouldn't get the hankering to care for a dog. So it's both ironic and satisfying to see that my child fulfills that role anyway.
|Is it a child's toy? or a dog's?|
Now, I am aware a dog can't throw, but that's about where the differences end. When he misses a throw or the ball goes rolling away, Xander will gladly chase after it. He scrambles over legs and under furniture in order to fetch the ball and begin the game all over again.
Then, while the boy's down there, underneath the kitchen table, he'll discover the soft wafer he dropped last night or the stray Cheeto that slipped from my own grubby hands during lunch. It's a pleasant anytime snack for him that follows in the tradition of the canine vacuum cleaner. Don't judge my sanitation habits. When was the last time a dog owner swept under the dinner table?
It's not like I'd let him put just anything in his mouth. Pet owners have to make sure Mr. Muggles doesn't eat that pudding that will slide right through him and onto the rug. A severe, "No!" and he'll acquiesce. I, too, must discipline my son when he decides to explore the tastes of the dust bunnies and plastic wrappers around him. He also tends to head straight for the outlet when I've plugged in my laptop, and that requires a stern rebuff from Daddy. He first looks startled, then scared, then angry because he doesn't get his way, then, like the hound he is, he slinks back towards the forbidden zone until physical intervention is required.
And, no, I don't smack my child on the nose with a rolled magazine. (How many dog owners did I just offend?) I jut remove him from the premises. A quarter of an hour out on the patio in the cold gives him time to think about what he did.
Finally, I offer this evidence that the boy is more like a puppy than you'd expect:
He'll wear what you tell him to wear.