My baby girl is growing up and she has a mind of her own. There are two things that she keeps getting into… our dogs’ water bowls and crates. Those are two things(4 actually) I really don’t want her to get into. Since we feed our dogs a raw diet and they drink water right after they eat, it’s probably crawling with bad bacteria. And, although our furry boys are not aggressive and wouldn’t bite anything unless they wanted to eat it, I just don’t think it’s a good idea for her to crawl in their crates when they are in there. Plus, the crates are probably crawling with bad bacteria too…
Well, what has really been plaguing me is what happens when I tell her “no touch”. I use a stern, firm voice, while looking her in the eyes like mommy means business. In fact, I feel kind of mean when I’m doing it, which I don’t like. But to make matters worse, she smiles at me and does it again! It’s not a devious smile, it’s like she genuinely thinks it’s funny, like it’s a game. Only when I pick her up and remove her from the situation does she get upset that I took her away from her quest.
So today it got me thinking… what am I missing? What I’m doing is not working and it’s making me frustrated and mad, but teaching her nothing. After all, discipline is teaching. As for now, these scenarios are really not dangerous in the immediate sense. I mean I suppose she could get salmonella from the water bowl, but it’s unlikely. This is not the same situation as running in the middle of the street or sticking a fork in the light socket.
So perhaps I’ll look at it in a different way. Why does she continue to go after these two things? She’s bored and/or she might be trying to get my attention!! That’s it!! In both situations, I’m busy doing something else. In the kitchen when she goes after the dog bowls, I am washing dishes or cooking. When she goes after the dog crates, I’m in my office on the computer. As soon as she does these things, she gets my attention and I respond to her. But also, she only has so many toys and so many sites to explore in the house. I don’t ever sit her in front of the TV. So, today when I had this epiphany. I stopped what I was doing right away and read her a book. She just needs to be redirected, not sternly told “No!” 100 hundred times. Whatever I am doing is SO NOT important compared to guiding her little absorbing mind.