It was a cool spring morning, still dark, the house was quiet, everyone asleep in their own rooms. The giant monster of a dog was at his usual spot next to our bed on the main level. Suddenly, with the ferocious barking of a crazed animal, the dog jumps up and sprints out of our room. We quickly follow behind, this is not his normal behavior.
When we arrive in the living room, we see the terrified 4 year old on the couch staring out the wide open front door as 3 dogs rush out into the night. Without coffee, the questions began to slowly pile up.
- What was our dear son doing up at 4am?
- Why was the front door unlocked and open?
Then the questions got more frightening.
- Where is the baby?
- We only have 2 dogs… why did we just see 3 dogs leave the house?
*The Story goes like this*
Son: “I was in my bed and I woke up and heard a dog barking. so I looked out the window and saw Buddy. (Buddy was his grandparents’ dog who lived about 50 miles away). I thought you was looking for our house so I let him in.”
Me: “So, you opened the front door and the dog just came in?”
Son: “Well I had to go outside and bring him in, he was really scared.”
*Yup, my 4 year old went out in the dark of night, alone, and dragged a stray dog into out living room. At which time, the dogs that actually LIVE in our house felt the need to defend their family (a bit late don’t you think). They chased the stray dog halfway down the road when their lazy fat dog selves got bored and wandered home. Thanks for nothing guys.
Oh and the baby was sound asleep in her crib oblivious to the chaos of our life. When she woke up 4 hours later we told her the story.
When I am at my most frustrated I have to force myself to remember this:
What makes kids so amazing is that their sense of reality is based not on what is but on what could be.
That 4th cup of spilled milk, it was just another test of gravity.
That counter climbing toddler is just seeing things from another angle.
That fighting and yelling 10 year old is just wondering if his words hold more weight when said louder or with more enthusiasm.
Their life experience hasn’t shown them that the result isn’t different, not yet. That dog in the darkness very well could have been Buddy, why not. His 4 year old life experience has yet to teach him about probability, and distance. It has also failed to teach him fear or about rabies, we are working on that.