Saturday, 19 June 2010

More Doggy Business

We have had our puppy for almost a week now, and she really has revolutionised our lives. The biggest change is that I have been getting up early in the mornings to let her out. I can't bear the sound of her whimpering in her crate when she needs to go outside, or the thought of her soiling her crate and being upset. So I heave myself out of my bed and stagger, eyes almost shut, and let her outside. Now the thing about puppies is that you have to go out with them when you are housetraining them, otherwise they think they are being punished and they just want to come inside again, and then they do their business in the house instead. So then I find myself shivering outside in my pyjamas, summoning the enthusiasm to congratulate the dog when she wees, and by the time she obliges I am wide awake.

For the last six days, therefore, I have been up at a quarter to five (once), five thirty (once), six fifteen (once) and six thirty (three times). It hurts. I have never been an early riser. I find the process of waking up very difficult, and my husband has accommodated this over the years, looking after the kids when they get up early and bringing me a cup of tea every morning at about seven thirty, so that I can slowly acclimatise. Of course, this is not fair on him, but he does seem to need a lot less sleep than me - he still goes to bed quite late, whereas I am usually exhausted quite early in the evening. The arrangement does cause some contention - because although he gets up first he doesn't do the stuff like getting the kids dressed or breakfasted and making the sandwiches for school, so when I do drag myself out of bed I have a very stressful hour trying to do all that needs to be done.

Waking up early is a massive improvement then, in a lot of ways. It is hard to adjust to having a couple of hours less sleep every night - one night I went to bed at nine, but generally there is too much to do in the evenings to go to bed very early. But I have been intending to adapt my waking habits for years, and getting nowhere with it - suddenly I am forced to, and this is no bad thing.

I have been firmer with the dog today - she had started terrorising the children, biting their ankles and chasing them, and although I know she just wanted to play I realised that this wasn't fair on her or them. The toddler has been spending a lot of time on the sofa where she can't reach him. The dog needs to know her place, so I have been following the advice in my puppy book, not always giving her attention when she asks, putting her in her crate to calm down for a few minutes when she gets too excited and so on, and it is working well.

We found the time to go for a family swim last night, and had such a good time that we will go again tomorrow. Of course it is Father's Day, and I am determined to make a huge fuss of hubby. I have bought him a very nice watch, and the kids have got him some Maltesers. We have hired a Star Trek film for him to watch. The children are planning to make him a 'special breakfast' too. When they take it upon themselves to make a special breakfast it is usually fruit salad, and so I have told them as usual not to add cucumber and tomatoes, though as usual they probably will anyway. They don't seem able to distinguish between fruit and vegetables, and it makes for a strange assortment of flavours. Bless their cotton socks.


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