Lucy, bless her, has so much easier to train than the kids — not that you can train kids, really, what with them having human brains and opposable thumbs. But in a just a few short months, all of her bodily functions that need to happen outside do. It took the kids years to figure out how to not pee in inappropriate places. The Boy still can’t quite be trusted to not drop trou in the backyard if the mood strikes him.
(Note to our neighbors: he only does this when the weather is clement. We should be in the clear until June. Also: I apologize in advance.)
We have a routine, too. Three walks a day. Food morning and afternoon. Playing whenever. And at 9 p.m., she waits for me to say the word “crate,” then runs to hers like I’ve just given her a big old hambone and a belly rub.
It’s pretty dang cute, in the same way that a toddler’s delight in a helium balloon is. Such simple pleasures can make for so much happiness.
When my kids were small, I knew my immediate neighborhood as well as my own name, which I could recall faster on the days I’d gotten more than two hours of sleep. We walked a lot when they were younger. Or, rather, I walked and they were pushed in a stroller while we wandered around.
When their legs were long enough, they walked, too, and a quick trip down to Center Street Deli and back would take hours because we’d have to stop to investigate each bug, twig and cigarette butt.
Now I can tell you where every last hydrant, stop sign and trash can in a two-block radius is. I can also tell you which of my neighbors have dogs and/or kids as well as which of those dogs/kids are friendly.