Walter the Wonderdoodle is pure joy – jumping and exploring and drinking it all in.
He’s jumping on people and brand-new kitchen cabinets. Exploring means that he’s unearthed a bunny nest, has discovered the magic of digging, and loves to rip up hostas. And drinking it all in means that one big gulp of water equals not one but five gigantic pees – most likely in the house – within anywhere between five and 20 minutes.
Also? He loves to eat paper towels, so you best be quick when cleaning up those puddles.
I am new-puppy tired. It’s the kind of tired that feels like a dirty secret, like something that shouldn’t be admitted. He’s so adorable! He’s such a blessing! He bit my face two days ago and I still look like I’ve been in a fight!
One of my neighbors stopped me in the street. Not to comment on my mauled visage, but on the puppy. She asked, “How are you? Are you sleeping?”
She is the mother of four kids under the age of 4. She asked me this while she had a newborn strapped to her chest.
It was so kind of her to ask, and I felt seen. But I immediately felt guilty and said, “I am not going to complain about sleep to the mom of a newborn!” Like I was all tightly wound Joan Crawford and obsessed with etiquette, lest people find out that I’m a schlep after all.
I could fall asleep on the floor right now.
|Like this guy, in a rare moment of repose.|
It’s a weird muscle memory. I was up so much with sweet geriatric Big Doodle in his final months, and falling back to sleep wasn’t always my strong suit. And with Wonderdoodle? Well, it’s like my body said, “Oh, we’re doing this again? Bad decision, but OK.” And I’m up looking at Facebook at 4 a.m. because the puppy needed to potty at 3.
It was a privilege to care for Big Doodle. It is a huge blessing to welcome Walter into our home and help him grow. But it hurts.
And my mom friends look at each other knowingly – or at least I imagine they do – like, “She doesn’t know true sleep deprivation because she’s never had a baby.” And like talking to my sweet neighbor, I guess I think they are right, like I have no right to complain.
But right now? Right now, spending 23 hours a day with a puppy that is either passed out or insane and a crotchety dachshund who is just pissed off about the entire situation and bit me this morning because he mistook my finger for the rawhide I was attempting to pry out of the Wonderdoodle’s maw?
Well, at least newborns don’t have razor-sharp teeth.