So You Thought You Wanted a Puppy??

Parenting by Design – August 3 – Endurance and Patience

This devotional spoke to me today…directly…to me…like they wrote it for me.

My middle child, T-Man, is (for lack of a better word) spirited. He just turned 5 and is active, talkative, and excitable – like a new puppy. The new puppy analogy really works well with T-Man…he’s completely adorable – has a smile (or smirk) that melts – he’s so darn cute that you can’t stay mad at him, but like any puppy he gets on your nerves like crazy!

About Puppies – they run around without regard for what (or who) might be in the way; they can’t sit still for 30 seconds unless engaging in a favorite activity (eating, sleeping, playing ball); they don’t really care about being dirty or transferring that dirt to every possible surface; they bark and whine and growl until they have your attention (and they want your attention at all times); they will challenge the alpha dog over and over until their ears are raw from being nipped.

About T-Man – he runs around without regard for what (or who) might be in the way; he can’t sit still for 30 seconds unless engaging in a favorite activity (eating, sleeping, watching TV, playing video games); he doesn’t really care about being dirty or transferring dirt to every possible surface; he talks until he has your attention (and he wants your attention at all times); he will challenge the alpha dog (read: parents) over and over until his but is red from being whipped.

Wow – that’s amazingly similar. And most people generally don’t like being around puppies for all of the reasons listed above – they climb on the furniture, they don’t listen to commands, they spread dirt everywhere, they talk back – I’m seeing a trend here…
Let me stop right here and insert a few things about T-Man – he is one spunky fellow! He’s not mean or devious – he is incredibly inquisitive and knows how to charm a gal. He’s also very loving and tender. However people that aren’t around him much don’t see those moments – they see him come over to their house and instead of sitting nicely on the couch he immediately flips upside down with his legs hanging over the back of the couch (apparently sitting nicely in any chair is a challenge). They see him interrupt conversations or repeat himself until acknowledged because his little 5-year old mind is racing with questions and excitement and he absolutely HAS to get the words out or he’ll explode!

T-Man takes every speck of my patience and I’m the lady who carried him – so for those that don’t have that special bond, patience runs out quickly. Hence the reason we don’t go places often. We all end up frustrated to no end – T-Man because he gets constantly reprimanded, those whom we are visiting because we have brought a ‘puppy’ over, and me because it’s tiresome to apologize for your child when he’s doing what puppies, ahem – boys, do. T-Man’s the first boy on my side of the family and it’s obvious they are not ‘puppy-people’. And our quest for a church-home has, thus-far, been difficult – we need one where there are other little puppies to play with ours, where the other members understand them and help in the training rather than just scold, and where my little puppy isn’t expected to sit for an hour in the regular service on Sunday mornings. We just haven’t found the right combination yet.

I’m hopeful that with the onset of kindergarten this month T-Man will begin to get past that puppy stage. It seems like every day I have to pray for endurance and patience, not only with T-Man, but with those who see only a dirty, disobedient little mutt, rather than the playful, energetic, inquisitive puppy that he is.

Col 1:10-11 (Amplified)

10That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].

11[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy

Meanwhile, we will continue to love our little man and work on his ‘training’ – I’m convinced that while he is a trial right now, his personality will only serve him well as he gets older as long as we don’t squash it and we do our best to help him blunt the rough edges and channel his energy in the right direction. We aren’t going for strict obedience training here – I mean, who ever wanted a dog who would follow a ball off the edge of a cliff simply because his master threw it? You want one who will follow it to the edge, stop, assess the situation and figure out how to get at it safely. Now if we could just get him to follow the ball at all…SQUIRRELL!

About Nana

Mom. Salesforce Architect. Runner. Artist. Writer. I am a Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame member. For more information on the Salesforce MVP community, visit: . Salesforce, Force,, Chatter, and others are trademarks of, inc. and are used here with permission.
This entry was posted in The Eldest, The Joy of Parenting, The Middleton, The Youngest, Thrice Exceptional. Bookmark the permalink.

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