Gaming the system

Raising kids is a lot like raising dogs. There’s a lot of responsibility, a lot of poop, ridiculous amounts of cleaning, and no small amount of frustration. Regardless, the benefits far outweigh the costs, and with a little consistency and training, it’s all good. Training being the key component.

My son likes Legos and chihuahuas, two things I kind of like but wouldn’t really say are my “thing”. He is his own kid. I realized he was fascinated with mechanical devices more than biological creatures, so I built enough mystique around the Keurig: “oh no, it’s MUCH TOO HARD for a kid to work” etc etc until he insisted- insisted!- that I teach him how to use it, and now he delivers me coffee every morning.

My daughter likes Barbies and Golden retrievers, which, for those of you who know me, you will know must be genetic. So when she came home with an assignment to “write a presentation on the ‘How To’ topic of your choice,” she announced she wanted to do it about dogs.

“What are you going to instruct your class in?” I asked.

“How to groom a dog,” she said.

So she sat down and typed up her outline. “Get the dog wet, shampoo the dog, dry the dog” and so on and so forth.

I looked at the presentation software they were supposed to use.

“Did you know you can put pictures in here?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “That wasn’t part of the assignment.”

“But you want to go ABOVE and BEYOND, right?” I asked. “I mean, you want to knock this out of the park! Right?”

“Oh!” she said. “I do. Absolutely.” She paused. “But I don’t have any pictures of me grooming Brody.”

I paused, looked at the ceiling as if deep in thought, and then said, well, if this is really important to you, I bet I could find a camera.

And that is how I conned my kid into not only washing Brody, but blow drying him, brushing him out, cleaning up, and thanking me for the opportunity.

Maybe I can pay the teacher off to repeat this assignment once a month through the end of the school year. :)

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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