Sunday, December 19, 2010

Teaching a young dog new tricks is still pretty hard.

Recently I've realized Oliver's true pupil potential. I never really thought about it, but I can teach him a lot of stuff. He's getting very good at new words. He's getting better at commands of "bring me ___" or "show me how to ___." Yesterday I said, "Daddy forgot his keys! Go let him in!" And Oliver did.

The best thing I've taught him so far is, "Can you show me how to put this away?" Telling him to do something in the form of a question gets the best results. If I tell him to, say, stop throwing everything out of the fridge he'll ignore me. If I physically take him away, he'll scream. Instead, I ask, "Can you put this ketchup away? Will you show me where the yogurt goes?" AND HE DOES IT. It's a miracle trick.

Since we're sitting at home today doing nothing in particular, I thought I'd try to teach him something new. I want him to hug me. I decided to teach him. It was going pretty well. I could say "hug your doggie!" and sure enough, he'd hug the doggie. I got him to hug the dump truck and the ball, so I thought for sure he'd hug me. Right? I'm his favorite mom in the world!

"Oliver, hug mommy!"
"Nuh nuh nuh!" (While frantically flailing arms back and forth.)

Then he picked up the dog  ("Woof, woof!") and hugged the dog.

Oh, the cold harsh rejection of a toddler.  We'll see how he feels when it's dinner time and that stuffed dog doesn't put food on the table.

I picked Oliver up to try and hug him, but he yelled and kicked, reaching for the dog.

"Woof woof!"

Fine. Be that way. I went and got two crackers. Bribery is what puts me above dogs, right?

"Do you want a cracker?"
"(Pl) ease!"
"Then hug mommy!"
"Nuh nuh nuh!"

I gave up for a while, but when I went to put him to bed tonight I picked up his half conscious body and hugged him. Except, he wasn't unconscious enough because he still said "nuh nuh nuh!" and bit my shoulder.

This force is strong with this one. Maybe after a night behind bars, he'll change his mind and hug me in the morning. We'll see.

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