Meet, my dog Boner. Yes, you read that correctly. Boner. I’m strategically placing the “e” in there, because, frankly it makes it easier for me to read.
This is the beloved name of my three year old daughter’s imaginary dog. Not Cupcake. Or Snowflake or even Spot. No, his name is, Boner.
Now, because I am her mother and speak her slightly linguistically awkward syntax, I understand that “Boner” is her cutie-version of Bone…which is related to dog…which is not related to cat….it’s a cumbersome set of rules. But, I get it. Bones go with dogs. Little dogs are cute…so a puppy should be called, Bone-r. Or Bone-y.
Either way, I cringe a little each time she tells me about Boner’s day.
Standing there on the driveway, blond rings of hair framing her little face, she earnestly shares Boner’s daily habits and personality attributes.
Boner is happy today…. Yes, I bet he is.
Boner likes to play ball....Um-hm. That’s what I hear.
Boner needs a bath…Ummm.
Boner likes to be petted……Gag.
Boner likes to lick me….. Too far.
Or course, I have tried to suggest other acceptable puppy names.
“Looks like your dog likes to run fast… maybe he should be called Cheetah?”
Response: No, Boner is just excited.
“Hmm…he likes snacks, what about Scooby?”
Response: Yup, Boner sure gets hungry.
At just three, she has many similar traits of a German nanny: Suspect. Tough. Unwavering.
And I know I should accept defeat. Boner it is and Boner it will remain.
I assume this is just another, though slightly disturbing, tactic of the emotional warfare launched last summer for the “puppy campaign”.
Apparently, the existing pets or playhouse, or pool that currently distract, ahem…I mean entertain us are no comparison to a dog. It has become the SUPREME WISH of the household....with my exception. Every birthday wish. Every Christmas list. You know those cute little interviews that they fill out in preschool…What is your greatest wish? ….to have a mom that will let us get a dog (interesting it wasn’t just for the dog itself….).
I am losing the battle. But I won’t go down without a fight.
We have four kids. Honestly, I kind of feel like I could stop right there. Four kids in seven years…and I am just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really thought I was ready to take off the whole potty-training hat (except for my own increasing need to run to bathrooms…). You want to talk responsibility? How about putting your nasty muddy socks in the laundry instead of on the kitchen table? And a puppy needs to be fed. No, not go-gurt leftovers. And, they eat Every day. They don’t have a 2-4 day window like the Beta fish so graciously agrees to (so far…).
And yet, in my heart of hearts, I know it would be loved. It would be fawned over. Brushed and cuddled. Cried on. Dressed up in hats and wheeled around in baby carriages. Pushed through home-made obstacle courses and taught to jump off the diving board. It would highlight my own. Their own strengths and weaknesses and it would add to their joy.
And selfishly, what in the world is better than to witness your own children fall in love? To watch them connect with another spirit in this world. A friend to greet them, a companion to be still with, an opportunity to teach and lead, a vacuum for my floors….
I admit, the campaign is compelling.
I mean, just look at Boner. He hasn’t caused too much trouble yet.