The Uncanny Similarities Between Toddlers and Fur Babies

Now that my (not so much of a) baby girl is nearing two, she spends the better part of her days being cute, sassy, funny, and inquisitive…along with testing my limits. I know these days won’t last long in the grand scheme of things. Nonetheless, that fact can be hard to remember when I’ve just explained for the twelfth time that we don’t sit on the coffee table! Cue big sigh…

It became very apparent to me, while last night I watch my toddler lick applesauce off the floor in imitation of her doggie brother, that Jessa and Charlie have quite a bit in common. Not only are they both cute as a button, but they each seem to keep me on my toes in similar ways. I smiled at that thought, and I hope you find my list as amusing as I have!

1. Toddlers and fur babies find “floor food” to be much more interesting than the meal that was just prepared. What is it about two-day-old Cheerios that are so tempting?

2. They track in more sand, dirt, grass, and other pleasant morsels than two little beings should. How do little shoes hold THAT much sand?

3. When getting dressed, squirming and whining are the norm. Yes, our dog has been dressed up on more than one occasion. Isn’t he dapper?? At times it is much easier to squeeze Charlie into this tux, or a coat, or snow boots (hehe!) than a kicking J into her leggings.

charlie tux

4. Tooth-brushing can be likened to vaccinations and stubbed toes. Or, wait, is that just how dogs and little girls act?

5. The ringing of the doorbell elicits more excitement than a large bag of treats (canine or human). Need I say more?

6. A bath results in me, too, being showered with water. At least Jessa enjoys this a bit more than Charlie!

(Now insert 24-hour break in writing this post, which involved multiple baths secondary to nasty stomach bug…ugh)

7. Vomiting occurs anywhere but on hard surfaces. Poor J even threw up ON the dog! At least toddlers grow to be children who understand toilet locations. Now to teach the dog…

8. The little ones know just how to snuggle in when you/they need it! Nothing is better than bedtime (or sick day) snuggles with J followed by some evening cuddles with Charlie.

And to save the best for last…

9. Their days are brightened, along with mine, when I enter a room! How great is it to hear, “Hi, Mommy!” and receive a big hug when the little one is picked up at daycare?! On a similar note, Charlie can hardly contain himself when I get home. What a joy!

It is certainly true that my real baby took her rightful place ahead of my fur baby on the day of her birth. I’m also certain that some readers are likely shaking their heads, wondering how I could possibly compare my child to an animal?! Shame on me. 🙂 However, both are loved, and it is with great honesty (and a bit of fun) that I notice these similarities!

So to all mothers of toddlers who are becoming experts at testing your patience: remember that you are far from alone!




Lana Criswell is a born and bred Hawkeye fan who has lived in Iowa City for almost ten years! She came for college and never looked back. Lana has been married to her husband, Tom, for two years and is momma to Jessa (3.5 months) and Charlie, the dog. She finished graduate school nearly four years ago in speech-language pathology and works at Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City. She is excited to be able to work 80% time now and have some “girl time” with Jessa each week. Lana loves spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, going to Hawkeye games, going on walks around the neighborhood with the dog, and reading.


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