After a wedding last year my husband was surprised to realize how early a little girl’s wedding fantasies could begin. This week I was surprised to learn how early a little boy could begin acting like a man.
When visiting my husband’s family I always feel uncomfortable having my little children around their big Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Toby. He’s very dominant and doesn’t listen well to me, which, I admit, disposes me more against him.
He’s only actually acted dangerous when the kids are running and shreaking (usually from an uncle or Grandpa playing “monster”), but whenever the dog wanders into the vicinity of the children one of my in-laws will tell him to get away. I prefer it this way.
One morning Toby followed a bunch of us into the back of the house where he rarely comes. My mother-in-law told him to get on his way and he wandered into a bedroom further down the hall. Elisha kept stumping toward Toby as he walked away from us, and shook his finger in the empty hallway, grunting authoritatively ( “Ungh! Ungh!”).
Then (remember he’s just 18-months, and small for his age), he took my finger and firmly guided me around him. He tottled around too until he was between me and the room the dog had gone into, then he *pushed* me ahead of him up the hallway. He watched the bedroom door all the way, and when Toby poked his head out it prompted another series of fierce grunts and finger-shaking.
He didn’t let go of me or stop pushing until he’d taken us straight to the room where Jay was working. When he saw his dad and I started telling the story, Elisha wandered off in his normal, aimless, little-boy way.
But there was no question that for a while there he was very focussed on protecting his Mama and getting her where he thought she’d be safe.