A New Level Of Mastery

If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram, you may have caught a glimpse of this little guy. Meet Marcel!

He’s been keeping me on my toes, so I haven’t posted many pictures of him. Or gotten much work done. Or taken a shower on a regular basis. Puppies are hard, yo.

In fact, I had a little bit of a meltdown this morning.

But let me back up for a sec. Marcel came home two weeks ago, and despite the fact that he was already almost four months old, he was not potty trained. Like at all. The first few nights, I got up to take him out every two hours, and every single time, he’d already peed (or worse) in his crate. 2 am baths were becoming his new normal.

Luckily, after making a few adjustments to his crate to make it a little smaller (and probably after he’d gotten over some of the stress of leaving his family to join ours) I was able to establish a more reasonable nighttime routine with him: bed at 11 pm, out at 3 am, up at 6:30 am. He’s been able to make it 3-4 hours at a time without having an accident–HALLELUJAH!

Some sleep is better than no sleep, for sure…but after finally resolving YEARS of sleep issues, it hasn’t been easy to purposefully reintroduce them. Hence this morning’s meltdown.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after getting up at three with the puppy. I tossed and turned for hours, and just as I was drifting off, the alarm started dinging. The alarm my husband was supposed to get up to, but was pretending not to hear. I reminded him that it was his turn to take care of the dogs. I poked his side. I asked him to please get up (maybe “asked” and “please” are slight exaggerations) but all I got was incoherent mumbling in response.

So, I let out the most exasperated of sighs, threw off the covers, and went downstairs to let the Marcel and Leo out. And cried, and cried, and cried. The wrath of sleep deprivation had gotten the best of me, and I was feeling really sorry for myself. 

I kept thinking about when we got Leo two and half years ago, and went through the stress of potty training, and teaching him to sit, lay down, and not eat everything in sight. We’d mastered all of it, and now here we were, back at square one.

But that’s how life is, right? You put all the work into reaching a certain level of mastery over a particular area, and before you know it, you’re starting all over again. And it can feel like all that work was for nothing. It’s not though, I promise.

All the work you put in is what allows you to reach the next level of mastery more efficiently than the last. It allows you to experience fewer bumps and bruises along the way because you’ve learned some things and you’ve grown. That’s kinda what it’s all about, isn’t it?

I know Marcel will be potty trained soon, and the 3 am jaunts to the backyard will end. We’ll probably be able to teach him some things even quicker than we taught Leo, because we’ve figured a lot of things out along the way. In the meantime, I’ll try to remember that when I’m running on little to no sleep.

It’s a good thing he’s cute.

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