I envisioned several challenges as we adjusted to becoming a multi-generational household. I knew we’d have some bumps in the road. I was concerned about the adjustment of adding a four legged family member when Mom moved in. But, I did not prepare myself for the battle between two of our hard-headed, stubborn family members…and I’m not talking about me and Mom.
My kid is jealous of a 5 pound dog. She is used to being queen bee in our house and pretty much anywhere she goes. Being the only grandchild on one side of the family and the only girl on the other side makes her pretty damn spoiled. She is not used to sharing anyone’s attention.
Pup-Pup is used to being queen bee in Mom’s house. I can’t say she is also loved everywhere else because she turns into psycho pup anytime someone new comes around. Don’t let the sweet face fool you. She has been Mom’s baby for going on 5 years. She is not used to sharing anyone’s attention.
Well, it turns out that Munchkin is VERY jealous of Pup-Pup and vice versa. And, I’m sitting over here going, “Are you kidding me?!?!” This is how ridiculous it is getting. The kid tells me (as I’m holding the dog), “You must love Pup-Pup more than me. You are holding HER and not your BABY.” And she starts to cry! I explain I can hold them both and then she gripes the dog has more room. Mom made the mistake of telling Munchkin that she is the number one grandkid and Pup-Pup was number one dog. OH NO, that’s not enough. She has to be number one and the dog always number two. And she tells the dog this all the time. Plus, I swear, Pup-Pup will jump up on me and then grin at Munchkin just to get her all riled up. It’s like she KNOWS and it kind of creeps me out.
Now, I’d never make the comparison of, “this must be how it is for an older child getting a new sibling” because I know it isn’t even close. I really can’t stand those comparisons of kids and pets. But, I’ve got to find some way for this spoiled kid of mine NOT to be jealous of a 5 pound ball of fur. I mean, I can’t expect to reason with Pup-Pup. She’s a dog for pete’s sake. The problem is four year old kids just aren’t rational. Most of the time I’m yelling in my head, “AM I REALLY HAVING THIS CONVERSATION???”
Now, Mom is the optimistic one. She keeps telling us that they will both adjust. I seriously wonder. I mean, Pup-Pup pooped in Munchkin’s room just to tick her off. I guess I’m good as long as Munchkin doesn’t retaliate in the same way. J keeps saying he’s going to take Pup-Pup to the pound, but then Munchkin gets all mad and yells at him. It’s like she has found her arch nemesis and no one else better try to take her away even though she is jealous.
I Google, “How to help adjust kids to dogs” and all the advice is how to make your pet behave around kids. That is NOT the problem I am having. I have two jealous half pints that need couples therapy. The articles tell me to “choose the right dog at the right time.” Yeah, you don’t get that luxury when you are in the sandwich generation.
Another piece of advice is to establish house rules for our 4 legged friend. Shoot, half the time we can’t get the tiny human to listen to the house rules. The fourth article in the Google search was, “Helping kids adjust to divorce.” Hmmm…not real sure about why that one popped up but clearly Google believes the two situations are related.
The only thing that seems to make sense is the advice about “pack mentality.” Both Pup-pup and Munchkin are trying to be the leader of the pack and dominate one another. Unfortunately neither submit very well to the bigger people in the household so it is clear WE are not the leaders of the pack. They are in a fight for leader of the house. They are locked in an epic struggle of power. Maybe I should get them both capes and turn it into a YouTube channel?
So there you go–another major adjustment and no real solution when a family adjusts to a multi-generational household. I will keep you posted on who wins the struggle for domination. I still hold out hope for the cowering parents and Nana.