I think I've mentioned that we now eat dinner together every night as a family. Although DH and I ate dinner together before the arrival of the cub, it was on the sofa in front of the TV. Now, we sit down at the table with plates and placemats and everything. And we talk. We tell each other about our day, babble with the cub, talk about weekend plans - when did we have these conversations before? We also eat quite early to accommodate the cub's schedule, which is way healthier for us, too. In fact, I may get nutty and start trying to exercise a little in the evening.
Dinnertime has become an especially Important Part of the Day for the dog. He knows all of the cub's meal and snack times, and whines and cries under the cub's high chair when we're running late. The cub is generous with his meals. The toddler books tell us that when the child starts to throw their food on the floor, they're done. Not so for the cub. After a few minutes of scarfing down his favorite foods for himself, as he approaches the more leisurely portion of the meal, he looks to either side of the chair to see where the dog is patiently waiting, carefully selects a morsel for him, and Bomb's Away! He's so delighted with this interaction with the dog that he sometimes gets carried away and throws his milk on the dog, too. Perhaps the dog would like some "drink" to wash down the salmon with homemade cilantro-walnut pesto and mashed potatoes with truffle oil? Very thoughtful of him, don't you think?
We've tried to tell the cub "No" and "Food stays on the tray" and such, which the cub finds hysterical. He shakes his head back and forth back at us with a big grin, mocking us: "Oh no, of course we don't throw our food to the dog, I wouldn't ever dream of doing that."
Tonight, DH went for a post-prandial walk-about and got the dog's leash. We were wondering whether he would abandon his post under the high chair for the rare treat of a walk (yes, we should walk him more often, but wait until you find out where his priorities lie). Nope, not a chance. The dog walked over to DH, sniffed the leash, confirmed there were no scraps around, and returned to his post under the chair.