I’ve said before that seeing the pigs interact with my son is one of my favourite parts of motherhood. Today I wanted to talk a little bit more about their special relationship and how it has evolved since we brought our baby boy home from the hospital almost 1 year ago.
I won’t lie: The first month or two was chaotic. Jersey was, as usual, cool as a cucumber and didn’t give a single shit about anything.. But Oslo, in normal Oslo fashion, was anxious, obsessive, and manic. Every time I breast fed the baby (which, as any new parent would know, is basically 24/7) he would pace the room, quivering with anxiety, and do whatever he could to hump Jersey. I don’t know what it was about my feeing the baby that made him so unhinged, but it got to the point where we had to put Oslo away in a different room any time I fed the baby. Which, of course, made me feel terrible because it meant that he spent a good chunk of the day ‘put away’.
Oslo would do whatever he could to be close to the baby, meaning that we could never ever leave Bennett floor-level or Oslo would absolutely smother him. Ossie would stand around and quiver from excitement, just waiting for a small opportunity to get at the baby. It felt like he was constantly under foot– following me absolutely everywhere as I carried my 3 week old infant in my arms. I can’t tell you how many times I tripped over him as he followed me *much too closely* at all times.
I was dealing with my own anxieties, stress, and adjustment period, and I will admit that in those first few weeks I was not as patient as I could have been. There was a lot of sharp words and frustration from me, towards Oslo which I feel terribly about now. I knew that Oslo would be crazy for the first little while, but HOW CRAZY he was surprised even me. Over time though, Oslo & I both began to relax though, and things levelled out.
It took a few months, but slowly slowly slowly we started being able to put the baby on the ground, and have Oslo actually listen to us when we told him to “leave it” (the universal command we use for leaving something alone– whether it be a fallen piece of food, or a human child). Of course we would never leave the baby with Oslo unattended for even 1 minute, but it was nice being able to sit on the floor with Bennett, without having to pull Oslo off him (literally) every 10 seconds.
By about 5 months old, Bennett started to really noticed the dogs. He would reach out for them as they walked past him, and would smile & laugh at them if they did anything unusual– like sneeze, play with a squeaky toy, even bark. Benny thinks it’s hilaaaaarious when the dogs bark!
Oslo, being the showman that he is, seems to be aware that Benny is watching him, and seems to go out of his way to preform for him. With Benny a captive audience sitting in his jumperoo, Oslo will do spins on the carpet, the frenchie 500, and run back and forth with his most irritating squeaky toy in his mouth. Benny responds by scream-laughing so loudly that we often think something is wrong 😉
And now, when Benny is on the floor, Oslo will come over, give Benny a few too many kisses on the face, and then sit or lay next to him. Often Oslo will share Benny’s toys– finding something to chew on until my husband or I take it away. Benny doesn’t seem to mind sharing at all.
I don’t miss those manic early days where everything felt unhinged and I worried that our household would never find equilibrium again… But I also wouldn’t trade them for the world because I think they were a necessary stepping stone to get to this place. I am so excited to see their relationship develop as our son becomes more mobile.
(As for Jersey? He still doesn’t care about the baby either way. He will happily let the baby touch and pet him– because in Jersey’s world, any human touch is good touch– but doesn’t really go out of his way to be close to the baby or interact with him much beyond the occasional ear-snuffle.)