The Tattle-Tail



My husband and I began parenthood with a two-year-old…our son. I bet you thought I was referring to our dog. You could argue we began parenthood with a “fur baby”, sure. Our floppy hound mutt from the good ol’ mountains of Tennessee was definitely a good start to our parenting life…figuring out how to train him by trial and error, feeling unsettled in our new life with him for a while, finally experiencing a breakthrough of hope, and loving this awkward pup with all our hearts. But it’s not the same as a child. I am the biggest animal lover, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not the same.

I’m especially remembering our early days with our son, freshly home from South Korea through adoption. We didn’t have the mushy, snuggly newborn days as our start — no time to adjust to this new life in secret, with a clueless baby human in the room. We couldn’t just mack anytime we wanted in our beginning days. We had a fully aware, 34-month-old child. We were ON constantly. We’d chase him around the house, sun up to sundown, and hope for a nap somewhere in the middle. Now, I’m not claiming we had it harder than most of the world making babies. I have yet to experience that, but I know it’s exhausting too. And I know that’s an understatement.

Life before our son, we were naturally used to doing whatever we wanted, whenever and wherever. So in between all the chasing, playing, reading books, and snack requests, when he’d find a toy in the other room to hold his interest for a few minutes, I’m not going to lie., my handsome-mansome and I have tried to use that time wisely in the kitchen to connect a little. But do you think it’s that easy? Yeah, no. The moment we embrace and our lips touch, we’re met with the weirdest, gaping-jowled, uneasy HOWLING — a mix between wookiee and the sounds of a dying animal coming from this face:

Ralph — My awkward hound with the snout. So. Weird.

Yeah, he’s cute. His freckled nose, floppy ears, wide snout all capture my love on the daily. And all of his strange, funny antics are collectively endearing. He is certainly an adored “baby” in our family.

But to this day, it never fails. Our curious kiddo hears the commotion from the other room and toddles into the kitchen to see what’s going on. Have you heard the saying, “Sex begins in the kitchen“? Well, it’s not true when you have this creature monitoring you, tattling every time you make a move toward each other.

Here’s the trade-off though: There is a sweetness to bringing our first little human home to our hound puppy. After the initial shock of noise and busyness from this miniature version of us, Ralph has taken our son on as his very own. Our dog sleeps in our son’s room now, and on our family walks he confidently strides alongside him. A tail that used to be tucked between his legs with nervous awareness now stands with assured presence as the little human’s protector. What’s sweeter than a child transforming an anxious pup into one with newfound confidence and sense of purpose? I love this new, comfortable version of our pup. His growth makes me so proud.


I’m sure there’s some training we could do to thwart his tattling in the kitchen. Will we ever pursue that? Honestly, probably not. There are other more pressing things in life right now. But I guess I’ll take a confident, happy tattle-tail over the timid, anxious dog he used to be. And hubby and I will settle for laughter over our poorly timed advances, and reschedule to a time more comfortable for everyone!

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Amanda is from upstate New York, married her Tennessee guy in 2011, and moved to Charleston the next day. They adopted two toddler boys from South Korea in 2017 and 2019. She loves to share her heart about adoption, and humor lent by beginning motherhood with her toddler who spoke another language. Amanda has a social work degree and a background in non-profit work. She enjoys her awkward floppy hound, assertive cuddly cat, and constantly sings (commonly incorrect lyrics) throughout the day. She is always up for creating, helping out at her boys' schools, and occasionally dancing, playing the drums, and singing out in the community!


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