Will They Ever Learn?

We had just sat down for dinner, we were having our normal loud family dinner talks (since we don’t really know how to be quiet in this house). As dinner progress we heard a commotion in the kitchen. Charlie our “puppy” decided once again to take on our cat Lilly. As Charlie tries to back her into a corner, Lilly fights back with hissing and slapping, in which Charlie thinks is playtime. Charlie only backs down when the actual claws come out. This is a scene that happens more often than not in our house. Lilly leaves the comfort of whatever room she is in, gets noticed usually by Charlie first and then Jorj and then all bets are off. Lilly always wins. Charlie always gets her nose slapped and will probably never learn.

This seems to be a sequence that happens with dogs and skunks except that usually the outcome in much more stinky. I know sometimes the dog wins but usually the skunk runs off as the scent of “victory” is left behind. Some dogs are granted access inside the house only to be thrown into the nearest bathroom to be hosed down with the magical skunk spray removal. Owners (including myself the first time) naively think that their beloved pet will learn from this stinky mistake, until the next time it happens.

I was sitting on the couch the other day when my son decided to play a “prank” on his older sister. Sadly of my three kids these two don’t get along very well. Most days they tolerate each other, but for the most part if there is going to be an argument in the house it will be between these two. My daughter was outside collecting sticks for a project she was doing. My son decided it would be fun to hold the door shut when he saw that she was coming in. This didn’t turn out very well, she got in, yelled at him and huffed away. This is not a new thing, and you would think my son would learn, but he has way too much mischief to stop.

We must all be insane in this house, since even the great Albert Einstein defined it as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. My dogs will never learn to leave the cat alone. Dogs and even some cats can’t seem to learn when you mess with a skunk you are going to get sprayed. My son will always do something to annoy his sister and his sister will always have a quick comeback to that annoyance. My hubby will always try and fix things and I will always assume that he will try and fix any problem that is said out loud. Teenagers will always think that they are right, and at least for me I will look at them and think I used to be that way too.

I think on some levels we will learn. We will grow and stop doing the stupid things we did. Sometimes it’s fun not to “learn from the experience”. If Charlie the pup could talk she would probably tell us how fun it is to chase and bug the cat. When the skunk puts up a fight or starts running I bet every dog out there thinks “YES let’s go!” For the rest of us, maturity will help us to learn, experiences will help us to learn, but we can probably say that we actually did learn. Until next time:

Some of the best lessons we ever learn were learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.

Dale Turner

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