Thursday, July 8, 2010

SGW: Babies & Puppies, Not the Same

Today's Special Guest Writer is Law-Momma, the blogger fabulosa of Spilled Milk {and other atrocities}.  We love her.  In a slightly unhealthy way.  She's a great writer and super funny and struggles with sleep depriviation the same way Lydia does.  Except that, unlike Lydia, she gets up early every day and puts on her big girl pants, does her pretty hair and then practices some LAW.  Lydia just gets up and puts on (sort of) clean yoga pants.  And then spends all day complaining about how tired she is. 

Law-Momma also loves her dog.  You all know how we feel about dogs.  So this post is perfect for us.  We thank you. Law Momma, for being so awesome and also for writing this hilarious post for us!

Mwah! xo, Kate and Lydia

Here's the thing… I don't care what people have told you. Dogs are nothing like babies.

I don't know where this whole rumor started but I feel that it is my duty, as a mother, to dispel it. People seem to think the hierarchy goes something like this:

1. Plant
2. Puppy
3. Baby

As in, if you can care for a plant, you can move to caring for a dog. If you can care for a dog, you can move on to caring for a baby. There are several reasons this is wrong. The first is that I could never keep plants alive. Ever. So if this were a movie, some elderly woman with a kind face would be telling me it's too soon for me to move on to the next step of getting a dog much less a baby. But here's the thing… I have both. And they ARE NOTHING ALIKE. Not to mention how different they are from plants. Seriously? Plants? They don't even cry.

I got my dog when he was just three months old. The first week that he lived with me, he spent the majority of his time under my bed. I worried about him but ultimately I figured that as long as he had water and food in his bowl, he was going to be okay. I took him out to pee and poop and I bought him toys. Hell, I even PLAYED with him a little in between my college classes.

AJ has always been a good dog. He curls up at the foot of my bed whenever I'm ready to go to sleep and he stays there until I'm ready to get up. He eats when I give him food. He holds his pee and poop until I'm ready to take him out. He pretty much rocks. And even if your dog is not as low maintenance as AJ, I feel certain that you will agree with me that WHOEVER DECIDED PUPPIES WERE THE PRECURSOR TO BABIES SMOKED SERIOUS CRACKPIPE.

My kid is NOTHING like my dog. During J's first week I was the one spending the majority of my time wishing I fit under the bed. Instead of opening the door and saying "make" or "go pee" or whatever, I was supposed to COUNT his wet diapers and his poop diapers. I had to wipe. his. ass. Seriously? In twelve years, I have never had to wipe AJ's ass. I couldn't just throw food at him either… I had to MAKE food. Like, with my boobs. And he inflicted massive amounts of pain on me all in the name of "eating." Not only was it all completely different… I didn't even learn any useful skills from dog-raising that I could use in kid-rearing.

Crate training? Yeah, that's apparently frowned upon for infants. They don't even make crib bumpers big enough to decorate a kennel.

Rationing out food and water into a bowl on the floor? Child Services seems to imply that I should refrain from that course of action.

Don't even ask about pooping and peeing outside. It's a big no-no… even if you carry a popper scooper.

So where did this myth come from? Is it just one of those things that people say to make you feel better about impending parenthood? Like "your mothering instinct will kick in" (it won't) and "you'll fall in love with your husband all over again" (you won't… or if you do, it'll be after you fall out of love, threaten divorce, beg for death and/or valium, take to kicking him in the middle of the night when it's his turn and finally resorting to withholding sex for just. one. night. of. sleep!)

Maybe it comes from the idea that if you can care for something living, you can care for all things living? But that's totally false. Because even if I'm the best dog mom on the planet, I wouldn't know what the hell to do with an elephant. So who are we kidding? Who is out there that thinks by surviving two years of puppyhood, you are magically ready to birth a child, no sweat, thanks for asking?

Nothing can prepare you for the entrance of a baby into your life. Not a dog and sure as hell not a plant. Plus, I still can't keep a plant alive. In my opinion, the hierarchy should be changed a little bit. It should go something like this:

Step One: 3 years taking care of a continuously drunk college student
Step Two: 7 years taking care of someone with short term memory loss
Step Three: 8 years of taking care of your mother or mother-in-law, living in your house, and with a nasty case of Tourette's and/or the inability to keep her opinion to herself.

If you can make it through THAT? You can handle a baby.

But you still can't put them in a crate. Sorry.

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