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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  1. Ahahahaha! So funny and so true! My husband and I decided to get puppy #2 when I was 6 months pregnant with baby #1 - wow what a mistake! Now I have 3 kids under 5 AND two beagles. No one will either listen to me or stop shrieking/howling at me when they are hungry/tired/have to go the bathroom (or already did). My advice? Stick to plants - as she said - They don't even cry! :)

  2. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

  3. I think the myth comes from fathers who are less than hands on with babies. Admit it, some dad's infants really are as much work as a puppy because they just pass the buck...or baby in this case.

  4. I love the hierarchy as you see it, its a good general time line of what to expect of your children. We are in the 7 years of living with someone with short term memory loss phase of child rearing (as well as the 3 years with a drunkard). Ugh, do you think the short term memory loss will really last that long!!!

  5. oh... mahhh... this is so funny.
    Seriously, I am super jealous that I didn't think of this because it is brilliant!

  6. The latest episode of Last Comic Standing has a woman, Laurie Kilmartin, commenting on this very thing. She mentioned that unlike with a dog she can't go to Vegas for the weekend and have a friend just pop in on Sunday afternoon to make sure the baby is ok.
    Also, in your hierarchy you forgot to mention the 3 years of caring for someone with a colostomy bag. The poopy part is the one that is very important to learn. Kids don't house train as easily as a puppy.

  7. Love it, love LawMomma and love that I'm not the only one who can raise puppies and babies but kills all decorative plants (I can grow vegetables but if you can't eat it, forget about it). Also, they DO make bumpers for dog crates, we had some. My dog ate them and then crapped them out all over my patio.

  8. Hahaha you rock! This was great. Hubby wants a puppy and we have two toddlers and are ttc number #3 I'm like, are you fruckin crazy?? Because yes like the previous comment for daddy that's no big issue.... Who will be feeding said puppy? Me... And who will be walking said puppy? This girl.... And who will be cleaning up all the poop in thisbhouse? You guessed it.... And who gets the excitement of walking in the door to daddy daddy and woof!! After a hard days work to babies an a puppy ready for bed? That guy.... No thanks daddy....

  9. mae made me crate my dog only ate swimsuits and socks...whole.and then crapped them out in the backyard. so far, my kids have not done that!!

  10. As soon as they make baby kennels legal, I'd consider having another kid. But until then? Our two will suffice.

    And my doggies eat crayons and crap them out. It's all "THAT's what happened to the Cornflower Blue." And, horrifyingly, Barbie hands. (Bite off the hands and swallow them whole)

    Imagine, if you will, a dog crap with BARBIE HANDS STICKING OUT. It's like "Get me OUTTA here!"

    I came _this_ close to taking a picture, but stopped myself in the name of sanity.

  11. So true! After successfully raising 2 dogs, we *thought* we were ready for kids.... Yeah, notsomuch...
    RockerByeBaby - Don't cave! I was dumb enough to get a puppy when my twins were 20 months old. They all whine at the same time - drives me absolutely batty - and my house is total chaos. My carpet will never recover...

  12. made me snort my coffee! Thank you!

  13. I love me soe Law Momma! I love the thought about taking care of a drunk college student!!!

  14. As I vet I can't tell you how many times I have had clients who are SO ridiculously paranoid about their little baby dogs, and I seriously feel bad for whomever will someday be their pediatrician when they decide they have had enough practice and can now move on to a person. Ugh.

  15. LOL!!!!!!!! That is SO funny! Seriously, I never got this either! We didn't get our first dog until our oldest was 7 :)

  16. LOVE the part about falling more in love with the husband. Totally had me laughing out loud. Thanks for the post!!

  17. Believe me, it doesn't get much better. My girls are 11 and 7 and I still think I should stopped at the plan. Heck, I kill fake plants. I also have 4 dogs. Between the 6 of them and hubby, someone in this house always needs me for something.

  18. Oh my gosh that is so freaking hilarious! Thanks ladies!

  19. can i put my mom in the crate? especially if she comes to live with me? lol.

  20. Hilarious! I think there are some similiarities, not that puppies and babies are alike but that the effect they have on your life is similar. I had a friend who adopted a puppy right when I had my daughter. My friend and I were both sleep-deprived, sex-deprived, and stunned at how much time and energy was sucked from our lives when we became parents to our respective new additions. I think the part where you have to constantly think of how your actions will affect another being (ie, can't just take off for a vacation on the spur of the moment) is good preparation for parenthood. Then again, I've been a parent for 2 years and have yet to have a dog! Anyway, great post!

  21. I love this! As the mother of four children, I wholeheartedly agree with the three steps. The bit about living with one's MIL who has Tourette's?! So good. I don't even have words. My MIL doesn't have Tourette's but I couldn't live with her for love or money. I'd rather birth an actual puppy. I digress.

  22. Bwahaha!! I love this because it's so true! I have 5 dogs and even with them outnumbering the humans they're still a quarter of the work the kids are!!

  23. What I love is people who have dogs, but no kids. That dog is their child. I get it. Mine is not a dog, but a cat. Easier than a dog, but he was our baby. I had photo albums dedicated to him. He sat on Santa's lap at the local pet store for pictures. I had his picture on my desk. You get the picture.
    Then you have a baby, come home from the hospital and low and behold, you find out your furry baby is......*gasp*....just an animal. Not a baby afterall. A much beloved animal, but a pet nonetheless. People crazy about their dogs who haven't had kids will never understand this. Pets are nothing like kids and how you feels about them is not even in the same ballpark, no matter how much you love your dog.

  24. I had someone say to me that if I couldn't count on DH to feed the dog I wouldn't be able to count on him to take care of the baby. WTF?

  25. Seriously, and you can just throw a plant out into the yard when you get sick of it! Composting is very acceptable right now.

  26. i dunno. i don't think the animals are that different from small babies. the whole, trying to keep them from putting poisonous/electrified things in their mouth... steering them away from danger in general.

    fwiw, i have pets AND a baby.

  27. I totally disagree! My dog is more high maintenance than my 5 mo. old. It totally depends on the temperment of the dog!

  28. Hahaha! This is so funny -- and true. I don't have kids buy my little sister was born when I was 12. My dad had a job requiring lots of travel and my mother has degenerative discs in her neck and often ends up bedridden. So guess who had to get up in the middle of the night with the baby? That's right! Now I'm married with a dog and when the dog wakes me up at 6am to pee I literally think "I'm going to put the dog in the fenced back yard with a bone AND GO BACK TO SLEEP! WOOOHOOOOOOOOO!" And then I do. And I am so happy. Not to digress, but my husband has started asking when I'll be ready to have kids. I sure hope this ticking clock thing kicks in because otherwise, I don't think I'll be able to do it....

  29. As a professional dog trainer, turned stay at home mom, I have to say that dogs are good preparation for parenthood in some ways. You get used to dealing with disgusting things (puke on the carpet, poop in the living room, sand in your bed, mud in the hallway, snort marks on windows, etc). This was good prep for disgusting poopy diaper explosions, snot factory colds and more. When I have behaviour questions about what to do with my toddler, I go consult the staff at the Early Years Center or Triple P and they give me an answer that is typically the exact same answer I would give to a dog parent asking about a similar behaviour. Now I save myself the trip, imagine a puppy was doing X bad behaviour, and I know what the right way to teach is from there. (Please note: this only works for positive trainers, not Cesar Millan or Monks of New Skete types!).

  30. Step for take care of grandma with Alzheimers who uses depends.




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