A year of observations:
1. When the (obedience) instructor tells you he’s not too smart, but not too dumb, you’re relieved.
No one wants the really dumb kid, but have you ever met a truly happy super smart being? Me either (Neither? See, I don’t know, but I’m happy).
2. You want them to have better dental health than you and act all holier-than-thou about it.
“You’re going to wish you ate that scrubby bone– IT’S LIKE FLOSSING FOR PUPPIES!”
3. My husband and I now text photos of poop to each other.
My God, is that a pistachio SHELL?
4. Parenting styles. ‘Nuff said.
My husband: I take him on the exact same walk every morning because he needs consistency and security. Also, he needs to pee on that bush by the house with the crab knocker, it’s tradition.
Me: No! He needs walks to different places to develop resilience and a sense of adventure. What about someday when we’re not on the East Coast within range of a house with a crab knocker and he needs to pee?
*both furiously Google to back up our stance*
5. Even though vacations without him are easier, unrestricted, and (insert positive adjective here), I still miss him constantly.
Don’t you think Wally would adore this indoor shopping trip, cruise ship, 14-hour plane ride, or (insert non-dog-friendly activity here)?
6. Fingers in unpleasant orifices.
It’s not a butt, but have you had to pry a half-eaten chicken wing off a Baltimore alley’s cement out of your child’s mouth? I think (OK, I hope) not.
7. I read an article about how to raise kids that take chances, you need to praise the effort, not the smarts/beauty/etc.
Wally, you’re so smart that you found the ball!Great effort, baby!
8. Speaking of articles (and research!). You take it to heart, even the conflicting stuff.
Why else do you think my dog listens to Reggae when we’re gone? But it definitely used to be classical, and before that, NPR.
9. At the (dog) park, I deeply feel his social triumphs and failures.
Wiley’s here! Score!… Oh shoot, that bully German Shepherd Dax again.
10. Play dates are a thing.
A real thing. That goes on the Google Calendar.
11. The first haircut is notable.
“He looks so grown-up… and less homeless.”
*quietly sobs in corner*
12. Christmas is better.
Dog treat in wrapping paper = reason to wake up (besides Christ).
13. You start an Instagram because you think you need to share the wealth, only your mom follows it, and you really don’t care because it makes you happy to find the perfect filter for that little pink nose. It’s the small things in life. Whatever.
14. You miss him so much while at work that you briefly consider a Rodan + Fields or Beach Body career.
15. You’ve read the literature. You know the drawbacks. That thing is 100% not sleeping in bed with you.
(Well, maybe just once… a night)
16. And, they eventually leave you.
So you can’t have your life *completely* revolve around them.
*Disclaimer: I know nothing of actual parenting, but have noticed some similarities between my experience and the more high stakes world of children.