Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Turn

Tonight is my wife's work party ... I was supposed to go, but we got a call today for a showing on our house tomorrow morning, so now I'll spend the night cleaning and prepping our home (perhaps we'll get a bid?) As noted in an earlier post, our home is on the market, and the activity has been very slow. Each of the showings we've had to date has brought with it a great deal of optimism, excitement and teasing hopes that we might actually sell our house and move up North. So, this is our first showing in over 3 weeks ... we have to make it count, so I get to clean.

My wife and I used to wake up on Saturday mornings, drink coffee and spend about 2 hours in an all out joint cleaning effort prior to going about our days. My job was to dust, vacuum, wipe down stainless steel appliances, swiffer and organize while my wife cleaned bathrooms, put away laundry, cleaned the kitchen and whatever other tasks remained. This was a great system - my wife and I both appreciate a clean house, and neither of us really mind cleaning all that much, so this was a fairly enjoyable routine. That all changed when we got our puppy. Since my wife will be at her work party I will assume full responsibility for prepping our home for tomorrow's showing. I'm already nervous about how I'm going to get all of this cleaning done tonight while simultaneously watching our puppy ... anyhow, this prompts some thoughts on puppy rearing vs. child rearing.

Our puppy demands 100% of our attention ... look away for more than 10 seconds and he'll start chewing on cords, eating the Christmas tree or biting your feet. Then you have to bring him outside every 20 minutes so he can do his business (we estimate we brought him outside over 40 times last Sunday) He cries at night, and we have to bring him outside every 4 hours or he'll make a mess in his crate (and eat the evidence) This is all a lot of work, but it is very much worth it when he falls asleep on your lap, or tries to sleep as close to you as he can. He's a cute little guy, especially when he's sleeping, is very affectionate and very dependent on us for everything. Most importantly, he has diverted our attention from infertility to something else ... and he makes us laugh.

A baby, by my estimation, would require a similar amount of work ... I would even guess that it would be LESS work, at first. A baby sleeps more, can be left alone in a swing or baby seat for a few minutes here and there, does its business in the house (in its clothes), goes to bed early and doesn't bite. Either way, this puppy has opened our eyes just a little to how our lives will change when our parenting days begin. If we had not failed our first IVF cycle, we would not have gotten this puppy ... I shudder to think that Cooper might have ended up with some Amish family, forced to pull a plow through fields, or churn butter all day. Perhaps we needed the primer on parenting offered by puppy rearing prior to getting into the game of parenting human children. I've always heard people say that your priorities change the second you become a parent. I'm attached to my little puppy, but nowhere near what I will be to the baby we will one day have (our own, or adopted), but I can say my priorities have changed a little bit ... that small amount of attachment between me and the dog, however, has been insightful into what I expect the world of parenting to be like.

Anyways, if there are pools of blood lying around on this blog tomorrow, please don't be alarmed - it will likely be falling out of the holes Cooper will put in my body tonight while I clean. Hopefully these people will buy our house ... we need a break, and a bid would be a very welcomed one.

FYI - Prior to owning a dog I would have read this and said: Bullshit ... I feel a little differently about things now.

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