Pregnant;  newborn; toddler; pre-schooler- PARENT

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We got a puppy.

His name is Pad-Foot Canis in honor of the dog characters in Harry Potter and The Sister Grimm books.

A big deal for a family.

Yet, not such a big deal to write about here at my space.

And yet.

This being our first ever canine member of the family I found myself not knowing what to expect at all. This not knowing and acquiring a puppy had quite the domino effect on the equilibrium of our family that I think is worth sharing.

{I bet the farm someone has written What To Expect When You Are Expecting: Puppy Edition, by now.}

The following is the bizarre feeling of deja`vu I experienced the evening prior to getting the puppy and lasting till the second day with him.

Pregnant:

Pregnant how?

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*Me spending hours at Barnes and Noble browsing and comparing expert puppy advice books and taking detailed notes on the book I finally settled on, to make me feel more prepared and in control of something new.

*Me spending hours and hundreds of dollars at TJMaxx on cute yet chic stuff “we need” for the newest edition to our family.

*Me getting a late night whirlwind of energy of the psychopathic variety to “get everything organized”.

*Me nesting by re-arranging where the puppy pillow bed and accessories would go then spending an hour turning a simple dog leash hook into a mixed media craft complete with quotes from literature.

*Me being mean because I am stressed declaring “I’m the only freakin’ person getting ready!” to my family.

*Me feeling like this is a big mistake, convinced I am not cut out for this.

Total flashbacks of my pregnancy-persona.  

Newborn.

Newborn how?

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*Pad-Foot crying and whimpering all night the first night.

*Me feeling guilty for not getting up because I am exhausted.

*Me getting out 12 seconds after I decide I am not going to get up.

*Tim sleeps through it all which pisses me off.

Total flashback of my newborn-in-the-house persona.

Toddler.

Toddler how?

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*Pad-Foot examining, turning over, chewing, trying to ingest everything in his line of vision and grasp.

*Me saying “No!” 97 times an hour, but always, always hesitating the moment before wondering if this is a bad behavior or just mere young curiosity.

*Me hoping I am doing this right and not causing terrible habits or setting wrong precedents.

*Me too tired to worry about such things come after dinner.

*Us having way too many conversations about pee and poop.

Total flashback of my second-guessing-exhausted-toddler-training-brain.

 Pre-schooler.

Pre-schooler how?

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*Pad-Foot following me around everywhere.

*Pad-Foot looking around frantically if he can’t see me.

*Pad-Foot’s presence making laundry a twice as long chore because of an intense fascination with baskets holding clothes.

*Me enjoying it despite.

Total Pre-schooler-not-letting-me-get-anything-done-persona.

******************************************************** 

This was such an unexpected experience. {Despite my efforts to be prepared reading the experts; just like with babies!}

It was five years of stages coming into sharp memory focus in the span of the first 48 hours with our puppy.

I can see why couples chose pets over children, man. I really can.

One gets the thrill of newness and sweet relationship and shopping binge of a baby coming, but without all that fussy eighteen years of development thing dragging your life to a halt.

Reflecting on this I noted another superior advantage to canine over human:

The likelihood of others judging you for the rest of your natural life if your dog does or does not do brag-worthy tricks, does well or not so well at obedience school, what he eats or does not eat, acts like at Target,- is very, very low.

The likelihood of all of these judgments on you from people who do not even know you or your child and all the subsequent life long guilt over it- is unavoidable.

However, I am still completely happy and without any regret with us having four daughters in seven years {which equates one quarter of century of child rearing} prior to being “parents” to a puppy.

I cringe thinking about how much worse of a mood, how much more our stress would of  flowed, run over, should we have simultaneously raised little humans and a dog.

I would like to write it was because I was just smart or lucky it did not work out that way or something to that effect and leave it at that.  But really it is not my smarts and there is no such thing as luck. It comes down to a single reality:

Wisdom.

Summed up, I chose to seek God and know myself. In seeking God in every single aspect of our unceasing rotating door of life little pictures of what will bless what will not bless us started to take shape. Understanding and wisdom rose slowly, broke the surface in the waters of our swirling minds.  It is then that one gets real pragmatic about self.

Know thyself.

The pregnant/baby/toddler/pre-school years were really hard on me.  I did not take to it gracefully, thought it was always the desire of my heart, and I love having children.  Sin nature is keenly seen and felt. Sanctification must happen or sin becomes choke hold.

Pad-Foot could not be thrown into such dicey waters. It would of been bad for him and us.

Of course, the struggle over letting Christ nature wash and renew over sin nature never ceases, but the seasons change.

It seems this is our both working, raising older kids, homesteading, dog season. But I have the summer completely off; thus the puppy now {wisdom}.

Next on the list: chickens.

Cheers

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