My Total Truths is a series based on MY truths; a list of things that I know to be true and have served as mini life lessons in my experience.
# 5 - Dogs Make Good Pets but Even Better Children.
Olive and Jersey after Ray, our groomer, came to give them some TLC
When I got pregnant everyone kept telling me that the dogs would become less important because now I would have a real baby that would need taking care of. They would look at poor Jersey and tell him as he was getting picked up in my arms to get it out of his system because his days were numbered. I have to say that to some degree they were right, but not in the way that you may think. Let me explain.
It is not that I have forgotten about the dogs with the birth of our beautiful Rafaella. It is not that I love her so much that the dogs have fallen to the wayside and have become a memory of single, childless me. It is, what I imagine, happens to the first child when their parents have a second child. The first child doesn't become "old news" they simply become a different story, a story that has been written and editted and doesn't need as much work as the new one. Parents don't love the first one any less, but the first doesn't need as much attention as the second for obvious reasons. This is what has happened to Olive and Jersey. THey have become my first child.
With Rafaella needing so much attention - constant (and I mean constant) feedings (and that's a whole other blog that I need more energy and enthusiasm to write about) and sporadic nap times, and with me having to pump, eat, and write the occasional blog (so as to not lose my entire mind), my day is gone in the pump of a breast. (I must say that I look at 1950's stay at home moms very differently than I ever did. How were they homemakers and moms at the same time? Did 1950's babies sleep because in the 50's drinking vodka tonics during the day wasn't looked down upon? I can't imagine any other way.)
Before last night, and last night was AMAZINGLY lovely with getting to watch Grey's Anatomy, I haven't sat on the couch in 3 weeks. My, almost back to my original weight a**, has been cemented to our baby recliner feeding, pumping, cowing, feeding. Poor Jersey and Olive, the best dogs on the planet, follow me from room to room but with something always in my hands or arms (baby, bottles, sandwiches) there is not as much time for them. They still get what they need but the extra time I used to have is no longer mine. And so any free moment that I have, which is now only a few minutes a day, I try to sit with them and pet them and give them kisses but it doesn't always feel like enough.
But isn't this what happens to all first borns. "Mommy has to feed the baby, but we'll play dress up later, ok?" Isn't this why my sister threw a bottle at my head when I was a baby? She was jealous. Used to being the only one getting attention and now being forced to share it with another little human sucks - but it's natural. It isn't that my sister, or other first borns, are loved less than the second, they just don't need you as much.
And, yes, I know. I am aware that I am comparing my dogs to first borns. I am also aware that some people will take offense to me insinuating that there is any comparison between dogs and babies. I can hear the offended now, saying it is blasphemous for me to even put the two in the same category. Be offended. I'm fine with that. I love my baby. I love my dogs. I love my husband. I love my life. Why can't I love them all?
Guess what? I can.