Because Dog: The Cat Person’s Guide to Mentally Preparing for a Dog in 79 Easy Steps

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Step 1:  There is no way to mentally prepare yourself for a dog, especially if you’re a cat person, and even if you are already a parent of humans.  The End.

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Ok, just kidding.  Here are the steps that don’t actually work to prepare you for anything but you could read them anyway if you want: 

Step 1:  Be a cat person for 40 years.

Step 2:  Realize that life is short.  Boys and husband have begged for years, so let them have a dog.

Step 3:  Regret this decision immediately.  

Step 4:  Remember step 2.  

Step 5:  Repeat steps 2 and 3 multiple times.

Step 6:  Do not give local shelter your first born child.  WTH is that all about?  We have three healthy boys and three healthy cats!  I’m pretty sure we know how to take care of living things.  No one did a home visit before we left the hospital– “We’re sorry, your house does not yet have socket protectors or a baby gate, you cannot bring your child home.  Also, we need to call three people who know you and also have children to see if you will be fit parents, as well as a pediatrician who will release all of your other children’s medical records to us.  If these do not meet our standards, we will give your child to someone else.”  That place was MENTAL.  

Step 7:  Do not reinvent the wheel–go back to the wonderful shelter where you rescued your kitties.  

Step 8:  Visit several times over several weeks.  Become discouraged.  Repeat steps 2 and 3.

Step 9:  On the 5th visit,  decide to give a dog a trial run at home with the shelter’s “Pajama Party” program.  Watch the family fall in love over the weekend, and maybe do the same (but don’t tell anyone).  

Step 10:  Decide to keep the dog.

Step 11:   Panic.  Repeat step 2.   Panic.  And so on, indefinitely.

Step 12:  Become more broke than you already were because boys/kids.

Steps  13, 14, 15, 16 and 17:  Spend 95% of your time cleaning up pee and poop in the house, spend 95% of your time cleaning up poop outside,  spend 95% of your time washing dog-smell bedding,  spend 95% of your time saying “Good Girl!” (Freaking exhausting for this cat-person who believes in intrinsic motivation. Do you really need that much praise?  I mean, I like validation, but can’t I just remind her once in a while? And does she really need to follow me around all of the time?  Yes, I like you too, now stop needing me constantly.  Geezus, it’s like an insecure boyfriend who keeps asking if you’re mad at him), spend 95% of your time saying “Oh my God!! Drop it!  What the hell are you doing?! Where’s the dog?! Get down! NO! Leave it!! Don’t eat that!! DOG!!! And, OH MY GOD THAT IS DISGUSTING!!!!”

Step 18:  Nearly have an anxiety attack because holy crap what have you gotten yourself into and how are you supposed to function in life if this thing is causing turmoil all over the place and the poor kitties are scared to death and you have no time to even think let alone sit down.

Step 19:  Watch it get a little easier every few days.

Step 20:  Watch yourself melt when the dog shows you unconditional love and affection. (Deny it if mentioned.)  Realize that she really needed us.

Step 21:  Watch your boys smile, laugh, relax, and be comforted and understood by this difficult and adoring creature who has just thrown a giant wrench in your life. 

Step 22:  Feel completely overwhelmed and want to run away because boys AND dog.

Steps 23-76:  WINE

Step 77:  Watch your husband light up every day and brim with emotion because he has wanted a dog his entire life.  

Step 78:  Allow your ever-shifting standards to sway, step away and look at yourself standing in the center of the storm, and hang on for the ride.  

Step 79:  Remind yourself that change is the only constant–my ever-present undercurrent of consciousness.  Change is the only constant.  And man, it sure makes my heart happy to see my family smile.  Also wine.

 

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!@#$%^&*()

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tuna code picture

I came out from putting the littles to bed to find Tuna running out of my room looking guilty. He said he left something for me to solve. Uhhh, anyone? Runes? Gah, my kid is smarter than I am.

Me: “I don’t know this code.  Runes?”

Tuna shakes his head, smacks his forehead, “You don’t know your history, do you?”

Me: “I know quite a bit of history, just not this code.” (little punk)

Tuna: “Ok, here’s another hint: think Free Masons. You need to look it up and learn it.  Then we can leave each other notes.

Wtf?  Because it’s too easy to just write notes in English?  And why/where is he learning codes from the Free Masons?  I mean, I agree that they’re fascinating (in fact, we had a conversation a while ago about them); but seriously? Can’t we just do something relatively normal around here? (Stupid question, duh!)  This kid…

He came back in a while later ( he’s supposed to be in his freaking bed), and asked if I solved it. NO!  No, I haven’t solved it. I had said I’d put it on hold.  I have homework (and now a blegh post) to do.  GO TO BED.

I know I did stuff like this as a kid.  I absolutely love it that he is interested in stuff like this (he is obsessed with history, especially ancient Egypt). I will learn the darn code and write him maybe one reply, and then we can do the cute note thing with actual words. I get it, he doesn’t want Binker reading our notes.  But maybe cursive will do for a while??

I love that kid.  And, wtf?  And, what the hell does pig pen have to do with the Free Masons?

And he’s the one smacking his forehead.

*Apparently there is a code called a pigpen cipher. Apparently other people know this. Apparently I didn’t.

Whatever.

Emojis and Blue Phallic Jellyfish

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Yesterday, the girl at the drive through said “hi” to Binker as if he were 2 years old. He’s actually like 18 in his mind, so he just stared at her and said “Hi” back in a monotone voice. She asked what grade he’s in (This is not the typical “here’s your happy meal” interaction, right?), and I said kindergarten. In a singsong voice she said “Oh, I’m a junior in high school! You have to catch up to mee! Hehe, I’m just kidding, bye bye!” Binker and I drove away, and I swear he was also thinking “WHAT was THAT?” I said something like “Well, she was friendly”, but he wasn’t buying it. And ironically, his stuffed emoji in his happy meal was the “Whatever” face. whatever emoji

Later on, a discussion in one of my facebook groups got me thinking about the interactions we have with strangers. Why do we ask “how are you today?”  Is it because we really want to know, or just because it’s polite?  Most of the time it’s “I’m fine, thanks”, and you move on with your business.  Sometimes (too often with me) it’s “nice to meet your problemsImeanyou”.  I must have “tell me all about your kids/divorce/illness/random problem” on my forehead, and our conversation turns into a psychology session.  So, maybe that’s why I am wary of talking to strangers…and sometimes actually looking at them…and sometimes going out into public at all… 

I find that sometimes these random personal conversations do hold some meaning, and it’s a significant exchange.  I live with the belief that there’s meaning in everything. So, I could take away from that interaction a reminder that my Binker is unique, and that we in our family thrive on mindful discussion.  I’m not sure how many five-year-olds would look at that girl as anything other than friendly.  So, I guess we have to acknowledge that these boring, unintelligent, and seemingly meaningless interactions are always there to show us something. (That’s why I made sure to say that the girl was nice.) We just have to consciously remember to think this way, you know, to avoid the slip into existential dread.

Binker is totally allowed to think “whatever” though!  I mean really, she might as well have hovered a squeaky toy above his head.

In honor of mindfulness, and finding the sunny side and all that, I will now show you my mother’s day gift.  It was chosen by Tuna and Binker, and I have given it a place of honor on my sunny back porch.  I did such a good job of  NOT LAUGHING when I opened it! They went to one of my favorite stores, walked all over the store, and chose this phallic blue jellyfish just for me.  I was the best actress!  I do like it, and HAHAHAHAHA it’s a four-tailed chiming glass sperm!!!!!  Look at its sparkling magnificence in the sun! Thanks, boys.  This made my optimistic day.  Happy Mother’s day, and may all of you find the joy and humor in your seemingly meaningless moments.  

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It’s snot an emergency

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Binker stuck a Lego up his nose (#becauseboys #because5 😐). I freaked and told him not to MOVE and don’t BREATHE  and DON’T DO ANYTHING!  I ran to him with tweezers and a flashlight. I couldn’t see it! Then, Tuna walks up and says “Binker, plug your left nostril and blow hard.” He did, and the lego hand plus wads of snot flew onto my arm and leg.(EW!)
That was some logical thinking from my absent-minded professor, who hardly keeps a cool head! And I’ve always called Binker my steady guy.

I  imagine what Latefordinner and I must have looked like to them, running around like whack jobs, headless chickens looking for tweezers and yelling “somebody hold the light!!  I can’t see it! Bawk Bawk bawk!” This scenario sums up why teenagers think their parents are idiots. “Wtf is wrong with you, parents? It’s a Lego hand. It’s funny. Just pretend it’s snot, Binker.”

I remember looking at my parents and wondering why everything was such an emergency, and now I see the other side. This is another center of the cyclone lesson–relax,  and know that this snot too will pass. I’m super proud of Tuna, a little disturbed by Binker’s choice, and amused at these two headless chickens. Don’t rush to the tweezers, yo. You have the power in you. And if you don’t, your kid does.

Alien scarves

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I have a theory that infinity scarves are, in fact, alien creatures here to slowly take over the Earth in a calculated manner. (Stay with me. It’s winter in Michigan and I’m under stress, so I get weird, ok?) I resisted the things for a while because I’m not really a scarf person (except for when it’s below zero and screw that I’m wearing 17 scarves on top of 8 coats). I was gifted a homemade infinity scarf two years ago and I held it up like it was an alien creature.

“I love it!  What is it?”

“It’s an infinity scarf.”

“Ohhhh.”

That was about it–the extent to which I thought deeply about the thing (except for how nice it was that my cousin made it for me!  How awesome is that?)–and it hung on a hook for two years with my other pretty scarves I didn’t wear.  I don’t know what to do with those things… I’d have to watch youtube tutorials on how to wear a scarf, and then I just feel stupid because I’d have to watch youtube tutorials on how to wear a scarf, so they all just hang together on a hook.

Over the last couple of years I have noticed a trickle of infinity-scarf-consciousness seeping into the masses.  It probably started with the fashion industry, which I know nothing about (obviously–youtube…); and then flowed into the media and everyday people and stuff.  The first instance that sparked my theory (forgive me, science people.  I don’t know if I should be saying “hypothesis” or “theory” here, so I’m just going with “theory”.)(Sorry, I’m taking a science class right now so I’m all paranoid about sounding like I’m not sciency.)  Anyway, the first instance was the movie Inside Out at the part where Riley is new in her class and Disgust says “We want to be friends with her, look at her she’s wearing an infinity scarf.”  My first thought was “Oookayyy, I guess it’s good that Disgust said that, because we don’t want kids thinking superficially like that”.  My second thought was, “infinity scarf?” Again, no deeper than that.

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And then the hollow space developed that would soon house my theory.

I sit in classes with mostly young women, some guys, and a sprinkle of older students like me.  As I looked around my classes–every single one–I saw infinity scarves on at least half of the women, and even on a couple of guys on campus. Today, it was as if they had multiplied and spread across the population.  Now, I get their appeal–they are easy to wear and super soft and cute too…mostly.

It’s just that they are starting to get bigger, and looking more like abnormal growths than fashionably warm accessories.  They aren’t just keeping necks toasty anymore, they are attaching themselves to chests and bulging unnaturally.  I swear I saw one writhing on a girl’s chest and around her neck today!  She had no idea!! I was about to yell out a warning like “Hey lady! Your infinity scarf!  It’s trying to EAT you!!” but then it went back to sleep. I didn’t see any limbs or a face, but I wonder if those features are still dormant… And these things are getting bigger!  I couldn’t even see one girl’s shirt or half of her arms because this infinity growth creature was smothering her! It was huge! Everywhere I turned I saw these alien-looking infinity scarves attempting to strangle and smother my fellow students. I was spinning on the spot and they were closing in on me like a horror movie. One girl was forced to only look up because her infinity scarf had crawled halfway up her face. They keep getting larger and people just keep wrapping them around and around more and more and more times until they can’t stop and get lost in the endless enveloping snare of the infinity alien creature’s infinite hollow space.

All I’m saying is, be careful people.  Watch what you’re wrapping around you, because they’re coming to get us.  If you find yourself drawn to an irresistible fabric loop that spans longer than your height, please take a breath and put the thing down very quickly.  If you get it near your head it will be too late and you will be sucked into the infinite void and lost in the land of wrapping and wrapping and wrapping and wrapping around and around and then you will be gone. Gone. There will only be an infinity scarf in your place. Eventually they will wrap around the planet if we are not on high alert. These things are alien–not of the Earth.  Be careful, people.  Watch your winter wear very very very warily.

Just get the pig

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Me: Ask me for something ridiculous.

Tuna: “Can I jump off a cliff blindfolded while holding a python?”

Me:  “When pigs fly! Ha!”  He thought it was hilarious.  That boy totally gets my humor.

I originally thought this amazing creation would hold a place on my piano so that every time one of them asked me for something I could just point to the pig.  “Mommy, can I have a pet hamster?”  I point to the pig.  “Mommy, can I tie my skateboard to the car with a rope and see how fast it will go?”  (Hasn’t happened yet, but it will.)  Point to the pig.  “Mommy, can I put my drum set in my bedroom?” Point to the pig.

This pointing will totally happen from now on, but it turns out this special guy is holding a place for a much bigger reason.  I originally saw it about a month ago.  I thought it was great!  It made me laugh!  I loved it!  I almost bought it, but then that not-me-judgy-intruder voice in my head said “nah, it’s too weird. Don’t get it, it’s tacky, it’s too much, it’s over the top…”  I took a stupid picture of it instead of just buying it.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the flying pig.  I wished I had bought it, I sighed every time I went back looking for another one and it wasn’t there.  I kicked my self wondering why I didn’t just get it when I could.

So Squishy is getting molars, and he has been whiny/screamy/pissy for about a week now.  I have almost lost my marbles a few times, and thankfully Latefordinner helps me keep them from rolling too far.  I had to get away from the colicky toddler yesterday, so I flew out the door the second Latefordinner got home.  I had a few minutes before yoga, so I stopped just to see if maybe possibly that piggy was at the store,  And it was!!

Now, I realize it’s not normal to obsess about a ceramic pig with wings, and I was abnormally giddy when I found this thing again. I felt like I was being rewarded for taking care of myself though, and I floated up to the register with its wings.  A few people  just looked away, but the woman in line behind me started cracking up!  She had a thick accent, and said “I never have seen that kind before!”  I grinned and said “Yeah, I’m going to just point to it whenever one of my boys asks for something outrageous,”  And she doubled over laughing!!! She was in tears!

I felt amazing as I walked out with my pig.  He just made TWO people’s day!  What else was he capable of? The place he now holds is one of power and pride for me.  I will never again deny my natural state of weirdness.  There is so much freedom in flight!

Question:  Will I forget that I don’t have to listen to not-me-judgy-intruder-voice ever again?

Answer:  Point to the pig.