Earth Mother I Am Not

I am not the mother of the year, nor will I ever be the pet mother of the year. In fact, I sometimes feel like one of the pictures my son Ty draws of aliens with a thousand eyes. I’m surprisingly comfortable with the idea that I could be an alien because on my planet back home we don’t have this guilt earthling mothers carry with them, or this whole good mother bad mother complex. But maybe I am an earthling because I am struggling with the good mother bad mother complex. And I’m not even talking about my kids. But the new puppy dog.

The puppy has been a lot of work. We’ve seen the vet twice, she’s already been on three different prescriptions (drops for eyes, ointment for belly and oral antibiotic). She’s had the runs for the past two days so I’m making her rice and cleaning up the floor. Her cherry eye is back and she’s still chewing on anyone she can which makes for shreiking children as they jump from furniture to furniture to outrun the mad pup.

And I, I…just want to go to bed.

A number of friends this week have said, ‘if a puppy is this much work, can you imagine having a baby?’ And right now, nooooooo.

However, I’m tempted to weigh the pros and cons with puppy versus human baby (alien babies are just kept in little lucite boxes, far easier to raise babies on my planet than here but that’s another post).

Biting- babies don’t bite until closer to a year; puppies bite right away for up to a year. Score 1 for babies.

Potty training – babies don’t get it until they’re two or three, puppies start getting it as early as 7 or 8 weeks. Score 1 for puppies.

Time consuming – babies and puppies both cry and demand attention. Babies sleep longer than puppies which would be a point in favor of babies, but puppies can sleep through a night far better than babies so a point to puppies.

Time away – demanding puppies can be put in a crate (I’m wishing I had one about now) and babies can well…not be put in crates. Babies require a babysitter which would appear to give the point to puppies, but wait–sick puppies can’t be crated and they need a babysitter, too, so a point to babies as it’s more acceptable to hire a babysitter for a night out than a puppysitter for a Saturday night…

The runs – point to babies. They wear diapers. Puppies, sadly, do not.

Giving medicine – babies don’t have sharp nails or razor-like milk teeth, they’re gummy. If you’ve got to give them medicine, they take it. Another point to babies.

Jumping on furniture – babies don’t generally jump up on furniture until around 10 months. Puppies…way earlier, so the point would go to babies, but when you think about falling off furniture, puppies generally fair better than babies at falling so I call this one a draw.

Gifts – everyone’s excited when you have a new baby and people send gifts. Everyone is excited for five minutes when you get a puppy and no one sends gifts. Score baby.

Thank yous – no one sends gifts for puppies, people send gifts for babies, so when you’ve a new baby and are sleep deprived and exhausted and depressed you’re also confronted by a pile of thank you notes. Score for puppies. Thank you notes are time consuming on a good day, never mind during postpartum blues.

So looking at the two columns, and the amount of work entailed, I’m thinking I’ll just zip back to my planet far away in a distant galaxy. It’s a lot easier being an alien than an earth mother.

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