Pets Can Help Us Determine if We Are Ready to Be a Parent

1) Did you have to return the puppy to the shelter because you simply couldn’t get him to housebreak after 3 months of trying? You cried all day because you loved that little guy but your carpets we’re being destroyed. You’re not ready! There are not shelters for you to drop off your two-year-old when he refuses to potty train. Furthermore, he will refuse to learn to dress himself but undressing is another matter. He will happily remove his diaper when it is soiled (especially the worst kind of soiling) and will drop it wherever he chooses. If you have expressed your displeasure loudly enough, he may hide it when he removes it assuming you won’t notice that he is no longer wearing a diaper. Fishing a bowel-filled diaper from under the couch is not fun. It’s also not fun shampooing the underside of a couch.

2) Did you throw your cat out the door to fend for himself because he jumped on the counter and ate your dinner one too many times? You’re not ready! As soon as your child is old enough to shove a chair against the cupboards, he/she will put little fingers into anything edible they can find. They don’t outgrow this tendency. It only gets worse with age. After a while, even the top of the fridge isn’t safe. By the time your child has reached teen years, the entire dessert can disappear out the door before you even sit down for a meal.

3) Okay. The cat’s food pilfering isn’t enough to make you get rid of it. But that kitty litter box is! You’ve tried every kitty litter on the market and the smell still is too strong for you. You might be able to put the box in the laundry to make the daily smell tolerable but cleaning the thing still makes you gag. The cat has got to go! Sorry. You’re still not ready. No matter what the advertisements say, there is not a diaper pail made that can totally rid your home of the lovely aroma of diaper. The diaper pail, combined with some Febreze and some disinfectant can mask the odor but everyone knows why you have all those cleaning supplies smelling up the house. Furthermore, if you think a kitty litter box makes you gag to clean, just wait until you empty a diaper pail. But – you argue – the diaper stage will pass. It certainly will. Only to be followed by stinky socks and gym shorts.

4) You feel pets are too much trouble to keep. The dogs track in dirt every time they’ve been outside and the cats bring you gifts of small mice and birds. You’re not ready! Any kid worth his salt will be tracking in mud and dirt from your yard, your neighbors yard, the street, the park and the sandbox! Pets are nicer. They can’t bring home their friends to help with the tracking. Furthermore, every boy alive will be bringing in bugs, snakes, butterflies, worms, you name it, to keep as pets. All the little girls of the world will be ’saving’ every cat, dog, rabbit and furry creature they can find.

5) Having a pet is simply too time consuming. You are soooooooo NOT READY! You will only learn the true meaning of the phrase ‘time consuming’ when you have a child. If you think dropping off your child at the daycare on the way to work is only going to take a couple of extra minutes, THINK AGAIN. You will use up those couple of extra minutes just getting the little one bundled up and out the door. You’ll use up a couple more extra minutes getting baby into the car seat. When you arrive at daycare, there is the waiting your turn to hand him over to the caregiver who is talking to some other parent right now. Then there’s the screaming, yelling tantrums because he doesn’t feel like going today and he refuses to let go of you! With sighs of relief, you pull out of the daycare parking lot only to do a u-turn at the end of the block because the diaper bag is still sitting on the seat next to you. Children consume your time from the second they are conceived until the day you become too senile to remember who they are!

6) You don’t have pets because you can’t afford the vet bills and the pet food? Whatever you do, DON’T have a child! You are NOT ready. That one doesn’t even need discussed.

There are probably 50,000 other ways a pet can help you determine whether or not you’re ready to be a parent. If you know of any you think I should have mentioned, please feel free to let us know about them in our comment section.


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