We’re expecting! Not a human, good God, no. I’m almost 47 years old - my eggs are like the crusty old raisins you find when you pull your oven out to clean behind it once every five years, surrounded with fur and dust bunnies so big, they require vaccinations.
No, no. The baby we’re expecting is a Goldendoodle! A petite one so freakin’ cute, I want to eat its little face.
Mark has always been against anything “doodle.” He’s a man’s man, and - I think because there’s some gay over on his side of the family - that he’s always on a mission to maintain his hetero-ness.
Not that doodles are only for gay people.
I just think somewhere deep inside Mark, that’s what he thinks. His friend, Greg, has daughters, and a few years ago they got a Maltipoo. Cutest little thing. Mark has given Greg hell about that dog since Day 1.
How Mark ever keeps friends is a mystery to me.
So last week, after weeks of research and finally making my decision that, yes, I definitely want a puppy, I presented the idea to Mark.
Me: I need to talk to you. I’ve fallen in love with a Goldendoodle puppy and I have to have it.
Mark: You can’t be serious. That’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said. And you say a lot of dumb things.
Me: Look at this video. Shoves iPhone in front of his face, forcing him to watch the tiny-cream-fluff-ball-with-a-tiny-green-hairbow bobble around on its shaky brand-new-puppy legs.
Mark: No. This is a huge mistake. I’d rather have another kid than have another dog.
Me: Fine. Let’s have another kid.
Mark: Ok. Let’s have another kid.
Then this plays in the background:
Me: Dammit. C’mon!
Mark: Fine. But it can never wear a hairbow. And Greg can never know about it.
So I messaged Greg's wife to have her tell Greg what we're getting, then I put down my deposit and got all the paperwork.
As I start reading through everything, I realize that I might be in over my head.
These doodle breeders are the real deal, you guys.
I’m not sure I’m qualified to adopt this animal, considering my very average (at best) parenting of human children.
After dinner each night, Mark and I can’t get our kid on his iPad fast enough, just so we can binge Homeland on Hulu. And we hardly ever see the kid during the weekend, because we keep punching in the Apple ID password for those in-app purchases otherwise known as Our Little Babysitters.
We only just recently taught him how to tie his shoes.
And by “we,” I mean Mark did it, because he’s all, “Are you ever going to teach him how to tie?” And I’m all, “Jesus, I can’t do everything! I have the same number of hours in the day as you.” To which he says, “You don’t work! You’re home with him every single day after school.” And I say, “Oh excuuuusssee me! So it’s a competition, now?” Then I stomp off.
And the whole bedtime routine is a whole other issue of lazy parenting on my part. This child will be nine in a few days, and I still lie down with him at night and read until he falls asleep, then I sneak away as quietly and gently as I can, as if this person-who-may-sprout-pubes-any-day-now were a tiny baby, just weened off the teet.
This puppy agreement requires me to buy a very specific, high-end dog food in order to keep the health guarantee in effect. The fact that I’d sign off on that does give me a little twizzle of guilt, seeing that the foods I stock for my human family are almost strictly from the Processed food group.
I suppose I could use this enlightenment to try and turn things around here at home, and be more of the mom I should be to my boys. But at this point, it’s probably too late.
The damage is done for these poor kids.
I have exactly one month to get my shit together as a mother for this puppy. I know I can do it, because I’ve always been a much better mom to my dogs, anyway. They’re just not as needy*. When I say goodbye in the mornings to my oldest son, I say, “Have a great day! I love you! You’ve always been my favorite!”
To which he says, “We both know that’s a lie. Cooper’s your favorite.”
Don’t worry, we’ve got a college fund and a therapy fund started for him. He’ll be fine.
*Except for Cooper, our male Lab-mix. He seriously cannot get close enough to me. When I’m sitting on the couch, he scoots closer and closer, trying incessantly to get into my womb.