Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dad's best friend

When I was a kid, my home wasn't exactly a haven for pets. Sure, on occasion my parents would get us several goldfish, but I hardly have any fond memories of them. They never would greet me when I came home from school, and they'd keep flopping around whenever I'd try to take them out on a walk. Playing "roll over" with a goldfish always turned tragic. So I'm not a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pets, but perhaps my experiences with Kyle will give me some insight.

I say this because I've noticed that having a pet seems to give people some insight into having a child. Most of our friends and family members who have pets but no children have occasionally compared Kyle's behavior to the antics of their dogs or cats. Kyle's spit-up brings up memories of Felix's hairball problem, or Kyle's cries are like that time when Rex howled all night and ripped apart all the bedroom pillows with his teeth. I don't fault my friends and family in comparing their pets to our child. It's only natural to want to sympathize, and I give them credit for saying "of course having a pet is nothing like having a child" before they tell me how having a pet is like having a child. But the comparisons are way off-track, as Kyle in no way resembles any pet. You can see that from the pictures below. Here's one I took as I rubbed Kyle's belly (he loves it when you do this):

Here's Kyle rolling over:

Here he is on all fours, close enough to slobber you with all his drool:

And here he is in his new, furry cold-weather gear:

So I just don't get where all these pet comparisons are coming from. Maybe it's because we keep his food in a dish on the floor by the kitchen cabinets. But who doesn't? How else can the little guy reach his food?

Then again, maybe my pet owner friends are onto something. That wouldn't be so bad, since we are hoping to get a pet whenever we move to the suburbs, and perhaps having a child is good practice for that. Hmmmmm... I dunno. I still can't see myself comparing our baby to an animal. I guess that's just because I'm his dad, and it would be wrong for me to do that. Besides, I believe I already gained enough pet-owner training by being an older brother.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take Kyle outside to play fetch.

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