Children, Pets & My Responsibility Choice

I’m single. Single. Single. Single.

I’ve been single for almost four years. No boyfriend. No kids. No pets. Just little old me and I’ve loved it that way. Although now that I’ve left Los Angeles and I’m planning on a move to Dallas, I’ve been thinking about adding a cute puppy dog to my life.

When I returned to my parent’s house, I found a tiny little white puppy dog in our living room. My brother works at a veterinary office and someone had dropped this lost puppy off and never returned for it. My brother, liking the idea of a dog, brought it home in hope that my parents would allow him to keep it.

Fast forward past the details, this dog was in my house. And it was a puppy, less than a year old. And it got on my darn nerves! It nipped and bit my legs and clothes and it never listened. It was a puppy; it’s what puppies do, I understand. But I also quickly understood that a puppy was not for me. If anything, I’d rather get a dog that was one or two and already trained. Or so that was what I thought.

Last weekend, my aunt asked me if I would be willing to watch her grandson, my second cousin, J. I said sure, I work from home and it was some supplemental income, so why not?

My little cousin is 7 years old and he isn’t a lot of maintenance. And he’s a sweetheart. He loves to give hugs, he’s quite polite, and he’s seven, so he’s super funny.

We’ve been having a good time. We went swimming, went to McDonald’s, watched some movies and I watched him bike and scooter up and down the street. All in all, it’s hasn’t been bad at all. But I do find myself laughing at myself, laughing at the things I tell J or the way I ask him to behave.

I can take care of a child. I can do it well. I know how to discipline and I’m not afraid to which doesn’t mean to say that J needs a lot of disciplining because he doesn’t. What I’m trying to say is that I sound so weird. The things coming out of my mouth are not normal for me. They are reminiscent of my days of working at a preschool and the Boys & Girls Club and the language that I have to use is not a language that I’m used to.

Black and White Photo of Kid Smiling

Part of me enjoys caring for children, especially my little cousin. I’m good at it. I’ve always been good at teaching in a variety of ways, speaking to kids in ways they understand and in ways they understand that I mean what I say. But when I take care of kids, I become another person, someone that I have to be to take care of kids, and it just sounds like someone from my future and I’m not quite ready to be that person.

And then there was Wednesday. My aunt’s daughter, my cousin, is away for her honeymoon and she left her dog with my aunt. Somehow, someway, her dog got out while I was there watching my little cousin during the day. When my little cousin asked, “Where’s the little dog?” My heart dropped and I found myself on a wild goose chase that lasted a few hours.

Finally, we found the dog nearby. A woman found the dog, took him in and told Animal Control. After contacting Animal Control for the second time, I finally discovered that the dog had been found and I quickly ran to her house and got the dog.

Weenie Dog Photo

However, this was the most stressful day this week. Not only was I tirelessly searching for this dog, but my poor little cousin was tired, hot, and cranky from looking for the dog and I had to try to not listen to his 7 year old analysis of the situation, “We’ll never find this dog;” “Well, don’t go so fast, you’ll run over him!”; “You’re going to get in trouble.”

It was a whirlwind of day, and a whirlwind of a few weeks with dogs and kids and let me tell you something that you probably already know by the title of this blog: I am nowhere near ready for kids or a dog!

Obviously they take a lot of work and time, but they also take up so much of my mind. Even though I don’t have to watch my cousin as closely as I do, I do watch him very closely because I wouldn’t want something to happen to him on my watch. And look! I’m focused on him and the dog goes missing! I can’t win, haha.

Although I know I can take care of a child and a dog well (don’t judge my dog sitting skills from this one day), I know that having a dog or child will make me change in ways that I’m not ready for. Maybe I should try dating before I get a dog! The responsibility of a dog is far more worrisome than going on a date, or at least I think. For now, I’ll love on others people’s kids and give them back. For now, I’ll cuddle with other people’s dogs and then give them back.

One day it will happen, but definitely not anytime soon. Dogs and kids, well, for now, I’m just not about that life.

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