Last night we had some friends over for dinner. They brought their adorable 10 week old son over with them. We have seen them a few times since they had him, and from what I can tell he is a pretty perfect baby. Doesn’t fuss too much, hardly any crying and totally adorable. (They assured me that he is a little more work than what we are seeing, but he is a great baby.) We had a lovely time with them, and I got to play with the baby and our dog Schnitzel gave him lots of kisses. I kept looking at him, though, and thinking, am I REALLY ready to have one of these of my own? It was really just last week, when I saw in the ultrasound an image inside Kate’s belly that somewhat resembled a human (or a gummy bear), that it started to feel like we are actually having a child. But playing with our friends’ baby, I couldn’t help but think how I would appreciate the peace and quiet I would get after they left and took their little bundle of joy with them. No waking up at night to feed or change a diaper like they’ve described. No crying. I could just get into my own bed and sleep soundly all night.
I think I was partly feeling this way because I had a lovely and uncommon weekend of being an utter couch potato. I saw 2 movies in the theater and watched 3 movies at home. I don’t think I’ve done that in years, and if felt perfect and relaxing and just what I needed. I realize that after we have a baby, that luxury may not occur again, until, well… our child leaves for college maybe.
Now I realize there is more to life than watching bad movies on tv. And I certainly am completely excited about the prospect of becoming a dad, but everytime we visit with friends who have babies, I always have this feeling that I am glad to not be in their shoes yet. I was talking about this a little at dinner last night and my friend said that he felt the same way before their son was born, and it was different for him once they had their own. I imagine that is true. I know that I find newborns to often look like strange little aliens, but many have assured me that once it is my own, I will feel differently.
And I know I WILL feel differently. I think it’s just a little pre-baby jitters, which I assume are quite common. Right?
I can’t believe it, but neither Kate nor I have written much about our dog Schnitzel up to this point. Schnitzel is the love of our lives… he is our 3 year old, 90 pound, chocolate labradoodle. He is (in my completely biased opinion) the cutest and sweetest dog in the entire world. We got him a few months after Kate and I got married. I always knew I wanted to get a dog at some point, but knew it would be a lot of work and time, and wasn’t sure I was ready for the responsibility immediately. But Kate knew she we wanted a dog as soon as we said our vows. Despite my reluctance about the timing, I knew it would be wonderful to have a pet of our own (I grew up with dogs my whole life), so we started the search for the newest member of our family. After a few weeks of doing nothing but searching for puppies on the internet, Kate found Schnitzel. He was bred in Indiana, so as soon as he was old enough to be weaned from his mother, he was shipped on a plane to us in Boston (which I think was somewhat traumatic and we won’t do that to a puppy again). Here’s us meeting him (at the airport) for the first time:
We absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with him the moment we saw him. Now, two and a half years later, I can’t imagine our life without Schnitzel. He is pretty much the center of all of our activities and conversations, and we sing his name into silly lyrics to every song that comes on the radio (who knew Schnitzel was such a sing-songy name?). I love Schnitzel more than I thought I could ever love an animal. Sometimes I annoy Kate by saying that I don’t know if I could ever love our future children as much as I love him. I realize this is probably not true, but there is a part of me that thinks it could be the case.
We often wonder how Schnitzel will handle having a baby in our family (someday soon, I hope!), and I actually think that it is one of the things I most look forward to about having a child. I think that Schnitzel will be one of those loving, protective pets who will completely adore and take care of our baby, just like Nana from Peter Pan. The other day I had a friend over to discuss some potential video work, and she brought her 5 month old baby with her. Schnitzel was super curious about this tiny thing that entered his house. He jockeyed for a front-row seat and sniffed the new smells. He even managed a few licks! (I can only assume that not all new parents want a giant dog in their baby’s face, so I had to keep Schnitzel a respectful distance away from the little one). Even in his curiosity he was completely gentle though and I think he will be the perfect Nana to our baby someday. The thought of our absolutely giant dog sitting in the back seat of our car with a tiny baby in the car seat next to him is just a priceless image that I can’t wait to actually see.
I imagine our baby will be constantly covered in doggie kisses, but hey, dogs’ mouths are supposed to be cleaner than ours! (Although, as a self-proclaimed germophobe, I’m not sure I believe that).