Your fur baby is cute – but that’s the only thing it has in common with my infant
“OmG! I totally understand! It’s like I can’t take my eyes off him for one moment.” This was how my co-worker responded when I told her how my infant was out of control and we were desperately trying to babyproof the house.
“Now he just wants to run around and chew everything,” she continued. “Last night, he was upset because I wouldn’t let him chew on Daddy’s new slipper. You know what, you should try this trick I learned from Stacie.”
Uh, wait, what?
“Wasn’t Stacie talking about training her pups?” I replied.
In fact, what I really wanted to say was that I’m pretty sure the rules of puppy raising do NOT apply to human babies who can’t even roll over for the first 6 months of their lives.
But from her perspective, apparently, her fur baby, a 7-month basset hound, and my 11-month infant were one and the same.
I love her, so I say this with kindness: the only thing a fur baby and an infant have in common is the fact that they are cute.
And now I’m penning down these differences for those who are unaware of the truth. I’m sorry to say I was once one of these fur baby parents, so think of this as a way for me to spare you the embarrassment and prevent you from thinking you are in the same boat as the parent of a newborn child.
Because, yes, a fur baby may mean the same amount of love and affection, but a human infant will suck the life out of you.
Infants vs. Puppies
But don’t they both eat, poop and sleep?
That’s right, they do. But there was no way my co-worker and I were fighting the same battle at that point in time. (Or I could understand the frustrations of a parent of an infant when I claimed my fur baby was the same.)
This is because her newborn puppy didn’t require to be fed, nursed, and burped every 2 hours. They didn’t require being rocked to sleep after being bathed, cleaned, and wrapped. And they definitely did not require her to give up sleep for the next 2 years of her life.
So yes, unless you have been waking up every six times a night to nurse your fur baby, please dont tell my sleep deprived, bleeding, exhausted body with hormones in overdrive that you can “so relate” to my mental and physical state – because you can’t. Period.
Granted, as they grow older, things begin to get better. But then the human infant begins to poop in their nappy, while the pup occasionally has a few accidents here and there.
But when my infant poops, that stench has the power to knock out the entire neighbourhood. Even the pup refuses to come near the nappy pail.
When it came to food, the fur baby ate what you offered. A few trial-and-error methods, and then you were good to go. There were minimal messes, and mealtimes were twice a day.
But your human baby starts off by demanding they be fed every two hours. Their nourishment comes from you, which means you had to hold them in your arms as they nurse. If you opted for the bottle, pumped or otherwise, they greedily drank the entire bottle of milk before proceeding to throw up the excess.
And if you thought spoiled milk smells bad, spit-ups stinks and stains way worse. Plus, they turn your clothes yellow over time! (You can thank all that protein in the milk for this.)
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The thing is, your fur babies quickly learn to survive and even thrive when left unattended. They don’t wail their lungs out because of separation anxiety and don’t demand to be held as they move from phase to phase.
While my co-worker could afford to leave that baby unattended for 4-5 hours, I was paying a tiny fortune to have someone look after them while I tried to make a tiny fortune.
So, yeah, not the same.
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Okay, so I admit it. There may be one more thing that my infant and her pup had in common. Their desire to chew on shoes—the dirtier the better.
They couldn’t care less about the chew toys and teether we had bought for them, and yet, the minute they saw an unattended shoe, they would make a run for it.
However, unlike the pup, my infant’s immune system was weak. So weak, every victory on his end meant a day off from work, you can imagine the anxiety that came with it.
Sit! Good boy
Fur babies can be communicated with and trained to do tasks like “get the paper.”
A baby? Well, you can forget about them understanding any word for the first year, after which you get a small window where they literally worship you and live to please you.
Then they develop their own free will, and every meal becomes a battle.
They want the pink cup, not the yellow.
They will scream the house down because you decided to peel the banana all by yourself, and how dare you suggest they sleep even though they are tired?
Also, everything is ALL your fault.
Your fur baby, on the other hand, gets it. A few treats and instructions get the message across loud and clear.
Then they’ll come running up to you with your slippers the minute you walk through that door after a long day of work- just like your human babies.
I don’t mean to offend you, but if you compare your fur baby to the wailing, hairless thing I just gave birth to, I will lose it.
So yes, raising an infant is hands-down harder than raising a fur baby, there is no way to measure or even compare the love you have for them—and they for you!
They’re both so cute and precious in their own adorable ways. They have the power to make you smile after a hard day and give you sloppy kisses and warm cuddles. Most importantly, they are the source of all the love you need.
Zofishan Umair Follow +
Zofishan is a journalist, humour columnist, and a mum who has survived nappy explosions mid-air. She has over a decade of experience writing for print and online publications and is currently working on her first book.
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