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Dogs and Kids

I am trying to find my voice on a parenting blog.  But let me do a small rant on one thing that bothers me.  Dogs.  Specifically, dogs who are replacements for kids.  If you don’t want to have kids, well that is all well and good.  Don’t have kids, live your life.  But don’t try and claim that your “dogs” are some kind of child for you.  They are not surrogate children.  They are dogs.  They are like really tall hamsters.  Your kid gets run over by a car, people are going to jail.  Your dog gets run over, well, that sucks.

Sweet Mother of God!  I hope surgeons can help you

Sweet Mother of God! I hope surgeons can help you.

I have friends that are thinking about having kids but in the meantime they talk about their “kids”, their dogs.  They post pictures of themselves with their dogs with captions like “Hanging with the kids”.  Their mother posts things like “Loving my granddogs”.  Did your dog have puppies and then they had puppies?  They might be your “Granddogs” otherwise, no.  Get off it.

Otherwise it just seems like you like the idea of kids, the “mystique” of children, but you really don’t want to deal with the hassle, the expense, the commitment.  Instead, you anthropomorphize your dogs and try and claim parent status without having to really put in the work or commitment.  Do you get up in the middle of the night to nurse your dog or comfort it because of night terrors or bad dreams (this is rhetorical, if you answered “yes”, please seek professional help).

So, no, your dogs are not your kids.  My kid’s crawdad is not his kid.  Nor are the cats our kids.  Our dog is not related to us in any way.  We own the dog.   Various meal-worms that we raise to feed to lizards, they are not our kids.  Baby goats may in fact be our kids, but I muddy the issue.

I see cutesy but belligerent shirts and posters about “Yes, my dogs are my kids.   I am going to talk about them as much as you do your kids.”  BS.  How do your dogs do in school?  What, they can’t talk or read?  What part of the autistic spectrum are they on?  You keep them on a leash?  CALL CPS!  They aren’t kids, you need to rethink your life.  You get over it.


Why Board Games are Still the Best

As a child, I can scarcely remember an occasion when a meal at my grandparents was not followed by a round of Clue or Connect 4.

It is a crying shame that traditional board games such as these are being replaced in our children’s lives by computer-based activities. I find it hard to imagine my children sitting down with grandma for a few games of Need for Speed or FIFA. This is why it is important to keep the games of our childhood alive through our own kids.

How many happy memories do you have of family games of Scrabble as a child? Arguing with your sister over how you spell queue or keeping an eye on granddad to make sure he isn’t cheating again creates real closeness between family members, and it seems a shame that this is being replaced by the largely-solitary pursuit of computer gaming in our children’s lives.

This may all just be me thinking with my nostalgia-tinged glasses on again, but I have always enjoyed the tactile quality of board games too. There is something quite satisfying about the elaborate setting up games like Mouse Trap needed before you could get down to the serious task of playing them.

Despite this, without doubt my favourite board game ever has to be Cluedo. I think I loved it originally because my sister hated it and I just wanted to be contrary, but after a while it took top spot on its own merit. Whereas in many board games your success is as much down to chance as it is to skill, Cluedo required cunning and strategy, and a Cluedo victory always tasted somehow sweeter than any other.

I know my children are both asking for computer games this Christmas, but I am going to make sure I get them a classic board game each too. Then, when the turkey is bare and the crackers have been pulled, I will make sure we all stay around the table and have a huge family game of Monopoly.

It is childhood moments such as this which you recall fondly as an adult pulling a dusty game out from the back of a cupboard, and I hope by creating the situation for my children they may repeat this process when they are older.


Dave Engledow is my kind of Dad.

Look at these adorable pictures he created for his daughter, Alice Bee.  I think his captions are perfect.

Hammer Time

House Cleaning

Just a Little Off the Top

Kitchen Counter 500

Olympic Fever

Pwning the Noob

He has a bunch more on his Facebook page, they are fantastic, go see them!

Monday Teeny Poll

52% of you have no issues with infant male circumcision, and the recent just-short-of-a-recommendation from the AAP didn’t change that.  4% admit the new findings may have changed their mind, while 14% haven’t budged in their stance against. 23% say they don’t have a horse in the race, and sometimes I wonder why I put that voting category in there.  To me, it’s just an easy way to say that you don’t know.

Babies and Caaaaats

Just to show that I am an equal opportunity baby and animal photo person…


via Buzzfeed

My Newest Theory

Push and Pull

When I recently accompanied my son and a friend to our local county fair, I got a glimpse of my future for the next few years.

You see, my presence at the fair with them turned out to be that of a wet rag, a damper on all the fun they could be having if it wasn’t for grumpy old mom pointing out that they had run out of money for games, or that no, it wasn’t worth walking across the entire fairgrounds just to eat some chocolate covered-bacon.

But yet, I was also a necessary evil, as I was also playing the role of chauffeur, line stander, and ATM.  But my son pretty much tried to act like I wasn’t really there most of the time, which is good, really.  I mean, if he was holding my hand and begging me to ride the bumper cars with him, it would probably be some kind of red flag.

On the other hand, I’ve got my toddler, as needy as all get-out.  She is an affectionate child, so I am often the recipient of hugs and kisses and sometimes elbows in the stomach, it all depends on just how affectionate she is feeling at the moment.  She is still of course dependent upon me for a great many things, although she is much more independent overall than her brother was at this age.

It’s just really odd for me to have one child figuratively pushing me away as he gets older and tries to find his own footing in the world, and at the same time have this greedy little time-suck known as a toddler to deal with all in the same day.

Motherhood is hard, y’all.

The Best of the Kids at Comic Con 2012

Is it Wednesday already?

I have never attended Comic Con, but as I live a mere hour and half away, I know many that have.  One day I must go, just to see the spectacle.

Images via The Mary Sue

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