Tuesday

New Mommy Confession: I am more than a little paranoid

I have generally considered myself as a “non-pet” person. We didn’t grow up with animals so I haven’t had a lot of experience with them. Still, I have appreciated the cuteness of some animals. And a couple of years ago I briefly fell in love with a dog in a pet store. I almost bought him. However, my true nature won out and he remained at the store.

My ambivalence about pets became absolute hostility after my baby was born. When she was about a month old we went for a visit to a home where there were two cats and a dog. The cats were OK because they were out of sight.  However, I was worried that they might appear and secretly suffocate my baby by trying to lick milk out of her mouth. Yes, the baby was in my arms or being held by someone else, but cats are sneaky.  Everybody knows that.

And about that damn dog.  It wasn’t a regular dog. It was a yappy, loud dog.  It also jumped up and down the entire time that we were there.  And people were feeding the dog by putting food from their plates in their hands and letting the dog lick it off of their hands.  I know that a dog's mouth is supposedly cleaner than a human's.  However, all I could think is that dogs can have fleas, worms, and I think they started the swine flu. Wait, that was the pigs...  Anyway, I know feeding dogs like that is typical behavior for dog owners, and people who love dogs.  However, to the dog ambivalent like me, the habit seems a bit unsanitary. Before I had the baby that habit fell in the category of other people's business.  Having my baby at that dinner seemed to make everything my business.

Being in the house with the baby and that dog was almost too much to bear. I could not relax, at all. I always strive to be a charming and engaging guest.  However, I could have kicked that dog in the face with my boot and knocked it to sleep without missing a beat. I literally had a vision of myself doing that at the dinner and it was not pretty. The vision was so vivid that it gave me shiver.

It wasn’t my first time with that dog, but with the baby there, my emotions were heightened and rational thought evaporated. I was barely thinking clearly.  I clenched my teeth during the entire dinner and counted, slowly to 50. Then I counted again. Fortunately, the meal was over quickly. No animals were harmed and I managed not to insult anyone.  You have no idea how much restraint it took! In hindsight, writing this story in this blog entry sounds a bit irrational.  All I can say is that it may have been the hormones.

After the dinner, I exhaled.  I had no idea how I made it through.  All I knew is that the dinner was o-v-e-r and I was happy.  I had anticipated challenges with motherhood, but I had not anticipated what I felt at that dinner. It was absolutely primal. And while I heard that motherhood changes you I was not at all prepared for the intensity of my protective instinct.  It almost made me abandon my good manners, shirk my good breeding, and attack somebody's dog, in Snookie's words,"like a squirrel monkey!"

Don't judge me.  I am not completely mad, I am just a new mom.

Stay tuned for other tales of my paranoia. Not only do I dislike pets. I also realize that I don’t like everybody else’s kids touching my baby!

(Please comment and share your tales of paranoia with me!)
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