Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm Not A Mom, I'm An Alpha Dog

I’m on the verge of being sick, and it’s pretty much Damien’s fault. This dog is intent on destroying me, whether by allergy attacks to his my-owners-say-I-don’t-shed-but-I-waited-until-they-were-gone-to-unleash-my-fur-attack! Or from flat out exhaustion trying to wrangle him – stopping him from eating everything in the house, using all my arm strength to stop him from pulling me on walks. Or maybe depression – I have two more days of a two week gig, and this has been a truly miserable experience, made bearable only by the money I earn, and the fact that I’m close to the end.

The very very sad part is that I’ve already signed up for another tour of duty with this guy, a five day gig that happens NEXT week. So I really only get a week off from this madness.

And part of me knew it would be madness and thought from a clinical perspective that it would be an interesting challenge – Try and retain your marbles in the midst of insanity. I haven’t done that in quite some time. I think the last time I thought I was losing my mind was 2009 with Polka Dotta Platypus running for so long. How will I know I have my Marble Retaining Ability if I haven’t exercised that Marble Retaining Muscle!? Remember how to mentally stretch your arms and center yourself when things are demanding your attention at every angle!

We all know that I don’t want kids. Every now and then well intentioned someone will ask, “Are you sure you don’t wanna have kids?” Like I could somehow grow a biological clock. Am I sure I don’t wanna have kids? Well, are you sure you’re whatever sexual orientation you are? I mean, after all, couldn’t you just change your mind!? That’s basically the thought pattern behind that question – you could just change your mind and want to have them, couldn’t you?

That’s so not how it works, people. You have the biological clock, or you don’t. You like guys, or you like girls. It’s not a choice. It’s how God made you.

And I’m pretty sure God made me without a biological clock because He knew I would make a horrible mother (I think I would make an awesome mentor to a troubled gay youth, though), and these two weeks of terror with Damien proves it.

Damien is two years old and 110 pounds. He has the attention span of a gnat. He is as stubborn as a Texas beauty queen who wants access to her trust fund. And his piles o’ poop are towering monuments to excrement.

I am not used to any of this. Ginger Puppy and Basil Diva Dog are well behaved. They sit by my feet when I write. They come when they’re called. They heel on walks. And their poop piles are as dainty as teacups.

Damien is not used to a dogsitter. He ran the last one off, she got a job as an editor with really long hours, and when she came home, Damien wouldn’t let her sleep.

Let’s repeat that. THE DOG WOULDN’T LET HER SLEEP! He would jump on her in bed and pull the covers off and then go chomp some pillows to get attention, and she ran screaming down the driveway, never to be seen again. I think.

Now I’m up at bat. And I’m determined not to lose. Not to an f’ing DOG. “I’M the Alpha Dog!” I tell Damien when he doesn’t wanna go on his walk, “I’M IN CHARGE!” I yell through the bathroom door when he’s whining and scratching on the door because I won’t let him come in when I’m on the toilet. “I’m doing something for me right now, I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WANT,” as he’s trying to get my hands off the keyboard and on his head, see?

(p.s., don’t even think that he’s acting this way because I don’t play with him. I run circles around the damn house playing Keep Away with him. The issue isn’t that I don’t play. The issue is that he doesn’t STOP playing.)

This has strangely brought up all sorts of childhood memories. There were two running themes to my childhood: 1. You Don’t Really Need That (And I Will Make You Feel Guilty If You Make Me Give It To You) 2. I Don’t Care What You Want, You’re Doing What I Say.

I didn’t want to go to Gymnastics? TOO BAD! I signed you up for those classes, and we’re not wasting the money. I don’t wanna run a mile around the track!? TOO BAD! We’re not leaving until you do, I have the keys to the car and you’re not old enough to drive yet. I want to stay home for the summer? TOO BAD! You’re going to camp in another state for six weeks.

Now, my parents actually did the right thing (with the exception of not listening to me when I said I wasn’t a long distance runner) I don’t have to be a parent to know that you don’t give in to your child, especially if the child is saying, “But I don’t wanna.” It’s because my parents made me go to gymnastics class and made me go to six week camp in another state that I had a pretty damn robust childhood. I learned how to shoot rifles, work a bow and arrow, did time on a pottery wheel, placed fourth in a horse riding competition even though I had only met that horse twenty minutes before the competition started.

Your child does not know better. You know better.

Damien does not know better. I know better.

So I deny Damien a lot. I don’t let him do a lot of things, like eat the sofa. He does not get my hands scratching his ears 24/7. He is learning, whether he wants to or not, that he is not the most important thing in this room. That would be the computer. ☺

While some would argue this does INDEED make me a good parental figure, it does not. Because I don’t want a dog of my own, and I don’t really want Damien, I’m merely enduring him. There is no love for Damien here. Instead, I’m a cranky exhausted sneezy person who has not lost her marbles yet, but is very much looking forward to Wednesday night and beyond, especially because I get a weekend gig with my favorites Ginger Puppy and Basil Diva Dog, and the most incredible bed in the universe.

And I almost wanna walk Ginger Puppy and Basil Diva Dog past Damien’s house and scream, “SEE!? SEE!? THESE ARE WHAT WELL BEHAVED DOGS LOOK LIKE! THESE ARE MY FAVORITES!!! YOU ARE NOT MY FAVORITE AND YOU PROBABLY WON’T EVER BE!”

That is why I would not make a good mother.

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