Today was one of those days when I found myself wondering what it might be like to have a child. Such thoughts aren't rare of course -- I'm almost thirty, and Brian'll be inching into late-thirties territory come May. Some might even say we're adults (though they wouldn't say that whilst looking over our finances, or while evaluating our housekeeping skills, for that matter).
Anyway, all sorts of things trigger these thoughts -- friends getting ready to welcome their own bear cub into the world, pictures like this one, the little boy who stopped in front of Brian and I while we were on our way to the post office and cried out "I'm jumping up and down!!!!" while leaping clumsily into the air -- even the advent calender my dad sent (which looks just like the one my sister and I used to take turns opening as kids) got me thinking of the long slow march of time and the need for some sort of generational continuity.
One of our dog-park aquaintances runs a little dog walking business on the side. He's out of town this week, so Brian and I have taken over walking some of his clientelle, which includes a funny little pair of Maltese that Brian and I walked before I headed off for work today.
As little dogs go, this pair seem to fall into the cute-but-awful school -- neither smart nor socialized, and somehow undoglike in behavior, refusing to walk or be walked with any sort of discipline or enthusiasm, but rather dragging against their leashes, and alternately cowering from and attempting to chase pasing cars and pedestrians.
Despite all this, I do like these small dogs, and so when one of them (I never learned to keep them straight), ended up with a small remainder of poop stuck to his backside, I did what any responsible doglover would do, and attemted to scoop said remainder off, my hand safely wrapped in poop bags, as Brian distracted the dogs (now within the sight of home, and straining eagerly at their leashes) with the promise of invisible treats. Unfortunately, right in the midst of this delicate procedure, the dog's long lsutrous and fancy tail moved, creating a poop-smear flag that danced jauntily behind him for the rest of the walk home, mocking my efforts.
It's an oft-repeated bit of wisdom that pets -- dogs especially - can work as a stand in for actual human parenting. And as I Brian and I held the wiggling dog betweeen us in the bathroom, endeavouring to wash poop out of white fur, I realized that parenthood can wait.