How pets help us get ready for parenting

How pets help us get ready for parenting

We’re not there yet. But we’re really looking forward to becoming mommies and daddies some day. Past experience as a couple, and previously as single folks, taught us to be patient. We’re also part of the social convention of putting career before starting a family. So, by the time mommy is ready to have her first child, we’ll be ready, and we’ll have all our ducks in a row by that time. Speaking of which, and talking of animals, imagine our surprise when we read this delightful story a few days ago.

It reminded us coherently of our own mock-parenting exercise here. We’ll tell you a bit about that towards the end of this post. But first this beautiful story. It’s a trending story on a leading social media network, and it’s a story about a little boy who inadvertently became a foster mom and dad all rolled into one. Now, this young chap, not yet ten, was extremely concerned about the plight of the endangered white rhino down in Southern Africa.

So, he spoke to his real mom and dad about this issue. Then one weekend, dad took the little boy to a nearby game reserve which was looking after abandoned wildlife kiddies. One of these lost children was a bubbly but tearful little white rhino not more than a year old. But after he met the little boy, his wild spirits were instantly lifted, and like any wild boy his age, all he wanted to do was play. But it got late, and our young protagonist here had to go home.

Later that evening, just before bed, the boy was still deep in thought about the little white rhino. So, before he shut his eyes, dad suggested that he start his own Facebook page to raise awareness about the plight of the white rhino in Africa. The boy’s father explained to him how it could be set up. It was all quite easy, and just so no trolls would come around to crawl under the boy’s bed at night, his father would supervise his page. Within days, awareness was raised and both father and son were really amazed at how much funds they were able to raise in such a short space of time.

Imagine the boy’s pride and the ranger’s gratitude when they went to visit the little white rhino the following weekend. Rhino was now well-fed with formula milk, by the boy, of course, and had lots of other supplies to help him grow into a strong bull. Now, the two ‘boys’ are inseparable. The money keeps rolling in, so much so that funds can now be distributed to other farms where abandoned rhinos are being cared for. This touching story got us thinking about our own foray into pre-planned parenting.

Admittedly, it wasn’t intentional in the beginning, but from day one that the little white Maltese poodle walked into our lives, it became an experience of a lifetime. It taught us a lot about ourselves and the promising potential we, as a couple, were beginning to show as future parents. Needless to say, we’ve been taking good care of little fluffy. He’s all grown up now, but because he’s genetically still so small, he still behaves like a child. Not that we’ve been spoiling him, by any means.

Now, as a modern couple, we need to get out and about, apart from leaving the house for work every morning. And do you know that not within an hour of us leaving the house; we can’t wait to get back to our ‘child’.  It doesn’t matter where we are, we can’t stop thinking of the little ruffian. That’s parenting for you. So, now you see how we’re slowly but sure equipping ourselves for parenting, albeit being unintentional in the beginning. It’s a responsible job.

Part of that responsibility, needless to say, means that the child in your life is well cared for and, more importantly, is loved like there’s no tomorrow. Now, when we talk about much love, please don’t confuse this beautiful quality of our inherent humanity with spoiling a child rotten. We were quite observant about this before. The exercise, designed to keep wailing kids quiet so that mom and dad can have peace, dangling a carrot in front of the child, is counterproductive.

Doggy gets plenty enough attention, but even he knows there are limits. He’s also been well-trained, potty-wise in particular, and can adhere to the tips and tricks on discipline we showed him. One other sobering thought about good parenting we learnt while practicing with this kid; raising and looking after kids, particularly if you’re doing a good job of it, is frightfully expensive.