During my pregnancy with Monster, I spent a lot of time with our dog, Mona.
She and I went for a run almost every morning and a walk every afternoon. We cuddled in the evenings and spent weekends at the park.
I did a lot of research on how to preserve your puppy’s feelings once a baby came along. Everything I read, everyone I talked to warned that things would inevitably change.
I promised her it wouldn’t. I would snuggle into her at night while fetus Monster would kick away, and I would tell the dog that she and I would still have quality one-on-one time.
And of course, that didn’t happen. In fact, I started to resent the dog. She would bark and wake the baby during naptime. There was dog hair all over everything. Monster looked like a fat Chia pet at one point. It was like the dog hair was magnetically drawn to him.
So perhaps you can understand that with a new baby on its way, I’m starting to think Monster is the new Mona.
No, I don’t think he’ll start shedding and slobbering all over the new baby (though either seems entirely possible).
But as he and I have our quiet moments, and I feel the new baby kicking, I can’t help but whisper to Monster that he and I will always be best friends. I tell him he will always be my baby and nothing will change that.
I’m terrified. I know I’m going to get mad at him for waking the baby by dropping tennis balls on it and I’ll demand David list Monster on eBay (both real things that happened with Mona).
OK, I guess at this point I should mention that yes, I realize that dogs and humans are different and it’s possible that I won’t feel the same kind of disdain for Monster that I did for Mona.
But I have nightmares about rolling up newspapers and swatting my son’s bottom or rubbing his nose in the baby food he knocked off the table.
The thought of my relationship changing with my little man is heartbreaking. He is my favorite person. Ever since I left my full-time job, I have fallen in love with him all over again.
As I type, the dog is curled up under the bed, grateful, I’m sure, that I remembered to feed her at the almost-normal times today.
Perhaps one day, I will find my tiny Monster under there, too, two outcasts bonding over the loss of their mother’s love. Two vagabonds, cast aside, homeless, without a momma all to themselves.
But then again, maybe nothing will change. Maybe I will be able to love all my children (yes, Mona included) and devote a fair amount of time to each. Maybe my heart will simply grow and I will become Supermom. My Monster will still be my favorite little man, my dog will still be the best dog in the world, and the baby will be the sweetest baby in the world, and none of them will ever get any kind of preference over the other.
No, nothing will change.
Except the dog hair. The dog hair will remain everywhere. The dog hair, we know, is constant.