Practice Run

annie investigates my new camera phoneI think Annie is trying to warm us up for parenthood. Actually, she's been doing this to me ever since I moved in with Al three years ago. It was a giant step for me to become a pet owner, to know that I was responsible for feeding and watering and caring for another creature. As I bonded with Annie and got up to feed her in the morning and took her to the vet for checkups and shots, I became a little more confident that I could care for a child. I still occasionally forget to put fresh water out for her (food I can remember, but for some reason water not so much), but she loves me anyway.

Lately, however, Annie seems to have implemented Operation Crash Course in Parenting. She's taken to waking up in the middle of the night and walking around the bed crying. She gets up at 3:30am and attacks her (timed) bowl in the living room, trying (noisily) to pry it open. She follows me around all day, begging for food in the most pathetic squeak possible. She suddenly wants to sit on my lap all the time. She won't listen when I tell her it's time to stop crying, that dinner isn't for another 2 hours.

It was during one of these "Annie, stop crying. You've already had your turkey" speeches that I realized I was talking to her as I'll probably end up talking to my child: Calmly, reasonably... and expecting her to care. I try to remember when I get so exasperated that I practically start pleading, "ANNNNIEEEEEEE, STOP CRYING!" that it's not going to work with a baby any more than it works with Annie. I can try petting, soothing, or feeding the baby, but reason isn't going to work until the kid is at least three or four years old (if I'm lucky). Pleading probably won't either, for that matter.

The good news is that when Annie's not on a crying jag, or begging for food, or otherwise being ornery, she's utterly charming. She's taken to flopping on the floor next to the bed, or in the middle of the kitchen, or at my feed in the living room... in short, wherever I happen to be. She just chills out and enjoys keeping me company. Now, if I can get that from our baby, I'll be one happy momma.

Addendum: It occurred to me that Annie probably thinks I'm talking to her when I talk to the belly, since I use the same tone of voice. She's going to be *really* confused when the baby comes...

Posted by Lori in our cat and pregnancy at 10:13 PM on August 26, 2004