I’ve never wanted to have a baby. Ever. Ten minutes after I came down the birth canal I made up my mind; no one was ever doing that to me. I probably shouldn’t go into all the reasons I’m against me spawning, but I will. The first, and shallowest of my many reasons, is that my body is having enough trouble retaining any semblance of shape without another being gestating inside of it. There’s also a little matter of genetics. I’ve been convinced for quite some time that my genes are subpar and I don’t really relish the thought of passing them on. And then there’s the pain. Bone crushing, spine screaming, flesh flaring, agonizing, a million-times-worse-than-anything-you’ve-ever-experienced-before pain, from what I’ve heard, that is. (Oh, and by the way, I think it’s totally precious and beautiful when other people are preggers.) But most of all, there is the little matter of cosmic retribution I’m trying to avoid. I don’t think that I was a particularly evil child, but I’m sure I had my moments. And at every single one of them, my parents would say, “Just wait, someday you’ll have a child just like you ... and then you’ll see.” To which I would say, “That’s what you think. I’m not having kids.” Fast forward twenty-something years, I got a dog. I’m not saying that my dog has made me change my mind and suddenly I want a baby. I’m saying she is my baby. It happened completely unintentionally. I got her to act as a small, but ferocious, guard dog: yappy enough to deter criminals, and not too big for my stamp-sized residence. But soon, and I think completely against my personality, I started talking about her all the time: about how cute she is, and how smart, and even divulging personal details about her bowel movements. No one needs to hear that, but there I was, the proud new mother babbling on incessantly. (I’m actually surprised it’s taken me this long to write about her; my sister hung up the phone on me the other day after saying, “I’m bored. You talk about Honey too much.” (Of course, she could have just been angry about a similar incident that occurred a few weeks ago wherein I yelled, “I don’t care about your salad!” and hung up the phone. But she could have had a point.) I won’t make any other parallels, but I’m surprised at what I’ve become. I’ve always thought myself only slightly more maternal than an alligator (or any one of those animals that regularly eats it young), but now I have 11 pounds of this furry, slobbering mess that I totally dote on. One time, after she had stomach surgery, she peed on my toe, and I thought it was cute! How far I’ve fallen. I went from a hard-hearted, jaded individual to someone who thinks piss can be precious. My only comfort is that my parents are still wrong. Honey is nothing like me. She’s worse. ( Mary Cashiola writes about life every Friday @ memphisflyer.com. You’re invited to come along.)

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