Raising Puppy, not Baby

Can a Puppy Fix your Bio Clock?

Cynthia Martinez and Chaplin

Cynthia Martinez and Chaplin.

Cynthia Martinez of Fat Girl EscapadesBy Cynthia Martinez

Stereotypically speaking, there might be something wrong with me. I am nearing my 29th birthday, and I don’t have eight kids yet…I don’t even have one.

The best part: It’s not because I can’t have them, it’s because I don’t want them at this time. (I think I just heard every living woman in my family gasp a “Madre Santisma” as they reached for their Holy Water). I know…bad Latina…bad.

The thing is my clock doesn’t tick. I see babies being born left and right and instead of going “aww, que cute,” much to my Mami’s dismay, you hear me going “Ayy Dios, I bet that one cries a lot…eeek.”

And really if it weren’t for my Mami, who once pestered me once a month on the baby issue, I don’t think I would be in the furry predicament I am in right now.

Last year, my Mami, who according to my husband is in extreme denial of my mothering capabilities, gave me the “baby talk” of all baby talks…I mean she brought out fear and guilt. She cried because she said she had a premonition that I would die young.

“Y si  eso pasaria, what would be left of you?…nada, no little Cynthia to remember you by …and how could you do that to me?” she cried.

When she saw that angle was losing its effect she brought out the fear.

“The longer you wait, the more probability, something could be wrong with the baby, I mean look at your hermanita, I was a 34-year-old vieja when I had her, and well do I have to say more?”

She said this as she pointed with her mouth towards my now 16-year-old sister, who was oblivious to the fact we were talking about her.

Now, there isn’t really anything wrong with my sister… clinically anyways, but it got me wondering if there was something wrong with me for not wanting a baby, and if perhaps it was just me psyching myself out with fear of not being able to deal with the pain and sacrifice of childbirth, and motherhood in general. Perhaps I just lacked faith in my abilities to be a good mother.

Bringing Home Puppy

On to my current predicament: So on October 27, 2010, in an effort to appease my mother’s need for a grandchild and to test out my mothering skills, I adopted a 1-½ pound bundle of four legs named Chaplin.

At first my Mami fought me on the idea, saying she didn’t think she could love an adopted grandchild as much as one that came from her own blood, but with time I knew she would be won over.

The problem has been that my biological clock could not be made to tick and since Chaplin arrived it has been made blatantly clear to everyone that perhaps I should just stick to my day job.

In other words I have raised a screwed up and spoiled puppy.

Sure, upon the arrival of my first born I was nothing but the doting mother; I even took two days of maternity leave to bond with my little princess.  But really unless you are a mother with a whiny baby you have no idea what kind of hell I went through the first two weeks of her arrival.

Every two hours I had to disrupt my beauty sleep to soothe my baby’s whimpering, feed her because she was malnourished when I got her, and begin the annoying task of potty training the un-trainable. For the first two weeks I was a rock star.

But on the third week, and you have to understand I was a young mother suffering from postpartum depression (that’s what I’m calling it, because yes it makes me feel better that I ignored my bebita during the formative years of her life), I began to waiver on the new mommy bandwagon, and passed on the responsibilities to my husband.  I mean, after all, he was the daddy, how dare he think he could just enjoy the puppy kisses and puppy breath without any puppy feeding?

So, yes I slept through her whimpering, and I can’t say I felt too guilty, I’m all for the puppy learning self-soothing (I learned this term from a parenting book, so don’t judge me).

The problem with self-soothing is that eventually, yes puppies stop whimpering, but they don’t potty train themselves. They instead learn how to be devious and find places to do their puppy business at night where you step on it during one of your midnight stumbles to do your human business.

The Trouble with Puppy…and Me

Now if I had mommy instincts I’m sure the correct thing would have been to discipline Chaplin, and crate her, but you have no idea how much easier it was to wipe off my foot and go back to sleep. Hence now, Chaplin would never think of defecating in our backyard… that would be rude and unclassy…. she instead holds it in for the spot right next to, not on, her training pad inside our house every day.

Now my Mami, who is now the doting grandmother, has had a talk with me about this meaning I am lacking “cojones” and need to be firm with her, and unless I want to be wiping her butt the rest of her doggy years, I need to be firm with Chaplin and teach her who is Top Dog around here. The problem is that whenever I do try to discipline her, she runs to Abuelita for protection, and that little booger gets me in trouble, with the ultimate Top Dogs — my Mami and Papi.

The truth is having a puppy has more than proved to me and my Mami that I am not ready for a real child. Just the other day, she wanted me to assure her the hubby and I were using protection, and asked if I had ever thought of getting my tubos tied.

I suppose as long as I keep enabling my puppy’s paper fetish with paper to keep her quiet at night…I’m not Mami material just yet.

The truth is — and I am woman enough to admit this — there are times I think of dropping off my baby at Abuelita’s house and taking off until she reaches adulthood. Which, by the way, might be sooner than later and reminds me I need to come up with a bird and the bees talk, because I am not ready to be a grandma just yet either.

Cynthia Martinez spends her days trying all the newest fad diets and nights shoving her face with pan dulce, because isn’t that what all good Latinas do? After leaving the world of labor relations to pursue her artistic passions, Cynthia can now be found writing over at  Fat Girl Escapades.

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By Contributor on November 28, 2011 · Posted in headline, the habla habla

17 Comments | Post Comment

Lisa Quinones-Fontanez says:

I think I heard them gasping too…and they are probably whispering “maybe she can’t have…”

I love how your mom called herself a vieja at 34 – LOL. I’m 36 and wondering – what does that make me?

Ultimately I don’t think anyone is really ready for motherhood – of any kind. So enjoy your time now, with your husband and dog because if/when it happens, you’ll finding yourself ohhing and ahhing in no time.

Posted on November 28th, 2011

jenny says:

I LOVE THIS STORY. this is exactly what it was like when i adopted my puppy sienna. the first two weeks were hideous torture–i actually contemplated giving her back, but now i love her very much and feel like she is my child :)
jenny´s last [fabulousness] ..Pretzel Rolls

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Cynthia says:

LOL…I’m glad I’m not the only one that trying giving up my bebita at some point.

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Cynthia says:

Yea I also suspect it might be harder to give back an actual baby. Lol. Thanks for reading!

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Larissa says:

Dear Cynthia,

I will be honest. Every once in a while when I tell people I’m not ready for babies yet I think about perhaps getting a puppy. A furry bundle of joy to give me hugs and licks when I get home. Then I read this article and think to myself ” doggy business? stepping on stuff? yuck” and then I decide against it. and I’m not just saying this because I also happen to be deathly afraid of dogs and cross the street when one is walking on the same side I am.

Loved your post :o)

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Carol @NYCityMama says:

Hahaha! My father asked me if I was GAY…I had my first baby at 27 – SO YOUNG! Loved this, thank you for sharing and good luck with the puppy…they are like babies for sure!

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Ericka says:

I wish I could’ve adopted a puppy before I had a child. It would’ve been great practice for us. I still cannot get a full night’s sleep and my son is 3 years old. One day I will, I know it. Cute post :)

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Sujeiry says:

Mija! You + puppy = a crappy disaster! Lol.

Funny story, as usual. And don’t worry. You will be a great Mami when the time comes, if only for the great hugs and the fact that you can probably make a Buddha laugh lol.
Sujeiry´s last [fabulousness] ..Dear Stranger, You Make Me Want To Be A Better Person

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Lisa Renata says:

Too funny. I didn’t have my first until I was 33- hum, so in your mom’s eyes what does that make me? Hahahah! You ARE young, enjoy your time with your hubby and when/if the time comes to have children you’ll be ready (as ready as one can be, which isn’t saying much. hahaha)

Posted on November 28th, 2011

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ says:

Love the comparison of a puppy to a baby! I’m childless right now but my clock is sure ticking. I have a puppy but I treat him like he’s a baby.. I spank him, talk to him and put him in time out when he’s in trouble, etc… all those things I suppose I’d do if I had a child right now. Do you in your time. While my mom is only now starting to press me about kids, I think she knows it’ll happen when it’s supposed to!

Posted on November 29th, 2011

Helenation says:

Love it :) And mija enjoy your puppy! I sure as hell did enjoy my Mafaldo and can say I was super happy about it.
The babies will come when (and if) you want them to come :) Un abrazote!
Helenation´s last [fabulousness] ..Quesillo – a recipe for disaster

Posted on December 1st, 2011

Mercedes @BeChicMag says:

Follow your heart and that’s it. Moms are awesome but you can’t take what they say to literal or we’ll go crazy :)
Mercedes @BeChicMag´s last [fabulousness] ..Backstage With Taylor Swift

Posted on December 2nd, 2011

Cynthia Martinez says:

Larissa…..I find myself walking on the other side of the street now too. And that has nothing to do with the fear I have that a puppy will smell Mommy on me and follow me home…but it kinda does

Posted on December 5th, 2011

Cynthia Martinez says:

Actually my mom had the “lesbian” talk with me when I was 21….she might still be worried but it’s ok I think she’s come to terms with that if that’s the case.

Posted on December 5th, 2011

Cynthia Martinez says:

Thank you Sujeiry…Imagine if I gave birth to a Buddha…Oh Em GEEE…my mami would be so proud.

Posted on December 5th, 2011

Cynthia Martinez says:

Thank you for reading! AND it worries me that you cannot be prepared. oh well! I guess I can have more than 1 to correct any errors. ( kidding)

Posted on December 5th, 2011

Cynthia Martinez says:

Awesome advice! Thank you!

Posted on December 5th, 2011