I always suspected that our girls would have some trouble adjusting to the new addition in the family. At no point was this made more clear to me than on the afternoon Andy and I assembled the pram. As I knelt in front of my laptop, beseeching Google or YouTube to explain how to put the effing thing together, I was too distracted to pay any attention to the girls. Minutes passed without a kind word or even a cursory glance in their direction. The girls were not prepared to tolerate this level of neglect any longer, and let me know it by pawing and clawing at my bum.
Yes, since Angus has made us a family of 5, the fur kids are not 100% alright. Maggie, the 4yr old, has decided she wants to be a baby, too, and has taken to following around our other dog, Mysti (who happens to be her mum), and lapping at her teats. And Mysti has been sprung not only trying to sneak outside with a pair of Angus’s socks, but also with one of his dummies in her bed.
But our new family is slowly bonding. On a few occasions when I’ve been trying to settle Angus as he squawks and squirms in my lap, I have caught Mysti casting a sympathetic, knowing look my way. She’s had 4 litters, so I guess she has seen it all. And of course there was the unforgettable moment when Angus’s pee spilled on to the floor during a diaper change, and Mysti and Maggie came bounding to the rescue and licked up the puddle for us.
Andy and I are finding out just how hard it is to give all of your children equal affection and attention, all of the time. Especially when one of them demands your input into every mouthful, your assistance with cleaning up every excretion, and relies on you as his primary mode of transport. (While I have been assured that this degree of dependency will not be forever, I am also led to believe that we may face a resurgence in his teenage years. Especially in dealing with his shit. Particularly if alcohol is involved.)
During the final few weeks of my pregnancy, we found out that Mysti has several health issues that require rather involved intervention. So besides dealing with Angus, our darling girl also has to contend with a new diet, new medication, modified activity levels and twice weekly visits to the vet to receive laser treatment on 3 of her legs. On the plus side, at least she gets to play dress-ups while she’s there…
On a final note, if anyone reading this takes issue with people referring to their pets as children, let’s just agree to disagree. But if you really want to press the point and make a big deal out of it, I’ll encourage you to speak to my friend, Mr Middle, who resides between my index and ring fingers. 😆