Here’s one of the great things about raising pets: sure, your lack of training may turn them into ill behaved mischief makers, but it’s much harder to really screw them up psychologically than it is kids. Teach them sit, stay, and a few basic manners and for the most part, you have harmony.
Kids, on the other hand, are almost impossible not to mess up. You either neglect them or spoil them, demean them or overly praise them, treat them like Oliver Twist or Veruca Salt. No matter what you do, you’re doing it wrong, at least according to half the people you poll.
Which is why I never ask for advice.
Take yesterday, for example. My husband surprised me with a pair of Katy Perry tickets for myself and my daughter. I admit I had my reservations about this endeavor- I mean, I like the music but I also know exactly what she’s singing about. My daughter thinks the California girls are “sipping ginger juice”, if you know what I mean. But she loves the music. It’s just fun.
What sealed the deal for me was my sister telling me that when she was six her favorite song was “Afternoon Delight,” which she regaled our conservative New England neighbors with every afternoon in the mid-seventies. If she got away with that and still turned out normal, I figure a little Katy Perry grrrrl power heavily monitored by an overly cautious mom would be ok too.
So we got there, settled into our seats, and then heard “pssssst…..” I turned around, and there, not five feet away, was one of Zoe’s best buddies from school, sitting there with her mom. This happens to be one of my favorite women at the school, so I took this as a sign I wasn’t embarking on some moral slippery slope that would end up in a cloud of cigarette smoke and vodka on a stage in Vegas 15 years from now.
“I didn’t know you were going!” I said in amazement.
“Well, I didn’t exactly share it with the world,” she said. Then we agreed not to tell anyone. And here I am blogging about it. Sorry about that, “Penelope.” We have nothing to be ashamed of.
I debriefed my daughter the next morning, to see if there was any damage control I needed to deal with. “What do you remember about the show?” I asked cheerily, hoping she wouldn’t ask what that scene with the brownies was all about.
“Well, Katy likes candy,” she said.
“And she had a lost cat named Kitty Purry, but she looked for her and finally found her at the end of the show.”
“And- this was the best part- did you remember that song with all the big steaks floating around in the air?”
I nodded, because who could forget two 7-foot steaks flying over your head.
She paused for dramatic effect. “I wish BRODY could have seen that!”
So the concert was about responsible pet ownership and remembering to bring home a doggie bag. That’s my girl!