Tell me, is that sub-headline for a child or for a dog?
Yeah I can’t tell either, I can never really tell the difference. That’s because there really isn’t that much of a difference besides the context between the parents of children and the parents of dogs when bragging about their “kiddos”. Don’t believe me? Let’s take this into a scenario.
(DISCLAIMER: KIDDO MEANS EITHER CHILD OR DOG)
1. You see a fellow parent in public, and you get excited.
You’re walking to the closest coffee shop in the morning with your kiddo and have to stop at the crosswalk. Next to you another parent walks up and you turn to them and smile. Then you notice they also have a kiddo with them. Don’t you immediately feel empathetic towards the other parent? You look to admire their kiddo and then look back up and smile at the other parent. Its like that “hey what’s up I see you” smile. That smile is derived from the excitement you get from seeing a fellow parent out in public.
2. You both connect with the same eye roll and smile.
Then your kiddo starts complaining that the light is taking too long. They start making a ruckus, nudging on your arm, pulling at your leg, whatever it is it is somewhat cute but mostly annoying. The fellow parent next you starts to experience the same annoying ruckus when their kiddo follows along. As you both try to console your kiddo, you look at each other and you do either one of these three: smile out of empathy, you laugh because its just funny how traumatic this long light is to your kiddos, or you eye roll together because that’s the only thing to do besides blowing up on your kiddo. Either one of these reactions or even a combination of the three is what bonds you and the other parent. Like the bond between the blue people and strange flying animals in the movie Avatar, this bond connects you two on a whole other level, as if you are fist bumping on life.
3. You feel obligated to initiate conversation.
So of course, now that your bonded and connected and have mentally fist bumped like 15 times already, you feel obligated to initiate a conversation with this fellow parent.
“Crazy day right?” You state but in a questionable manner.
“Tell me about it, and you?” they reply, still trying to calm down their kiddo.
“Oh yes always with this one,” you awkwardly giggle, trying cover up how actually exhausted you are.
“Awe yes he is so cute, what is his name?” The fellow parent asks. And now, it really begins.
4. You begin to compare your kiddos, dueling over whose is best.
Forget the crosswalk light, you have skipped over it a few cycles already. You don’t notice it changing or the other people trying to walk around you because you are so entrapped by the conversation you and the fellow parent are having. You talk about your kiddo, when he came into your life, they talk about when their kiddo mastered potty training and how long it actually took her. You and the fellow parent compare your kiddos diet, their schedules, what they are good at, how social they are, how they make you laugh every day and how the kiddos take up almost of your time each day. The fellow parents talks about how her partner doesn’t help that much with the kiddo, and you feel bad saying how your husband is actually very helpful. This comparing goes back and forth, and every once in awhile you both look down at your kiddo to admire them, because they are just so freaking cute.
5. You want to keep talking, but pictures are better.
Since them in real life isn’t good enough, you both pull out your phones to compare cute and funny pictures you took of your kiddos. Their Halloween costume from last week. The picture of when they got all muddy from the rain in the front yard. The picture of your kiddo sleeping on the couch. a funny picture of their kiddo eating ice cream at the park. All these special moments being shared with a complete stranger, just because you love your kiddo so much you want the entire world to see and know how special they are.
6. You leave your fellow parents with some helpful tips.
Now that your kiddo’s patience is actually out the window and they start to blow up on you, begging to go, you have to part from your fellow parent. They tell you to look up that all-natural shampoo they found at Trader Joe’s, and you tell them to talk with their partner about helping them out more often for the betterment of their kiddo’s development. You kind of want to hug that fellow parent, but it’s like awkward so instead you send them off with that last helpful tip and then part with a wave and “good luck!”
7. You look and admire your kiddo for being who they are.
Now that you’ve parted ways, you make sure your kiddo is by your side as you cross the street and make it to the coffee shop you were supposed to be at 30 minutes before. As you sit there, drinking your coffee, checking emails, you just catch a little glance from your kiddo. They aren’t looking at you, but you’re looking at him or her. And boom. A wave of love hits you. You just want to grab and squeeze your kiddo, smother him or her in kisses, and tell them how much you love them. Even though they don’t understand how much love you actually have for them, they’ll take the hug and kisses and a ‘love you’ any day. Even on the days when you yell at him or her or get angry that they did something wrong that hug and kiss and ‘love you’ is always there to heal and comfort their precious hearts.
Now tell me, does that not match you with your child or dog?
I experience that with my parents, and I experience that when I am out with my family dog in public. I’m telling you it’s so funny if you pay attention to it. A parent is a parent, no matter what kiddo you have; they’re special in their own ways and you as a parent love to share them with the world.