The other day I made a classic error. Ryan has finally made the leap from “I like dogs” to “I want to get a dog” and we were discussing the issue on the couch together. I told them that we might get a dog someday, but that we probably wouldn’t do it until after we tried for another baby, and the new baby was at least a couple years old.
The kids had previously been in favor of another baby, but phrased in this way, they both reached the obvious conclusion.
“I want a dog instead of a baby,” Ryan told me.
“Me too,” said Nathan. “Let’s get a dog instead.”
I tried to convince them that the baby part wasn’t really optional; that I hadn’t been offering them a choice so much as a timeline. I’m not sure this makes any sense to them. Just this morning Ryan brought up the subject again.
“I want a dog,” he said, then added, “Not a baby.”
After a moment’s consideration, though, he took the possibilities one step farther.
“I want a dog to fight the baby,” he told me.
I honestly don’t know where that came from.