Sorry Guys, Your Mom is Afraid of Dogs And Cats And Sheep… by Farzaneh “Fari” Fouladi Bearman
I married a man who is of a different culture, country, religion, political ideology and even taste in music. I consider myself a progressive as I assumed Ben is ever so grateful that I accepted his marital request. Before kids, I never really gave a thought of how I would deal with our opposing world views when it came time to parenting.
And, it wasn’t until I moved to Summerville, SC and joined Mothers & More that I realized I would dread the day when every house we visited for a play date or book club had a…dog or cat or hamster or sheep or all of the above!
If you personally know me, then you know that I am absolutely positively afraid of animals, be it domesticated or wild. I have to clarify, I do not hate animals. I am extremely afraid of animals because I am not sure how to handle a hostile animal-to-human conflict.
My Political Science degree did not offer Conflict-Animal-Resolution and Animal-to-Human public policy courses. Though, if there was a talking-rabbit who was also a radical conservative and a member of the GOP, then I would know how to ease our tensions.
Also, I don’t have fangs or claws to defend myself. With that, I hate the zoo. I refuse to take my child to the circus because I don’t know when an elephant will snap and stump on my head. If you were wondering, I am okay with aquariums. Animals are meant to be in the wild. They should be somewhere in the jungle singing and dancing like in the cartoons “The Lion King” or “Jungle Book” – not in my backyard. And, in Summerville, SC everyone, and I mean everyone, I knew owned some sort of animal, rodent or both.
Then, that dreadful day came when Mariam was almost three and asked for a puppy. How did Ben feel about this? Well, for one, he loves animals! He grew up on a horse farm, had several dogs, cats, a bird, and maybe a rabbit or two growing up. His mother was the town’s veterinarian. Put it this way, when I was giving birth to both Mariam and Emilia respectively, he told the nurses he was confident about coaching me through it because he had witnessed and even assisted in birthing horses. (Note to Ben: I am still not a horse)
At first, I would entertain the idea. Some days Mariam will bring one of her stuffed puppies (did I mention stuffed animals also give me the creeps?) and pet it in front of me. And, with her huge big brown eyes try to convey that having a puppy is a blessing.
I told her that when there comes a day when a puppy learns to use the potty then I may consider it. Until then, the electronic puppy that does back flips with a touch of a button will have to do.
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