You know the rest...
What some people may call the "natural progression" of a couple would be, I think:
2. maybe move in together (*GASP* before marriage?! you mean LIVING IN SIN!)
yea, we did it for 4 years before getting married, and I'm glad we made that decision!
3. get engaged
4. get married
And then you would THINK the next step would naturally be "have a baby" - but some people rationalize that it should go as follows:
1. get a plant (keep plant alive)
2. get an animal (keep animal thriving and alive!)
3. and THEN have a ababy
**Because keeping a plant and then a dog/cat alive is similar to raising a child... /end sarcasm font
I tend to disagree a bit (the dogs, once trained, only poop on command, and OUTSIDE!)
But I can also see this progression being helpful when preparing for a baby - keeping a plant alive teaches you responsibility for a living thing outside of yourself... but good news is if the plant dies, there's tons more where they came from (in my case, Home Depot)
I killed the first 5 house plants I attempted to
PLEASE dont ask me how I killed a plant that you DONT EVEN NEED TO WATER... I still have no idea...
But I've been back up to two plants for 4 months now! One is a spider plant from a neighbor and the other is an aloe plant from my mom - it traveled all the way from TX by minivan! (Maybe its the whole "I didnt just go out and buy this from Home Depot" vibe - if the plant carries a story, I feel more pressure and responsibility to keep them appropriately watered...)
And we did go a little out of order, according to the above "natural progression." Before the multiple-fauna-homicides, we had our first dog (who really started as mine, E's "stepson" - Rocco) from the day we first started dating... so CHECK on learning the responsibilty of keeping another breathing being alive! and up to date on wellness things like shots and vet visits!
And then we got a second dog, two years into marriage and 1 year into our new home and again, CHECK for keeping her alive! (although she dropped two lbs in the first few months...)
We've learned to watch the clock when we're out, calculating that it's either getting close to their meal- or potty-time and say "Hunnie, we should probably head home to take care of our baby-trainers!"
And we were all happy and blissfully domestic - two green houseplants, two happy trained doggies and two "furbaby" parents who think, yea ok - I can see how this at least helps get you ready for the repsonsibilities of a baby!
But then...its like the dogs sensed that somethin's a-comin' and conspired and said - THEY NEED SOME MORE PREP WORK!
Prep Session 1:
Rocco hauls himself off our bed in the middle of the night and starts heaving -vomits all over the master bedroom carpet...
We're up at 2am - I'm sitting with a sick dog on the cold tiled bathroom floor (easy clean up!) while E scrubs the carpet
Prep Session 2:
One morning we discover Zoey had peed in her crate
*load of laundry*
Later the same day, Rocco left TWO WET, STINK-ASS giant sized piles in the dining room and a wet turd on my brand new bathroom rug
*load of laundry*
As I head upstairs after starting laundry, I catch Zoey eating her own throwup on the stairs...
Prep Session 3:
SOMEONE (canine someone - I'm not including E in this suspect list... or maybe I should!) peed on the handmade afghan on the couch...
*DELICATE load of laundry*
24-hour CRAM Session:
Zoey threw up (what we think was half-digested POOP, according to the smell!!) in her crate
*had to be bathed, crate had to be cleaned out - 1st load of laundry*
She threw up again just moments after her bath, nearly all over E (again, the semi-masticated FECES vomit)
*had to be bathed, bathroom had to be cleaned up - 2nd load of laundry*
The very next morning, Zoey had pooped in her crate... we celebrated BIG that she didn't eat it!
*had to be bathed, crate had to be cleaned out - 3rd load of laundry*
So you see, I think we're getting a damn good baby-prep crash course:
- sleepless nights
- multiple loads of vomit/pee/poop stained laundry - IN ONE DAY
- new cleanup um - "situations" while still dealing with the original crime scene
We're so ready... /end sarcasm font!