When a Pet Dies

cockatiel_birdI remember some of the saddest days growing up were the days after losing a favorite pet. This past weekend, we lost one of our cockatiels, Grey. He was the sweetest of the pair, by far. He was the only one that would let Blake rub his head and whistle “pretty bird.” Now, the other bird, Beck, is grieving the loss of his cellmate. Blake, on the other hand, is kind of oblivious to it. I’m sure he won’t remember Grey because he is just now a year old. They say your earliest memories are from the time you were around two years old. Nevertheless, it got me thinking about what we will do when he is of age and a pet dies.

 

I have heard so many stories about handling the death of a child’s pet. Everything from “he went to live on a farm with a lot of other animals” to “he is just sleeping.” Some parents have even found replacement animals that look like the dead one, and quickly make the switch while the kids are away. I even heard a story of a child that had a Beta fish for a few years before realizing that it wasn’t the same one. In fact, it was about the eighth one. The parents kept replacing it every time to avoid having to explain what happened. I’m not judging. I may have to do the same thing one day. For now, I just tell him that the birdie went bye-bye and he is content.

 

How do you handle the death of a pet with your child? Do you buy a replacement and wait for the child to notice, or do you tell your child what really happened?

When Sickness Strikes

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. I admit, sometimes you just can’t do everything you set out to do, no matter how you try to schedule it. This past weekend was one of those times. I was hit simultaneously with two weeks worth of school assignments, a new training class at work, and mama and baby were both sick.

 

Usually, my school has 11 week quarters with assignments that are due each week. I assumed the winter quarter was following the same schedule, though I thought it was funny that week 11 was referred to as week 10 part 2, in the syllabus for my classes. Still, I didn’t think much of it until week 10, when the announcement went out. Yes, week 10 part 2 was just that. Another week’s worth of assignments crammed into an already heavy week. This meant that I had to complete two 10-15 page term papers and two final exams in one week. Or, in my case, one weekend.

 

On Friday things seemed to be going ok. I completed my first exam and was studying for another before finally going to bed around midnight. Then it happened. My wife repeatedly got up through the night and made it hard for the dog and I to get some sleep. When morning came around I was helpless. I went to Blake’s room and found that he, too had the same type of stomach virus that Julie had. There was no way I could play nurse and complete all of my schoolwork. So, I did what every smart dad would do…I called my mom. She was already planning to come over anyway. I just needed her to stop by the store for a few things and come earlier.

 

On Sunday I woke up with a touch of what the rest of the family had, but it went away pretty quickly. I was relieved because I still had to finish my papers and prepare for the new class that started on Monday, at work. After staying up until about 1 AM, I completed everything and everyone was feeling better and ready to start the week…Then came Wednesday.

 

I was hit head on by a stomach virus that is just now leaving. I’m glad that Julie and Blake only had a 24 hour version because mine lasted four days. Plus, I ended up going to the ER to get fluids by IV. I did learn a few things, though:

  • Drink Plenty of Fluids – This is usually common sense, however common sense seems to escape your mind when you are trying to keep up with everything. Also, the type of fluid is important. You certainly don’t want to drink apple juice all day. You need electrolytes. The same advice goes for your little one. Pedialyte is good for toddlers when they have a stomach virus. They also make a popsicle version. Gatorade is good for adults, but it is best to water it down. If you don’t drink your fluids, you will end up dehydrated with a needle in your arm hooked to a bag of fluid, in a room with no TV to watch the NCAA tournament.
  • Have Diapers Close By –  Ok, this is mainly for the kids in diapers. Those things fill up fast when there is a stomach virus involved. You may not have time to make it to the changing table. Make sure you always have one in reach…just in case.
  • Follow the B.R.A.T. Diet – No, this is not the brat diet as in bratwurst and beer. It is simply bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. This works wonders. In fact, this diet alone may be the reason Julie and Blake got over the virus quicker than I did. I didn’t eat anything for three days. They ate the B.R.A.T. diet all day on Saturday.
  • Do Not Order a Pizza – You won’t eat it anyway. After eating nothing for three days, you think you could eat an entire pizza with the works. I now know from experience that you can’t… and you shouldn’t try to eat the first slice. You will regret it. Stick to the B.R.A. T. diet. It works.
  • Do Not Pas Gas – Ok, I am a dad. I had to put this sage piece of advice in. Trust me, don’t do it.

What advice would you give someone going through, or has a child going through a stomach virus? Leave a comment in the section below. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Learning to Share

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Today was our son’s first birthday party. We will have his second, first birthday party in a couple of weeks. It worked out great because our dog turns three this week. Yes, we celebrate our dog’s birthday. We also call him brother when we refer to him in front of Blake, our son. Don’t judge me.

 

Anyway, I have heard a lot of people say that it is hard for an only child to learn to share because they have everything to themselves. I disagree with this for two reasons. One, I am an only child and I am sharing this valuable information with anyone that reads this. Also, Blake loves to share with his brother, Bono the dog. Today as he was eating his lunch, he would take a bite and pass a bite to the dog. In fact, every time he eats, he shares something with the dog. We have repeatedly tried to stop this habit but have succumbed to the fact that he is just sharing with his buddy. We constantly see the two of them sharing their toys. Blake has a toy box and so does Bono. We have  found Blake’s toys in Bono’s box numerous times. Bono’s tennis ball seems to always be in Blake’s toy box. I think playing fetch is their favorite thing to do together. They play it a little different, though. Bono will bounce the ball and bat it away with his snout. Blake will go get it and bring it back so Bono can do it again.

 

At the party today, we had a few members of family over and everyone enjoyed playing with Blake and Bono. After all of the play, both of them had a bath. Separately, of course. After the baths they came out and were getting sleepy. What happened next was priceless. Blake grabbed his plush rabbit and took it over to where Bono was laying on the floor as if to say “ Here, this is more comfortable than the floor.” Bono looked at it and scooted over to it, laid down on it, and fell asleep.

 

Yes, an only child does know how to share.

 

Feel free to share these posts if you are an only child, or even if you aren’t  The world needs more sharers. You can also subscribe by RSS or email.

 

 

Phil

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Dad Blogs.

Welcome to My Blog

Hi, my name is Phil Littleton. I am a husband and a father. I am a teacher and a student.

I have been married to my wife for seven and a half wonderful years. Our son was born almost a year ago and has brought so much joy to our family over the past year. It is his approaching birthday that has prompted me to start this blog.

Before he was born, I was looking forward to his birth, while wondering how I was going to do it. I work a full-time job as a corporate trainer (that’s the teacher part), and I have been a full-time online student for the past two years. Now that we are approaching his first birthday, I look back and wonder how I did it.

If there is one thing I have learned in life, it is that experiences are lessons to be shared. That is my intention for this blog. I will share my experiences from the past, the present and the future. From time to time I will share tools that I have found that help me in my personal and corporate life. Other times I may share milestones that our son is coming to.

I hope you will find this site useful in your personal life as well as your corporate life. If you do find it useful, please subscribe to be updated each time there is a new post. Also, feel free to leave comments in the comments section. As I stated earlier, experiences are lessons to be shared. We all have a lot that we can learn from each other. The comments section is one of many places that we can do that.

Until next time,

Phil