I think our furry children are in for a rough ride with Junior on the way.
Our oldest and smallest dog will probably take it the hardest. He has been around longer than all of the others and is extremely jealous of anything that takes our attention. If he is cuddling comfortably with me, for example, and my husband gives attention to our other dog or (even more horrifying) the cat, he will scramble over and stick his nose in the middle to get his lovin'.
Lately, as the baby moves more and more, I have taken to talking to him more and more. When he is moving, I talk to him about all sorts of things, including what a wonderful Baby he is and how much he is loved. Well, I think that I might talk to him in the same slightly higher pitched voice that I use to address the dogs. It drives our little dog crazy.
If I am sitting on the bed or couch, he will jump up and snuggle in, trying to nudge my hands off of my belly and turn my attention back his direction. If I am standing, he will prance around at my feet, anxiously whining and barking. My husband thinks this is funny, but it worries me a little about how he will be when the baby is actually here, and my focus will shift entirely.
Now, mind you, I can't see our furbabies getting completely neglected. But for our entire marriage, they have been the focus of our parental love and affection. They get a lot of attention. While I still plan on giving them the love and care that they need, until the dust settles, we are all going to be in for a readjustment.
We have read the books about acclimating animals and babies. We know to bring a blanket or piece of clothing home from the hospital prior to Baby's arrival. We know not to leave them unattended with Baby within their reach. We know to make introductions slowly and not expect a baby love-at-first-site-fest.
Hopefully, the dust will not billow for long, and we will all be settling into our new routines. I just hope the fur doesn't fly in the meantime.