Life is like a can of turkey

I don't know if you've noticed that I don't have any kids. That's because I don't want to have kids. I have had people say just awful things to me about this, but my favorite thing people say is, "Well, you'd feel different about motherhood once you had one."

Okay. Well. Is this something we really want to experiment with? I mean, should I just go ahead and have a child, which I don't want to do, on the off chance that maybe I'd feel like this was a good idea once it was here and I'd made a lifetime commitment to nurture and care for it? It just really never seemed like such a smart scheme to me.

Tongue But you may have noticed that I do have a dog. This is my first dog ever. I never had one growing up. We were always cat people. My mother started getting dogs just as soon as I moved out of the house. To say that they replaced me would not at all be inaccurate. They have presented her with exactly the same problems that I did: each one has been unruly, uncontrollable, wild, gets Ds in math, and dates Republicans.

So, this being my first dog, I really had no way of knowing if she was a smart dog or not. I knew that Beagles were in the top 10 of least-intelligent breeds, and if you'll recall from the 7 million dollars I spent on the dog's DNA test, she is part Beagle. But the other two breeds she has in her are supposed to be highly intelligent.

Did you know you can Google "Dog IQ tests" and there are many little tests you can give your canine? First I did the ol' throw the towel over your dog's head thing. My mother said her Beagle will sit there all day with the towel on its head, just accepting the fact that it lives in terrycloth world now.

I am happy to tell you that Lula got that towel off in two seconds, so I moved on to other rigorous exams. I was moving furniture around and hiding treats and dirtying pans. Oh, I went to town on the IQ tests.

And she did so well on them! My dog was BRILLIANT!  The whole next day, every time I looked at her, I was so full of the pride. Maybe she was the smartest dog ever. Maybe she secretly knew how to solve this economic crisis, if only she could get out the human words. Perhaps she wasn't really humping the cat, she was trying to tap out messages to me in Morse code!

So I went back online and got more. This time there was a video. It showed this very British man who had a tin can. He made a Lab stay and watch while he put a treat under said tin can. As soon as the Lab was allowed to move, that dog tore over there, knocked over the can, and got the treat. Then they showed a Shi-Tzu, who wandered over and sniffed the can, then gave up.

Well! I knew how Marie Curie, over here, would do! I emptied poor Marvin's can of olives (that's where your olives went, hon, in case you were looking for them. You really shouldn't store open cans in the fridge anyway, botulism boy) and made Tallulah lie down and stay. She watched while I put turkey under the can. "Okay!" I said.

She got up and hurried over. She bent her head down to look at the can. And she stared. And stared.

And stared.

"Get the turkey, girl!" I yelled. I'm afraid I even tapped the can a little.

She gave new meaning to the term "hangdog," the way she just kept hanging her head down. I started to feel a little sweaty. "Tallulah!" I said, a little shrilly. "There's turkey under the can! TURKEY!" I may even have lifted the can.

Three words kept running through my head: "Run, Forrest! Run!"

You guys, THIS is why I should not have kids. I would have the kind of kids who have nervous breakdowns when they get Bs, or who have to run away from home because they didn't get into Harvard. I was SO DISAPPOINTED in her that she wasn't as smart as that freakish, egghead Lab from the video who was probably on performance-enhancing drugs just to make all of us with NORMAL dogs feel bad.

I stopped giving her IQ tests after that, because I am thinking she's gonna break out in hives, or I am, or the turkey will.

That's all I have to say about that.

50 thoughts on “Life is like a can of turkey

  1. You just experienced motherhood. I am Texas Cheerleader Mom as is my BFF. We compare notes and save for our kid’s therapy.
    Just say if Lula had wanted to get the turkey she could have, she just chose not to.

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  2. June, you never seemed like someone who wanted to run out and have kids, even way back when. I think that you and Tallulah knew each other in a previous life. Except last time she was picking up your poop.

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  3. We’re doing the no-kids route. Every time we see a misbehaving child or hear yet another rising-cost-of-daycare horror story, my husband and I (discreetly) whisper “cats not brats,” then high-five. That being said I do love playing the part of fun, craft aunt/baby sitter/ bad influence. As long as they go home after a few hours, right?

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  4. My son is considering boarding school next year. I am definately one of THOSE moms. I asked him what I’m supposed to do without a child to take care. His answer was for me to e-mail you and find out what you do since you don’t have children. He said you seem to have a pretty happy life.
    Guess I’ll have to give June all those IQ tests. That should keep me busy for a while.

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  5. Did you know your dog understands words? yeah I watched a show that had a dog on it that the lady could say “Rover go get your red doll.” and Rover would go and get the red doll. I tried that with my Hairy Weener and he looked at me then lookd a the red doll and then went and peed on my table. Smart Dog!
    Lulah is MUCH smarter than that. I mean she digest books for heavens sakes. She is a freakin ‘roads’ scholar! 😉

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  6. I think women who say things like that are probably a little bit envious of your child-free existence. (I know I am, sometimes).
    My bro & his wife are thinking of adopting (after being pretty infertile for a few years), but lately they’ve decided to wait awhile, and I totally applaud their honesty and desire not to be pressured into anything. It IS a lifetime commitment, and even when you do want kids a million percent, there will still be days you wish you didn’t have those darling, precious little goober-faces (even if they are WELL above-average :).

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  7. About a millisecond after we got married, my husband’s family started asking when we were gonna have kids. It didn’t stop until one day I replied with a thoughtful tone “Well, you know, we thought about it and we’d rather get a cat. Less work.” Although I still don’t have the damn cat and instead have a weiner dog draped across my chest as we speak. I think she’s a cat in a dog disguise.

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  8. babies are just another std. my mother does not appreciate this point of view.
    also maybe the dog smelled the olives and is not a fan.
    if only you had started teaching her another language before she entered daycare perhaps she’d be further along developmentally.

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  9. 1) I would pay money to see the Republican dogs your mom’s dog dates (probably some Bichon Frise with painted toe nails!)
    2) NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER listen to mothers who try to tell you to have children because you’ll LOVE being a mother once the deed is done. Those women just want you to be as miserable as they are. (I’ve got 2. ‘Nuff said.)
    3) Now I’m going to have to bust out the Doggie IQ tests for my Border Collie… who I am POSITIVE is smarter than most adult humans. First test: turkey under tbe can. Second test: test my husband with the turkey under the can.

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  10. 1. Maybe Lula didn’t want Turkey. Maybe she was waiting there, patiently staring at the can, hoping Big Hair would get the message and hide some salami under there.
    2. I was curious as to why no children but didn’t want to ask. I love my kids, no doubt about it, but I have my secret fantasy of what I would be doing at any given time of the day if I were not a mom. Most of it involves eating unhealthy food, watching TV that isn’t appropriate for them in the middle of the day and sleeping. Sleep, glorious sleep.
    Also, if you were to have children, it probably wouldn’t change the fact that you didn’t really long for kids. And then you have a walking, talking, snotting, pooping, etc., etc., reminder of what you didn’t want and what you gave up to be a mom. It wouldn’t be fun. I have a friend who had a baby after not wanting any and she is really not that happy.
    3. More proof we may be related… the man I take care of is forever leaving things in the fridge in an opened can. And I always call him “Botulism Boy.”

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  11. Now you made me think of Grandma S who every time we talked would ask me if I thought you didn’t have kids because of something. And every time it was a different something.

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  12. I just have to weigh in, because of the person who said that women who tell you you should have a kid just want you to be miserable like them – that’s not true at all. They may be mistaken about how you will feel, but they are truly trying to share their joy. I hated children. I tried convincing Larry during my first pregnancy that we should give the baby up for adoption, but he wanted to keep it. Thank goodness I listened to him. I loved the baby almost at first sight (well, 3 days later) and it really made me grow up. Having kids has made me a far better person, that’s for sure.
    So no misery here – even with all the vomit.

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  13. Hot Diggity Dog. I just tried it on my dog and she did it! Well, sort of. She pushed the can around the room until it bumped into something and tipped over. Now my Einstein of a dog keeps going back to see if anything else is in there.

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  14. Oh June! You crack me up! I’m glad you are honest about the whole kid thing. However, I hope someone has told you that you would make a good mother! You would be fun…and even though you might put your babies through wierd tests…you would realize the problems it might cause (poor Turkey) and love them anyways!

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  15. *giggling* “Accepting the fact that it lives in terrycloth world now.”
    I so want a beagle now. I have children, and I need a low-maintenance pet. No, wait. I want a cute, little, insipid shi-tzu. I probably should just get a knick-knack instead- really low maintenance. (Feel free to correct my possibly incorrect hyphen usage).

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  16. *giggling* “Accepting the fact that it lives in terrycloth world now.”
    I so want a beagle now. I have children, and I need a low-maintenance pet. No, wait. I want a cute, little, insipid shi-tzu. I probably should just get a knick-knack instead- really low maintenance. (Feel free to correct my possibly incorrect hyphen usage).

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  17. *giggling* “Accepting the fact that it lives in terrycloth world now.”
    I so want a beagle now. I have children, and I need a low-maintenance pet. No, wait. I want a cute, little, insipid shi-tzu. I probably should just get a knick-knack instead- really low maintenance. (Feel free to correct my possibly incorrect hyphen usage).

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  18. I agree with the commenter who said Tallulah didn’t like the olive smell. After you went to bed, I bet she made herself a turkey sandwich with non-olive-y turkey. She was thinking, “What the hell was Big Hair up to with the turkey under the olive can? Bah. Humans.”
    Also, I have two kids and I’m reluctant to try the towel IQ test on either of them.
    And? You crack me up. Dating Republicans. Hee hee hee hee.

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  19. Don’t you just love how in doggie world, a tiny bit of residual olive juice can be unappetizing, however, a whiff of cat butt can be downright intoxicating.
    In the photo, is Lula doing her “Confucious say” imitation?

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  20. Well now I know what me & Cortana will be doing tonight. Will post results later.
    This may be a dumb question, maybe it’s too early… Do dogs get smarter as they get older? Because Cortana is 4 or 5 months old, will her puppiness affect her results? I’ll have to retest later in life. My own science experiment.

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  21. Have you seen the YouTube video of the Shi-Tzu who could not get out of the ring of empty soda cans set out on the floor? Dumb dog.
    I’d rather have my kid, she cooks dinner and throws the cans in the recycling bin!
    Either way, kids or dogs, they are both a huge responsibility and bring many rewards. Do your thing.

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  22. I prefer the company of pets. People have teeth and claws.
    Childless by choice, I have often told inquisitive strangers (and my mother every time she calls) that I will have a child when I can leave some extra food out and the toilet seat up and go away for the weekend.

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  23. I got my first dog, ever, this past summer. I have kids but oh, how we have all failed miserably in the get some kids and give it a go theory.
    Having kids is overated. Oh sure, they’re all cute and squishy at first (if you can get past the smell). But then they grow up and start helping themselves to your cash and your booze.
    Had I been wise like you, I’d have tried the dog first.
    I blame this on my Great Aunt Effie, who never had kids. On her death bed she said “Have kids or you’ll be very very sad”. I finally came to realize that Great Aunt Effie was cursing me from her death bed.

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  24. Not wanting kids is the very best reason not to have them.
    People get all bunged up about it, don’t they?
    It’s like that even if you decide to have just one, two, or seven. Opinions and assholes.

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  25. The comments have made me sad. I was the kid with a parent who wished they maybe hadn’t had kids. Your kids know. And to each his own. I’ve never bad-mouthed a person who chose to not have kids, so why bad-mouth my intentions and life.
    Sorry so heavy. It just struck a chord with me.

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  26. I’m a mother and I’m neither jealous or misserable. I LOVE being a mom even though and would not give it up. I didn’t plan on having kids, I’m kinda surprised I love it so much. I sometimes miss the “old” days were I could do whatever,whenever, but I wouldn’t trade. Just like I don’t really want to be 18 again even though that was fun too. But I think it’s great that you don’t want kids and you are not letting society pressure you into it. I think that’s perfectly normal not wanting to have kids.
    By the way, I love your blog.

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  27. I wanted to chime in again. I re-read my comment… Believe me, I LOVE my kids and REALLY, REALLY wanted them. To the tune of lots and lots of fertility treatments. And then one little guy who decided to take care of it himself. I have always wanted kids, probably since I was born. And, according to my own mom, the wise one that she is, I “turned a corner” right after my first baby “was born. She used to be so LAZY and SELFISH.” Yes, my mother. But, there is truth to her words. I am a better person because of my kids. I am more patient, kinder, quieter and more organized.
    I guess I was trying to tell June that whatever she wants is fine. It is hard in this world when a married couple doesn’t want kids. Everyone is all “Why???? What do you suppose that means??? You think they have marital, financial, mental health problems??? Do you think he beats her???” It is what it is. And June, for the record, I love you, kids or no kids.

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  28. Well, I do think it’s a shame you’re not passing on you wit and hilarity and big hair–but then who knows? You might get a kid with good hair. Like me. Who has a mother with coarse, thick hair, of which I have not. but the experiment wouldn’t be worth it, and often when reading your blog I think, ‘How nice would that be to do stuff without kids getting in the way and getting to do whatever you want?’

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  29. Look at you and your skinny self! I know you, you’re totally that mom at doggy day care that thinks her dog is better and smarter than all the other dogs. “Not my Tallulah, she doesn’t start fights, I’m sure she was provoked by that Cocker Spaniel over ther! That Cocker has always been jealous of Lula’s blonde hair!”

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  30. Dude, I think the whole “have a kid, you’ll feel different then” idea is EXCELLENT. I mean, instead of feeling like you pretty much don’t want that life, you could feel wildly resentful of a small person and filled with regret and the desire to chew off your own arm and be free. That would be AWESOME.
    I don’t understand the people who need to pressure others to make the same decision they have. I mean, I have kids and I’m glad. I also had a chocolate malt tonight, and I was pretty happy about that. I recommend either of those choices if they appeal to you, but what do I care if you choose something different? (The malt was amazing, though.)
    Now I’m going to go throw a towel over my dog’s head.

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  31. Oooohh, my dog is so stupid. She just wandered around with that towel on her head, sort of bobbing and wagging her tail, bumping into things. It could have been my husband and me, laughing our fool heads off, but she seemed pretty happy about the whole thing. And then I put some chicken under a can and she raced over, sniffed at HER OWN FEET, then sat down and looked at me with sad eyes.
    So pitiful.

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  32. I don’t think that most people purposely try to put pressure on childless people. But I can truly say that if I hadn’t had children… I would never have truly experienced love. Yes, my parents are loving, and so is my husband… but when you have a child, something magical happens.
    To some, they think that by not having children, you are missing out on one of the greatest experiences that life has to offer… and you are. But if you don’t know what you’re missing, than what is the harm really?
    There is so much to life, and to each their own.

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  33. No kids here, either, just cats. Before I retired I always told folks that I had dozens of children…and at 3:00 in the afternoon they all went home to live with some other lovely people. You could tell folks you have (whatever number of kids Marvin teaches) children who spend their days in Marvin’s classroom and then go home to live with some other lovely people.

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