My pet bunnies have taught me about parenting. It’s odd but true. As you might already know, Eunice and I have two rabbits named Marbles and Scrabble that we adopted from the Toronto Humane Society in 2012. Now I’ve never owned a pet before in my life since getting my bunnies, so the experience has been a challenging one. I say challenging because it was a commitment to care for them, feed them, clean their cage, and let them play around the house. I did not share the same affection for cute furry things like Eunice, nor the desire to care for their well being. Call me cold-hearted; call me whatever, I’m sure someone shares the same perspective! Nonetheless these last six years of nurturing them has changed me. So here are 3 lessons my pet bunnies taught me about parenting
My bunnies can be really agitating! They like to chew up power cords, make a mess with their food, and get into places they aren’t allowed into. There have been so many times when I’m tempted to just flip out at them. However, raising these bunnies has taught me to be more patient with both pets and humans alike. In the case of my toddler, it’s taught me that she can’t fully grasp my “do’s and don’ts”. Her messes are not sinister schemes to usurp my authority (that will come soon enough) or expressions of her life’s purpose to make me angry. She’s exploring something new. And as parents we ought to be patient with our children and not allow their exploration to anger us. Correction needs to come, but it definitely takes time!
Don’t expect them to ever understand the sacrifices you’ve made
You already know. My bunnies, however, have no idea what I do for them. They hang around all day playing, lounging, eating snacks, and taking naps. Eunice and I do alot for them. She grooms them and stimulates their minds by hiding treats around the house. We go back to the store to exchange hay they don’t like. I prepare fresh veggies for them every morning and even say grace. At the end of the day, they don’t even like me! The proof is in the chinning; bunnies mark their territory by rubbing their chins on things. But, whenever I go to pet them, they hardly ever show me that affection. Our kids won’t know all the sacrifices that we make for them, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re ours.
Perfect an authoritative tone
With the bunnies, I’ve developed a signature tone of voice that perks up their little ears. Most of the time Eunice has to chase them around the room in order to shoo them back in their cage. They usually just walk right over her. By contrast, all I have to do is say “home” in my bossy voice and they go scurrying right into the cage. Same goes for any other shenanigans they get into. I’ve found that the same goes for Rosie. She’s much more attentive when I speak with that same tone. It’s not a nasty, loud, or scary tone, if that’s what you’re thinking, but it lets them know that you mean business.
So those are the 3 lessons my pet bunnies taught me about parenting! Above all, I think I learned to stop and enjoy these moments. Parenting is not just about changing their poppy diapers, but it’s also about the cuddles, the laughter, and the fun.
*Disclaimer – I am in no way insinuating that my daughter is something of a pet, or that I adopted bunnies in order to prepare for parenthood.
What are your greatest parenting tips? Did you learn them from unexpected places? Let us know below!