Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Perfect Ending To A Long Day.

Yesterday was rough. My son wasn't particularly cranky, tired, or disagreeable, but rather, acting like a typical twenty-something month-old and testing every limit.

I told him not to hit the wall with his toy golf clubs. He heard me, lightly touched his putter to the wall and gently dragged it down the hall with an innocent look of someone who knows they've discovered the loophole.

Five minutes after naptime began, I heard his little voice screaming for water. The "I'm so dehydrated I'd take my chances with cutting open a cactus" trick is his latest to delay sleep and it's GENIUS because no parent will ignore a cry for water. Begrudgingly I brought it upstairs and was promptly told, "No water. I wanna get out."

He asked to go to the park and wanted to leave three minutes after arriving. I tried to stick it out. He started walking home. We left.

He demanded milk, juice, and ICED TEA at lunch but then decided water would be best. (Sidenote: It was not I who introduced him to iced tea.)

He wanted to go upstairs and then proceeded to throw blocks over the railing and chase them down.

He asked for a wagon ride and decided he'd like to pull the wagon himself and fill it with rocks.

Perhaps this all would have been fine if not for my 15 week-old beer belly which is wreaking havoc on my jacked-up back. I can't pick him up and when he asks and I say no he responds, "Oh. Back hurts." So you see, I have only my brains and no brawn in the fight. I'm losing.

Oddly, I decided cooking dinner would make me feel better. So I did. I made up a recipe for Spinach Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Pancetta, turned on Elmo and went to work. It almost felt like those wonderful days before parenthood when I would come home stressed out after work and cook to calm down. Back then, I was usually in workout gear and a little bit sweaty after an intense workout. Yesterday I was in the same gear and sweaty after a day of thinking about working out but never actually doing it.

My husband was running late so I sat down with the smallest piece of chicken to feed my son. Upon his first bite he said, "I don't like it."


Not believing it wasn't delicious, I took a bite and fell in love with myself. I proposed to myself. It was GOOD.

I watched him push it around his plate for 20 minutes requesting cookies and then gave up. "His loss," I thought, "this is good." I was excited for my husband to sample the day's domestic triumph.

With the boy cleaned up, I went into my room to brush my teeth as I was heading out with some friends as soon as my husband appeared. Mid-stroke, I heard a tiny little voice, "Mommy?" It was high-pitched and uncertain.

"Yah?" I mumbled over my buzzing brush? My response was a more urgent, "Mommy!" I dropped my brush and ran sure the boy had somehow wedged himself between the cupboard and the wall on a quest for a cookie.

What I found was worse.

My 100 pound Golden Retriever was ON THE TABLE and the CHICKEN WAS GONE.

I don't know what happened next because I blacked out. When the dust was settled I saw that I'd somehow hurled the dog off the table and out the door.  I'm pretty sure I told the dog I was definitely going to kill him in the near future.

I saw my son searching for "Mommy" where The Hulk now breathlessly loomed and calmed right down.

"Oh sweetie," I said, "it's ok. He's just a very bad dog (emphasis was on bad). He ate daddy's chicken. Now what will daddy have for dinner?"

Without a second of hesitation his little eyes, full of disbelief that I didn't know the answer, found mine and he answered, "hot dog."

I hugged him and glared at the dog through the door.

When my husband arrived my son retold the story which went like this, "[dog's name here] ate daddy's chicken. Bad Dog! Daddy have hot dog."

It ended up making for a very sweet toddler story and making me aim the day's frustration at the dog, but the dog is now dead to me. My only regret about the whole thing is that the chicken was boneless.

Friday, August 9, 2013

I Almost Beat A Door-To-Door Salesman With A Mop.

Yes, it's true. I almost just attacked a college-age boy trying to sell pest control services. He didn't catch me at my finest moment.

I had decided to clean.

This is rare.

I'm not a model of domesticity, but when I look around and realize the dog could probably survive for 48 hours foraging the scraps and crumbs on the floor, I take action.

Out came the vacuum, the bucket, and the sad excuse for a mop. Needless to say, I believe this was the mop's final mop and it's now on its way to the Swiffer team for the "mop in the garage/attic" casting call. It will NAIL the part.

Now, I don't clean much, but when I do, I give Cinderella a run for her money. Dustballs fly, sticky fingerprints come up, and sometimes I don a 1950s-style housedress to help me stay in the proper fram of mind.

Today, the dog stayed timidly behind me instead of retreating to his position under the stairs. This was lucky, or so I thought as I furiously mopped the area next to the front door and heard a knock on the door.

Looking through the peephole, I saw what I thought was a FedEx man awaiting my signature. Mop in hand, hair flying everywhere, pseudo housedress on, I opened the door and tried to block the innocent package deliverer from my ferocious Golden.

"He's going to run out," I warned the FedEx man, "give me the clipboard fast and I'll sign."

"Uhhhhh," the boy said to the crazy lady in front of him as she saw there was no package in his hand nor truck in the street.

My eyes narrowed, my grip on the dog's collar tightened, and I asked, "Who are you? What do you want?" all the while thinking, "God, please don't let this be a Jehovah! I don't want to waste my cleaning energy on this."

He explained he was with a pest control company.

I explained I was busy and not interested.

He asked if he could come back.

I said no so he kept talking.

I told him I had pest control covered.

He told me my neighbor said the same thing but was willing to give him a chance.

The dog, who usually runs outside with the force of a locomotive, circles the poor delivery man and snarls and lunges like a damn wolf, took this time to wag his tail and ask Mr. Pest Control to continue. "You asked me to eat a bug the other day," the dog said to me with his way-too-friendly eyes.

"I did!" I yelled back, "and then I called Orkin. What are you doing with the friendly tail?!"

As the young boy at my door launched into his company's selling points, I brought the mop uncomfortably close to him and then used it to emphasize the following phrase:

" I. Can't. Do This. Now. The Dog Will Run Out."

Then I shoved the dog back inside the house and shut the door on Mr. Pest Control. As it turns out, the dog, the mop and I are pretty good at keeping pests away.