So, last night Brad and I were sitting with Roosevelt in the dining room eating supper when Rusty ran up from the basement (where the other kids were finishing their food) with two swollen hands. Figuring he was having an allergic reaction to something, I hustled to the bathroom to give him Benadryl (while simultaneously snapping photos and texting my friend Molly for her food-allergy mom opinion), slathered him in cortisone, and laid him on our bed with instructions to “tell me immediately if your throat starts to itch!”
In the midst of this, Brad threw a refried bean-covered Roo in the bathtub, leaving the kitchen totally unoccupied with all the supper contents well within the dog’s reach. Ever the opportunist, Daph proceeded to knock my plate to the floor, then lick and chew the high chair.
Frustrated, I did a quick-clean of the kitchen while Brad washed the baby, then yelled at the other three kids to please bring everything up from the basement table to prevent another dog-induced disaster. As plates and Coke cans piled on the counter, they seemed to have fully complied and so I told them to get pajamas on.
At this point, with Roo and Rusty laying in our room and the others presumably getting ready for bed, Brad decided to take a phone call and I headed downstairs to wipe the table and, I figured, do a little sweeping. As I stepped on the floor, my foot hit something wet.
J, it turned out, had left her plate, next to a half-full can of soda, which Daph knocked down as she stood on her back legs to grab her leftover nachos. Anticipating my reaction and in, I’m sure, a panic, the dog drug the whole mess throughout the basement. Coke seeped under the glass and onto the wood door that serves as our giant bar.
I. Lost. It.
Mostly on the dog (“Damn it, Daphne!”), partly on Brad (who had locked himself in Roo’s room to finish his call) and partly on the universe, God, luck, and myself for being dumb enough to think I could calmly handle five children, an emotionally-challenged Weimaraner and, you know, life.
By 9:30, everything was back in place and the kids were asleep and I was busy hating the way I’d reacted.
Brad wasn’t super thrilled with me either.
And it turned into a long, long night. Where I sat wide awake and read and ate popsicles and resolved to do better next time.
The sun came up this morning, of course. I apologized to the whole crew for not acting like an adult. Rusty’s swelling went down. I made a note to call the allergist. Every one of us got ready and where we needed to be in a fairly organized fashion.
Life moved on.
Now I need to.
I hesitated to write this. I’ve been working so hard on keeping things in perspective and this felt like a world-record long jump backwards. But it seemed dishonest not to.
Because it’s real.
And maybe you lost it last night and you’re chugging coffee today and you need to hear that you’re not the only one.
I’m right there with you.
And we’ll both do better the next time.