Monday, March 17, 2008

Not such a good morning

Yesterday morning we were getting ready for church... which always has its challenges.

I was trying mightily to get myself ready, while knowing that the kids needed getting out of bed. Shawn had left earlier to thrum the electric bass, get sound levels set, all that, as he does almost every Sunday morning.

I was planning to wear black. This is not unusual; I wear black at least 50% of the time, maybe 75%. However, I was planning to wear a black velvet top, and I did not want to get hair all over it (a futile hope, I know, but I try to do what I can). The upshot is that I was trying to dry my hair, and style it a little, before getting dressed and going around to wake the children.

ASIDE: It is hard to figure out what to call your children when they aren't really children any more. The schools have "solved " this by calling them students. As in, "Your students are doing so well and working so hard." I just want to scream every time I hear this. They are not my students. The ones I homeschooled were my students whilst I was homeschooling them, but we have put an end to that. They are not my students. They are the school's students, the teacher's students, but they are my children. Except that they are not children. While driving them to school the other morning, we had a discussion about that. I said, "How about if they just call you what you are: my offspring, my progeny, my SPAWN. Yes, that would be appropriate. They could tell us all about our SPAWN." Laura said, "That wouldn't be politically correct, because what about adopted children and foster children and legal guardian issues and stuff like that?" I said, "OK, here is it, they can tell us about our SPAWN and our CHARGES."

So, I was trying to get to where I could go wake my spawn ("could" referring to the manner and modesty of my garb following my morning shower), and I had to dry my hair before I could reasonably put on my black velvet top. And the upshot of that is that we were off to a late start.

Oh, but it can always get later.

I finally dried and dressed and did the rounds to the bedrooms, turning on lights, shaking shoulders, cranking the Schubert piano sonatas in my CD alarm clock (well, they wake me up). Laura was up and had taken the dogs downstairs and let them out.

Hoping that the rest of the natives were rising, I walked over to my dresser, opened my jewelry box and was in the process of selecting a necklace (which is kind of fun when you are wearing a black velvet V-neck). Peering down into my jewelry box, it occurred to me that I was hearing an unusual sound effect, sort of like a cascading waterfall. I glanced over at my bathroom, where nothing seemed to be amiss, and then down at my feet, where Schubert (the dog, not the dead composer) was crouching, emptying his very full bladder onto the off-white carpet.

Many thoughts ran through my mind. The loudest one was, "What am I going to do?" Followed by, "I have to make him stop!" and, "This is so GROSS!" and, "But if I pick him up and take him to a door and throw him outside, he will continue to widdle all the way there, and I will have rank dog urine all throughout my home..."

Unable to figure out what to do, I reverted to my natural response. I screamed. I screamed so loud, I almost suffocated myself, seeing as how my flu turned into something like asthma, which I had exacerbated the previous day while cleaning bathrooms. I screamed until I had to gulp for air, and then I gulped and continued on. It was, as Shannon said later, a primordial scream, wordless, constant, raw emotions uncloaked and reverberating through the house (heck, probably through the neighborhood).

It was completely ineffective in terms of the dog's accident. He finished his deluge, and one of the children whisked him away to the safety of his crate. I guess it was effective at rousing the spawn.

Later, David said, "You shouldn't scream like that, Mom. I thought you must have cut off your finger."

Shannon, who is rational and knows me well, said, "Oh, I thought you burned yourself on your curling iron."

Jonathan said, "I thought some burglar or criminal with a knife or a gun was attacking you."

Laura said, "I was picturing a very large, dangerous, fanged animal coming after you in there."

Nope. Just a dumb dog and a large, soggy circle of very dark, very smelly animal urine on my carpet. I sacrificed my bath towel to the first phase of clean up, then got water and vinegar in my mini Bissell and suctioned it up and through. I also ended up putting a load of towels into the washer before we left for church.

Yup. We were late.

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