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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Potty Training at Grand Central Station and a new "child"

Was it enough work for me to potty train my youngest daughter, home-school my oldest (technically both of them), clean, cook, and feed every relative and friend that came wandering in off the street?

Oh, no. My hubby thinks I have so much extra time, we could take in a new family member - a puppy.

Before I go any further, I'd like to point out that despite his insistence of the contrary, my husband might as well have a giant "SUCKER" emblazoned on his forehead.

This isn't JUST a puppy. Oh yes, he's cute, he's small, he's mild-mannered, and he's actually potty training better than my 3 year old (who I've been TRYING to potty train between working, moving, and endless company/house guests for the last year and a half). He's a wrinkly, grunting, waddling poop factory with a face that only a mother (or my husband) could love. No joke - this puppy poops 5 times his own body weight in a day - and usually in my house.

I realize that there are several parents out there who are single and/or raising multiple children, and my parenting woes pale in comparison - but I'm willing to bet that my two girls could give any set of sextuplets a run for their money, both mess-wise and in the art of stress-inducing. Add to that the new puppy and the fact that my husband often reverts into pre-teen boy with a love of all things Star Trek and Star Wars mentality, and I've got the equivalent of a daycare in my house.

Picture if you will, (which I've mentioned before) my oldest child grinning in my face when I wake up, or standing at the side of my bed staring at me in a silent, somber "Children of the Damned" manner (blond hair, blue eyes, and all). That's IF either of them comes to get me when they wake up.

Then, take into account that we have tile floors with a few throw rugs, and my hubby thinks he's secretly a polar bear, so I'm lucky if the thermostat creeps any higher than 71 degrees (not so bad in the summer, but come on - you can't tell me he doesn't know it's NOVEMBER) - so add the shivers of a creepy awakening to the tremble of my feet being wrenched from a nice warm bed onto a cold, hard floor.

I'll make breakfast (which is a chore unto itself, considering my children are so entranced by the new puppy that no amount of threats can stop them from picking him up or trying to feed him my shoes), and then fight with my girls to eat instead of arguing over whether we should be watching Spongebob or Dora. Without fail, I'll step in a puddle during breakfast clean-up, and the only way I know if it was my daughter or the puppy will be the tell-tale wet spot that may or may not be on my sofa under her bum (God bless the makers of Febreeze and those shampooer attachments for upholstery).

I vainly try to keep my children from screaming at the top of their lungs while they're chasing each other (and the puppy) up and down the hall, despite the fact that I honestly think my hubby could sleep through an atom bomb, as long as it doesn't tickle his feet as it lands. To add insult to injury, my hubby actually told me the other day, "Just make sure I'm up when you get up." Riiight.

Cue the knock on the door, and the entry of either my cousin or one of my husband's friends, looking for food and company until they either have to go to work or meet someone elsewhere.

My phone rings every 5 minutes from a telemarketer or bill collector, so despite the fact that we have an answering machine and screen our calls, the phone is always at the opposite end of the house from where I am, so picture me, running back and forth searching for the phone to make sure it isn't someone I know before the 3rd ring - all the time ONE of my girls being Captain Obvious and repeatedly telling me, "Momma, the phone". If it's someone I know and I actually try to hold a phone conversation, my girls take it as their cue to pump up their vocal volume to sonic decibels (is that even a proper use of that term? I assure you, in my house it is). This sets the usually quiet puppy off, who barks and charges at either of the girls, sending them screaming yet again through the house.

That's all within the first hour or two from the time we get up.

It's not so bad, I can actually calm them down long enough to get something semi-educational done, and the puppy eventually takes a nap. When I finally get my girls down for THEIR nap (which is a totally different battle, trust me) and I flop onto the nearest soft surface to rest my aching back and throbbing head, my hubby will come wandering from the bedroom, grinning sleepily and rubbing his eyes. "So how was your morning?" he'll ask. Hmph.

I'm wondering how effective it would be to put my knee in his back and "accidentally, in my sleep," push him out of bed when my girls get up.
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