19 June 2009

Leader of the Pack

We have apparently reached the "for the love of God, just HOLD ON!!!" point of parenting two children under the age of three. I wish I could say it's all wonderful, but what sucks is that we're exhausted at the end of the day, the house is a disaster, AND we're gaining weight because there's not enough time in the day to exercise properly. And this is fair how?

Along with the eternal craziness that is parenting, we of course have the menagerie of pets we've adopted to add a delightful nutty edge to our insanity. Our Sunday/Monday night went something like this:
  • 8:00 PM - both girls in bed, Ainsley crying but eventually falling asleep. Directly behind the door, with a poopy diaper, but asleep nonetheless.
  • 9:00 PM - Beloved hits the sack.
  • 11:00ish - I follow suit.
  • 1:00 AM - while rolling over and sticking my foot out of the covers, I discover that the dog has vomited on the bed. Much muttering and grumbling ensues from Beloved. Strip the duvet cover and put it in the wash, stuff the stained duvet in the hall closet, grab some quilts from downstairs and go back to sleep.
  • 6:30 AM - while dressing, Beloved discovers that one of the cats has peed on the clean laundry stacked inside the closet. Grumbling gives way to outright profanity.
  • 6:45 AM - I discover I'm out of coffee. This is about where the wailing and gnashing of teeth started...
My seminary buddy Nate said, "Remember when you wondered why you hadn't gotten a dog before? This seems to be a good reason here." He's most likely right. But for all the craziness, we're happy and content, if a bit dazed by the end of the day most of the time.

I've made some time for household projects this week. Here are some shots of the fence I've been renovating in the backyard so we can trust Jack to stay put:

Disassembling the gate from the old fence.

New fence pickets on the old posts with reconfigured crosspieces.

The old fence - I removed the pickets, moved the top crosspiece to the top of the post and attached new pickets, pictured at the right end of the old fence.

A comparison of the old and new fences. Other than the gate, it was a really easy project.

As we've gotten to know our Jack over the last few weeks, it's become apparent that we needed help when it came to properly training him. He's not a bad dog at all - just rambunctious and easily distracted, and it was getting very difficult to keep him in line. Kristin found a local branch of a national training chain who does on-site training, which includes looking around the house from the dog's point of view and hands-on help getting started with proper commands, correction and rewarding. The trainer came this afternoon, and after he left, we felt a whole lot better about our life with Jack - especially the 'out in public' parts where we need him to understand who's in charge.

I've tried to do a theological bent on the whole thing, but it just doesn't compute without the pastor winding up the dominant person in the pack, and I'm not sure I want to go there. So, no big theology tonight - just the thought that, sometimes, it's nice to be the one issuing commands. Even if, just as in real life, sometimes those commands go unheeded. And you still have to deal with someone else's crap.


  1. oh... craziness! doggies, full of energy though they may be... are the very best examples of loving us humans as we are... tired, grumpy, mismatched socks and all. and jack ahs the energy of little girls to feed off and keep him going... *sigh*

    at least you & Beloved are in this together!!

  2. I can soo relate to the dog training aspect of this. We're at that point with our 7-month old adolescent boxer where treats as a reward for coming to us have ceased to work. We can almost see him working through the dilemma in his little brain - "hmm, if I come, I will get a piece of cheese which I love. But if I don't come, I can still run freely in the front yard, run across the street and play with the neighbors kids who love me, and have fun with the game of my people running from me so that I will chase them and they can catch me. That's alot more fun than the cheese is good, so I'll do that." We'll also have him outside for a significant enough period of time for him to do "bidness", but he prefers the laundry room floor. Sigh. At least it's a vinyl floor. Yes, we've had our fair share of marital moments over this addition to the family.