Suddenly Chaos: MacGyver vs. Mud

I’ve talked about the kids’ chore chart in the past. If you missed it, click here. One of their weekly chores is to take out resident mutt, Blackjack, on a walk. Each boy does this task once a week, which results in three long walks for the pup. The benefits are multitudinous. Blackjack is almost 9 years old so the exercise is good for him. As a bonus it wears him out so he’s less likely to dig in the trash and perform other acts of mischievousness during sleeping hours. Exercise is also good for my iPad addicted boys and gets them outdoors with the fresh air and sunshine and, you know, stuff. Rounding out the trifecta is the universal truth that a house with two children is always quieter than one with three, so it gives us a bit of a break.

So MacGuyver (who NEVER has to be reminded to do anything that involves exercise or being outside) takes the dog out for a walk. I was upstairs dutifully working on my grad school assignment (read: blogging and checking Facebook) when somewhere around 45 minutes later, in comes Blackjack and lays down on the opposite side of the bed from where I’m “working.” I can smell him, but that’s not unusual; he is a stinky dog and I have an annoyingly keen sense of smell. Up comes MacGyver, however with a look I’ve seen before. It’s the look a parent gets when they discover that a kid has done something wrong and seek them out. A sort of half-smile, half-I-will-set-you-ablaze-with-my-eyes look.

Through a gritted teeth, I hear MacGyver enunciate, “Blackjack, outside.”

Turns out, the reason the dog went to the opposite side of the bed was because he was COVERED IN MUD and didn’t want me to see him. Somewhere along the walk, MacGyver let him off the leash to run around in an open field. Of course, Blackjack immediately found a ditch full of mud and plowed in, head first. He got stuck, and MacGyver had to pull him out of the mire. Wet and muddy, they trudged home, where MacGyver brought them in through the back yard so that he could hose them both off. With the sliding door about 5 inches open, he kept the dog outside while he stripped out of his muddy pants and shoes.

Blackjack, sensing that this wasn’t going well for him, rammed the kid and knocked him to the ground, wrenched the door open, and ran for cover.

New problem: muddy carpet. From the back door to the bedside, a wet, muddy trail chronicled the journey. Fortunately, MacGyver sprung into action and pulled out the mini carpet cleaning vacuum, which is essentially magical.

The dog, however, had to stay outside for a while.

Never a dull moment…


Suddenly Chaos: Flipflops vs. Fiber

  1. loveValentine’s Day was this week and J and I decided to steal away for a night of passion Chinese food and Costco shopping. With wedding planning and grad school and three kids and the hour-long commute between us that makes weekends the only time we get to see each other, the impromptu Tuesday night date was pure luxury. Especially considering he is working all weekend and I’m playing single mom to two of the boys and a very muddy dog (more on that later.)

I’ve had tummy troubles all of my life, and J is convinced that my fiber consumption is to blame. Thus, during our Costco run, he insisted that we pick up a jar of adult gummy fiber supplements. You take two a day and it keeps things moving. Fine, I say to myself. I’m sure I can use more fiber in my diet and if it makes my guy happy, let’s just go with it. I even took the first dose in the car to show I was on board.

We drop the groceries off at home and got the kids settled in with pizza before heading out on our Valentine’s Date. The plan was to have Mexican, but our usual place was packed. I could feel the first signs of hangry coming to the surface as my normally sunny demeanor shifted to she-who-must-be-fed. We settled on our favorite Chinese place and had a truly lovely dinner. We talked, we laughed, and for a small moment in time we were just a guy and his girl out on a date. No responsibilities, no kids, no stressful jobs. Just love.

There is a certain dread to going home from a date night. The probability that there will be some kind of mess waiting is pretty high and that means taking corrective action with the boys. It’s the part of parenting no one warned me about. The cynic in me walks in the house looking for the problem. The optimist in me prays that there is nothing to find. The exhausted pigeon in me tries to ignore it. The teacher in me knows that this is a teaching moment. The struggle is real.

Generally speaking, the house was okay. I noticed, however, that the bottle of fiber gummies from earlier looked a little emptier than it had when we left. Apparently, Flipflops (who is 13, remember) thought they were candy and didn’t read the bottle. Then this conversation happened:

Me: Who ate the gummies?
Flipflops: …um, me?
Me: How many did you eat?
Flipflops: I didn’t count.
Me: Ballpark it for me, kid.
Flipflops: I don’t know…like, 10?

There was a moment of silent disbelief before J and I burst out laughing. The kid consumed five days worth of fiber in one sitting. While not life-threatening, we knew he’d be in for some major clean-out. It took a couple of days for his system to right itself, and hopefully the natural consequences will encourage him to read the bottle from now on.


Ah, this is the life…