Remember when your kids were small and you were all starry eyed? You gaze upon the wee little bit of perfection in your arms and you can’t imagine that in a few short years, they are going to become these destructive, emotionally unstable, smelly, horrid wee beasties. It’s not until you walk in on your precious toddler who has just redecorated your living room furniture with a Sharpie, or find them underneath your dining room table after they’ve spread an entire box of cereal (and smashed it into the carpet) through the entire house, that you realize you need to rethink your approach to this whole parenting thing. Maybe it’s not all sunshine and baby powder…. Perhaps it’s time to add new weapons in your arsenal.
By the way, this goes for pets too. You never imagine as you’re holding that little ball of fur, high on the smell of puppy breath, the level of destruction that this shedding, drooling, chewing maniac is going to introduce into your life.
I have a Cleaning Caddy. Fine, it’s a five gallon bucket with rags and cleaning supplies in it, but it’s my Caddy. Over the years, I’ve discovered little magics that I add. Like… a baby food jar with baking soda and Dawn dish soap mixed together. Or Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and a small bamboo spoon. Holy smokes, that thing is good for scrubbing what not off of stove tops and bath tubs. As my kiddos have grown, so has my
arsenal Cleaning Caddy.
Yesterday, I added something new. Crime scene tape.
Honestly, with three teenage sons, I don’t know how that’s not already in the Caddy. I should have a roll of it to tape across their bedroom doors. I know you know what I’m talking about. .. that weird, musty, don’t-ask-don’t-tell, how-is-it-possible-for-that-smell-to-be-coming-from-everywhere-and-nowhere-at-the-same-time, kinds of things that become teenage boys’ bedrooms. DO NOT GO INTO THE BEDROOMS, MOM. Just.. don’t. It’s not safe.
But, today, I’m not lamenting the wreckage of teenage boys.
No. Today, I’m here to tell you about how a dog destroyed my entire house in an afternoon.
**aside** NOT EVEN MY OWN DOG.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. “Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to step behind the crime scene tape.”
Ok. Yesterday, I had a billing meeting in Anthony, Kansas. It’s very far away, but it’s also the part of the state where my dad is from, so I try to leave a little early and I swing by the cemeteries to say hello to all of the ones I love and miss. The peonies were blooming, and so I cut them and then decided that since Shasta is home for the summer, I’d see if she’d like to tag along. While I was at the actual meeting, she poked around Anthony and found a coffee shop. All in all, it was a great day, visiting graves, placing flowers, laughing in the car, listening to Ani DeFranco, Crash Test Dummies and The Outfield all the way up and back.
Little did we know… the horror that awaited us…..
We pulled into the drive, and came in through the back. I had to pee, (Wharton bladder) so I was first. I walked into the kitchen… and started feeling very confused by what I saw… What is that?… on the floor?….. a few little feathers?? … weird…
It was just a few feathers. Odd.
Then… I saw the living room.
Shasta still in the kitchen- What’s with the feathers?
Me- basically doubled over in the doorway to the living room- LOOK AWAY SHASTA!!
Shasta- oh…. my…. god.
Feathers. Everywhere. And…. is that laundry? What?… omg.
Me- I just can’t.
I headed up the stairs to use the restroom… and…. every stair was feathered… and the landing… and the hall…. and my bedroom…. and my bed….
A herd of chickens exploded in my house. I should probably tape off the area and call the ASPCA or PETA or CSI ……
Back downstairs, Thunder (who was also covered in feathers) was wagging his tail at us while Suki (not covered in feathers) was sitting nicely on the couch looking at Thunder like “Dude. You are gonna die. It was fun while it lasted.”
Not only had Thunder The Destroyer gotten onto my bed, ripped open my favorite down pillow, drug it through the entire house, he’d also torn open Shasta’s laundry bag and spread her dirty laundry around in the feathers.
My house is big. The pillow was small.
The feathers…. on everything. Under all of the furniture. ON the furniture.
This is some weird new math, because… we were looking at 100 chickens worth of feathers. At least.
I just…. we put the dogs outside and got trash bags… and gently started gathering the feathers. Yes, gently. If you sweep fast, they fly around and re cover everything. (not that we know that from experience) We sneezed and coughed our way through the feather dust and got the living room sorta back to normal, and started a load of laundry (yes, picking feathers out of the washing machine still.)
And then we vacuumed the stairs, hall, landing, rugs, bed, couch, chaise… all of it. Twice.
And there are still feathers.
We are still putting our lives back together. The crime scene still fresh in our minds… once you see that kind of devastation first hand, you can’t unsee it. It changes you.
Hardens you. Forces you to look the devil right in the eyes.
Not to mention I had to sleep on my bare naked mattress last night because my sheets were still in the washer.
Oh, and Thunder The Destroyer slept on my bed too.
I’m still kinda mad at him. It’s going to take time. I’m not sure how we come back from this, now that I know what he’s capable of. Good thing he’s freaking adorable.
*Not Thunder, but it made me feel not so alone to know there are others out there who suffer*