My life is full.
It’s full of a 10 month old baby (who just started to learn sign language, how to turn off the computer while mommy is working and how to execute a one-armed Marine low crawl throughout the house with lightening speed). It’s full of a four year old who thinks she’s fourteen (and has the eye rolls, meltdowns and strange fashion ensembles to prove it). It’s full of homeschooling, doctors appointments and ballet lessons by day, with my actual “work hours” not even starting until the late hours of the night (after kids are tucked in bed).
So why in the world did we get a 4 month old puppy?
I had always grown up with older dogs: dogs with soft grey muzzles, gentle demeanor and who’s worst offenses were an affinity for peanut butter or snoring too loudly. Since dogs don’t live as long as we do, 4 months old makes them practically toddlers, right? Wrong. Taking care of this puppy has left me wishing I had given birth to twins…triplets…heck, even a fully grown teenager.
Yesterday played out much like a live action Baby Blues comic strip (with a touch of Marmaduke thrown in for good measure). Amid changing the baby’s diaper, my wrestling daughter and dog accidentally broke an entire mirror all over the floor. After rescuing my (thankfully uninjured daughter), I realize the dog is attempting to swallow a large chunk (at least he could have the decency to attempt to eat something normal- like another dog’s poop- versus large shards of glass). After saving him from the worst appetizer of his life, I cook a quick snack for the kids. Unfortunately, the puppy decides to jump from the couch to the coffee table, sliding across in one slow motion movement, grabbing hot dogs and edamame beans like a baseball player sliding through home-base.
On the brink of a breakdown, I find myself vacuuming up soybeans, only to realize that he has now peed on the floor, stepped through his pee (because after all, that’s the logical thing to do), and begins frolicking through the house with droplets of urine spraying about him like a fountain at the Bellagio. It’s at this moment that I finally realized my life will never play out like a Sophia Coppola film (equipped with the perfect quirky indie score) as I had once imagined, but will forever be condemned as a constant montage of Griswold vacations and a Caddyshack soundtrack.
But the funny thing is that no matter what we add to our life (whether a wild puppy, another child or merely a bigger mortgage), life seems to grow with twice the speed it did before having kids. For every instant in which we think our days, our hours, or our memories couldn’t possibly get more full… they inevitably do. And despite the chaos, and exhaustion, (and the fact I haven’t really shaved my legs since last summer), I can’t even imagine what a day would be like without everything that makes it so busy.
Yes, my carpets would likely be spotless, my walls wouldn’t have crayon marks or tiny invisible droplets of pee (let’s face it, I’ll need a CSI team to get that one cleaned up), and I might see a different person in my (still in tact) mirror… but where would I be?
Would I have frustrating moments, tiring mornings and toddler temper tantrums to teach me patience? Would I have near disasters and continual chaos to sharpen my tiger like reflexes? Likely, the answer is no.And even though I might not remember this fact every day, I hope that the next time I am woken up at 5 in the morning, or find myself cleaning up 50% of the household’s poop emissions…I can take a deep breathe and remember exactly how lucky I am to be hairy, harried and hurried almost every minute of the day.
Because when the time finally comes to sit back and relax, I can look around at the beautiful fullness of my home, watch my sleeping children and savor every memory we’re making.
At least until the dog pees again.
Bailey Vincent Clark is the Editor-in-chief, author and founder of Makeover Momma. She talks about Mealtime Makeovers on Monday, “Speedy Advice With Makeover Momma” On Wednesday, and has a weekly column on Friday: “Getting Friendly With Makeover Momma.” If you would like to ask questions, submit concerns or simply chat: please email firstname.lastname@example.org.