Chapter One. The Chapter Where My Own Mother Turns Against Me and I Stub My Toe

I don’t even know what to tell you.

Surprisingly enough, I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. I don’t know if it’s because my cupboard project has come to a standstill because my sore wrist doesn’t let me hold the sander, or because I have fifty million things to do for the party, or because I feel the need to organize every nook and cranny of my house, which is practically impossible when you have 11 billion toys.

OR MAYBE it’s because every time I complain about how crazy my life is, one of you people tell me to write a book.

It’s not a bad idea actually. I can just tell my husband, “Hey, I know I’ve partially demolished the bathroom and haven’t brushed my teeth today, but I’m going to have to take some time for myself because all of my Internet friends tell me I should write a book.” He’ll be pleased.

And the kids? They can fend for themselves. They’ll be happy until the chocolate chip granola bars run out.

I know what I would write about. I would write a book about time management, and organization. Before you laugh, let me tell you the premise: the secret to success is to stop doing all the stuff you started that’s stressing you out. Go get Starbucks. Write a book about your problems while your loved ones clean up your mess.

It’s brilliant.
Truly, Truly Brilliant.

Chapter One: What To Do When Your Dog Eats The Door Frames

As I drank my coffee I stared at shelves. Open shelves crammed with books, playdoh, coloring supplies, paint supplies, and paper. The shelves need to be organized. I clutched my coffee cup and mustered the strength to tackle the Craft Disaster of 2012.

It was time to dig in and heartlessly trash many, many works of art. Thousands of wobbly circles that represent tigers, dragons, mommy, daddy, and sperm whales were destined for the garbage. I happened to glance out my window before I started my heartless organization project and noticed that the puppy was CHEWING ON THE DOOR FRAME.

My tired brain had a very hard time processing this. I wanted to throw the coffee cup at the window and scream bad words in Spanish, but it was my favorite coffee cup AND children were present. I thought, “I need to take her for a walk and make her tired.”

Then I thought, “How am I supposed to take a bouncing, 50 pound plus, Great Dane puppy for a walk with three boys, a giant stroller and probably a bicycle?”

I had a coupon for a free stay at the local Pet Hotel that I was saving for an emergency, and suddenly I decided that today was an emergency.

I called the establishment and booked a room for the dog, piled all three children into the minivan, and started driving towards freedom.

Halfway there, I realized that the lady on the phone had said, “paperwork” and “fill out” and suddenly I couldn’t face writing information down with three kids and a giant dog hanging on my limbs. I called my pregnant friend and asked if I could leave my children with her, just for a second.

She said yes! Kid-free, I went to the Pet Hotel and wrote down information, including asinine questions like, “What is your relation to the pet?”

Relation? RELATION? I don’t check my relations into hotels for the day just to keep them from chewing on my house. She. Is. A. DOG!

I wrote “mom”. Gah.

I had to wait for exactly a half an hour while the receptionist verified that my dog’s shots had not expired. Meanwhile, a steady stream of shitzus came along, and my dog lovingly tried to crush their yappy heads with her giant beast paws.

Finally the receptionist got a hold of the vet and informed me that my dog was missing one shot, so she could not stay.

I have taken this dog to the vet exactly seven times in three months. I wanted to say, “LET HER HAVE KENNEL COUGH! I DON’T CARE!” but I thought it might be frowned upon in an establishment that asked me what my relationship with my dog was.  So, I left.

I went to pick up my children from my friend, who had suffered long enough, and on the way I called my mom to complain about my terrible morning. She said she couldn’t talk to a person who needed to take their dog to a pet hotel. I told her she was NOT HELPING. Then I stubbed my big toe on the 1/2 inch step that is in front of my friend’s door. It still hurts.

It’s now 3:13 p.m. and I have absolutely no intention of organizing the craft shelves, nor of showering. I guess you can say I’ve given up…or you can say, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” Because even though I ran around in circles today, the dog is just as tired as I am now. So thanks, tiny shitzus, for making my puppy too pooped to eat my house.

It’s like they say; “There’s more than one way to skin a cat”, which is exactly what I was thinking last night when the cat was meowing frantically at 1 a.m. and woke up the baby…but that’s Chapter Two.

12 thoughts on “Chapter One. The Chapter Where My Own Mother Turns Against Me and I Stub My Toe

  1. Laughing out loud here, at your expense, so sorry. Your making me tired and happy all at the same time. I have the need to come over and make you sit still and listen to God. All this distraction, its good for writing but weary on the soul. You, my friend, are so gifted at writing and making people laugh and maybe we should pray for an expense account for someone to come over and finish the cabinets for you . . and walk your dog until he's tired so you can write more. Much love to you. Can't wait for Chapter 2.


  2. That reminds me of the time I was going through some stuff and my friend sent me a picture of a field of wheat and the picture said something like, “Listen to God in the Quiet Times”

    and I laughed for about ten minutes. She wasn't being ironic, but I texted her back and said, if I listened to God in the quiet times only, it would be easy. Because I'd never have to do it. Because my kids are super loud, especially when I vacuum.

    “QUIET DOWN KIDS! I”M TRYING TO LISTEN TO GOD!” We laughed and laughed and laughed. Listening is hard.


  3. I love it that–when you're slightly off (And, yes, I think we're close enough friends that I can say that!)–it's funny. You make it all sound very funny. Everyone loves you for it! When I'm slightly off, on the other hand, I don't have that gift of humor. I sound desperate, despondent, and unwell, which I am. I've been freaking my husband out entirely, and I've been getting freaked out that he's freaked out. Maybe I should call you again. After the last time, I wrote, “It's not real,” on my hand with Sharpie, but it's finally worn off. Maybe you could counsel me on organization, this time. xoxo love you


  4. phenomenal. truly. we should hang out. i have a robot and you have a dog without shots and my mother turns against me all the time and i would read your book. oh wait. we did hang out. let's do it again. i'm sure all you need is hang out time with the hughes mob. because we are truly calming.


  5. LOL – what a day! And while I cannot help you with your shelves (the main reason : I live in Germany… too far away from your shelves!), I can solve the mystery why your puppy tried to chew on your door frame! Some years ago, our dog had 5 puppies, and they drove us nearly insane because all of a sudden, all 5 of them started to chew on everything wooden and even metallic (they chewed through and completely destroyed a cocos-sisal-metal door mat!)- frenzy! Until we realized that they sometimes spit out a milk tooth, and then it dawned on us that puppies do this because they are teething (much quicker than human kids!).So we gave them lots of logs and big dead branches and the like, and they happily gnawed on them on the lawn and destroyed em until they were totally shreddered; like, completely. Happy puppies, happy home owners, problem solved. Oh, and if inquiring minds wanna know:we found good homes for all 5 puppies, they are loved and cherished and do not chew on any furniture; they like logs!.


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