Dookie Lover and Sultry Summer Walks….Not

You know when you make those poor or in my case idiotic decisions, which lead to a string of catastrophes? I sometimes feel like I have the reigning market on those moments. Today’s morning walk starts off like any other; it is beautiful out, breezy but warm. Smells like balmy jasmine..I can almost imagine I live somewhere romantic. On today’s walk I decided we needed to shake it up, see some people, hear some noise (really all just BS, I wanted to walk to my coffee place), this was the first step of so much wrongness.

My daughter Lyla is excited. She is over the skirmish we had previously had on what “pretty” to wear. My son Ashton wants to take our dog (named Dookie), who by the way is just as neurotic on walks as in every other aspect of his Woody Allen-esque personality. Our walk starts off as any other one..the dog is panting like he is going to die, switching sides of the sidewalk getting tangled every few feet, Ashton is instantly frustrated screaming at him. Just another lovely and peaceful morning walk for us.

After cresting the gargantuan hill (it is not so big, I am just super out of shape), me panting, red-faced, the fun starts. You take one supremely neurotic dog coupled with a pretty neurotic 10 year old add some traffic, and you got the start of a party. My son informs me in between bouts of struggling with the dog that his “biggest fear is traffic”, which I tally up in my mind along with, the dark, hot water, bathing, zombies, ghosts, and getting his hair cut. We close in on the coffee shop that is thankfully not busy. “My girls” (as I like to think of them..like coffee concubines) run out with treats for the dog, whose tongue puts Gene Simmons to shame. As I am ordering three more people walk up behind me and all sanity ends. Dookie decides now he must be protective and starts barking at them. While I am trying to get him to stop, Lyla who has not one patient bone in her pudgy body and decided she does not want to be in the stroller and has somehow managed to scoot her whole body under the bar…and is now hanging there stuck. Her head firmly wedged on the seat. The screaming starts. I cannot get her out, pushing her upwards does nothing, I cannot pull her downwards and no matter what I try the stroller moves. I cannot put the lock on it as I cannot let go of her lower body, or she would be hanging there by her head…finally one of the three people standing behind me steps in….this is when Dookie decides that he must protect his girl from this evil doer and starts jumping on the stroller, trying to bite the man. Just before I start shrieking along with Lyla, she finally becomes un-wedged. The screaming is now at the earsplitting level of the most annoying alarm clock you have ever owned mixed with the loudest siren. Just then the barista hands me Ash’s chocolate milk, or what I like to refer to as magic juice, as soon as her lips touch that the straw there is silence…for a second, brief, fleeting second the world was sane again..but I said brief. I then realize I must get her into the stroller again, and to do so I must take the drink away from her. So like ripping a band aid off, I do this quickly knowing it will be painful. I hand him the drink, put her in the stroller. Dookie then jumps on Ash who lets the cup fly…covering both of us, and all three nice people who saved Lyla’s head from being eternally wedged in the stroller. I know that I have tested everyone’s patience within a 50 ft radius…so I quickly clean up the chocolate milk, while they make Ash another one…the whole while trying to keep my screaming banshee in her stroller..as she is trying to take another trek out the bottom. We are finally on our way….I know all of this is my fault…I never once thought it through. As we trudge along the .facebook_1575220027half mile home, I reflect on my poor decision making skills…and really my coping skills, I can usually pass off things my kids do casually…but I still panic after all these years, and all these kids. As I am pondering, the dog..who has reached his limit of anxiety has decided he must have the runs in every driveway along the way…doggy bags do not have directions for these situations. But as we ramble on, shoes sloshing with sticky chocolate milk each step…I think that it only can get better…right??? Right???

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