Well, I’m still here, with computer access. I unplugged the computer yesterday morning to take it to the store for the memory upgrade, and a few minutes later Kellen and Kendrie came running to me, panicking about the computer being “broken”, and the Disney channel online, OHMYGOSH how would they survive without the Disney channel online??? What’s funny is they rarely even play online, but when I told them we would be without a computer for the next three days, you would have thought I had suggested giving away all their toys and moving in with monks, or that I had just sucked all the oxygen out of the house, so great was their distress. So, fine. I said I would take it in Monday while they were at school, and they could play on it this weekend.
But that’s not why I’m cranky.
Last night, after the kids and I watched Ella Enchanted for the third time (Seriously, have you seen it? It was just on Disney the other night and it’s a really cute, sweet movie. Thanks to the power of the DVR, I have no doubt I’ll have every line memorized by Tuesday…. But that’s not why I’m cranky) I went in the bedroom and read another chapter of Ramona Quimby, age 8 with Kendrie. We finished up around 10pm, sort of late for us, and I said to her, “Mommy’s tired. Go tell Daddy I’m just going to go to bed now” and I rolled over and went to sleep, listening to Kellen protest that wasn’t fair, he still wanted to read a chapter of Harry Potter (Yes! I know! Finally, one of my kids has expressed interest in HP!) and how it wasn’t right I read with Kendrie but not him. Great, nothing like a little parental guilt to soothe you right off to sleep. But that’s not why I’m cranky.
For whatever reason, at 2:45 am I woke up, bright eyed and alert. I rarely, and I mean rarely, suffer from insomnia, so the few times it happens, I have very strict rules. I will attempt to go back to sleep for exactly thirty minutes and if I can’t, then I get up and do something. I am NOT wasting precious time lying in bed, staring at the clock, when there are e-mails to be answered and blogs to be read. So I got up at 3:15 and messed around online (What’s up with you Canada ebay people, anyway? Can you not get Nike tennis shoes up there? Is that why so many of you are wondering about shipping?) I give myself exactly one hour, then attempt to go back to sleep.
So at 4:15, back to bed I went, accidentally tripping over the dog on the way. I was very cautious and careful and quiet (well, except for when I tripped over the dog) as I got back in bed, because Blaine DOES have a severe problem with insomnia and I feel terrible if I do something drastic and noisy which wakes him up. Drastic and noisy like putting my head on the pillow, or BREATHING.
I tip-toed back into bed, covered myself up, reapplied lip balm because hello, who can sleep with dry, chapped lips?? I laid there for about four and a half seconds, before realizing Blaine was not in fact suffering from insomnia this evening, but was instead snoring so loud I’m surprised the neighbors twelve miles away hadn’t filed a noise complaint with the local police.
Normally, Blaine sleeps (when he DOES sleep, that is) the sleep of the perfectly still, perfectly silent. I will sometimes put my hand on his chest to make sure he’s still breathing. But occasionally, when he lies on his back, thanks to all the surgeries and reconstruction of his sinus cavity, he’ll get going with a cacophony of snores and grunts and wheezes and moans that make it literally impossible to sleep in the same bed. The same room. The same small country.
BC (before cancer) I would have just punched him in the shoulder and told him to roll over, but now, I’m loathe to wake him because once he’s up, no matter the time, he’s up. Sleeping is such a problem for him that I NEVER wake him if I can help it. So, I did what I’ve done more times than any human should in a happy marriage --- grabbed a pillow and a blanket and headed for the living room, resigned to sleeping the rest of the night on the sofa.
But that’s not why I’m cranky.
I walked into the living room …. And my senses were immediately assaulted -- WTF??? Is that SHIT I smell????
Yep, sure enough, Lager had pooped in the dining room. Good grief, this is NOT what I wanted to clean up at 4:18 in the morning, but I went into the kitchen to get paper towels and rags, and turned on the light ….
My senses were assaulted again, this time my vision. Remember I had gone to bed early and Blaine, the man who always cleans the kitchen at night, the man who would make a better housewife than me, had done NOTHING the night before. The roast was still in the crockpot on the counter. The cookies I had baked were still sitting on the cookie sheet on top of the stove, not covered. Unwashed dishes were on the counter, in the sink, book bags on the table, shoes and socks on the floor --- My god, Jerry Springer would have a field day with this sort of white trash living.
I admit, because he normally does such a fantastic job cleaning up after dinner, I am a spoiled princess who is accustomed to awaking to a clean kitchen. To have to consider cleaning the kitchen, AFTER cleaning the dog poop??? At 4:20 in the morning??? Uugh.
But that’s not why I’m cranky. Although down on your hands and knees, scrubbing dog poop off the hardwood floor in the middle of the night, doing everything you can to hold back your hair-trigger gag reflex, is certainly enough to make anyone cranky.
No, if I’m being honest, I’m cranky (and extremely sad) because I know its coming.
Blaine and I always said if we ever had a dog that went blind, or couldn’t control his bowels or bladder, we would put him down. Lager *does* have a big nasty tumor on one eye, but he’s not blind. Deaf, yes. And arthritic. But not blind.
And it’s not that he’s **lost control** of his bowels or bladder, as much as he’s either getting too old, or too confused, or too lazy to wake us. He never has accidents during the day when we’re home, but this was the second time this week he’s had problems while we’ve been sleeping. A few night’s ago, I woke to the sound of water running, only to realize he was urinating in the middle of my bathroom rug.
Bless his old heart, I can’t be mad at him. He’s sixteen and a half years old -- how can I be *mad* at him? But by the same token, I am really bothered by these accidents, which, let's be honest, have been happening more and more the past six months or so. Not a LOT .... but still. I mean, it’s gross, and nasty to clean, and stinks to high heaven, and not hygienic. The kicker is, he’s not in any pain, or suffering in any way. Sure, he’s old and tired and sleeps a lot and not as energetic as he used to be. But he still interacts with us every single day, and begs for table scraps, and wags his tail and bounces around the living room and bumps us with his nose to let us know he wants to be petted and loved on.
And loving him? Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine the reaction of my children when something finally happens to the old boy. They will be crushed, devastated, decimated. And so will Blaine and I, even if we’re grown ups and don’t want to admit it.
So how can I even consider putting down a dog that is old, but otherwise healthy and happy, just because I don’t want to clean up after him? I mean, it sounds so selfish when I say it like that.
Which is worse? To consider putting him to sleep, just because I’m lazy, knowing the emotional trauma that will inflict upon the children who love him, or to hope that I come home one afternoon and find him dead in the living room, passed away peacefully? I don’t wish him dead, for pete’s sake, he’s been a part of our family since 1992!
I’ve always looked at people whose dogs were bumping into the walls because they couldn't see, or having to drag their back legs behind them in little carts, or taking thirty pills or insulin shots or whatever a day, and wondered why didn’t they just put those poor animals out of their misery? Now I get it. When an animal’s NOT miserable --- just old --- the miserable thing is even contemplating it. We don’t put any of our other family members to sleep, just because taking care of them gets to be a hassle, and I consider a pet we've had for fifteen years to be a family member.
Ewww, but poop? In the dining room?
This conundrum, people --- THIS is why I’m cranky.
It's now almost 6am. I've been up since 2:45. Maybe the answer will come to me in a dream, during the NAP I'm so desperately going to need later today.