So can I just upfront say that I know this is all my fault? I way overestimated my ability to juggle our life this summer, and this story is primo evidence of that fact. Here’s the deal. This summer, I’m keeping the girls at home and functioning as a cruise director for a 3 and 5 year-old, I have 5 shows with the travel and conference calls that accompany them, I am taking two classes at two different online schools, and not only do we have a new dog but we are keeping my mom’s dog and watching their house while they are out of town. Plus the normal house duties, laundry, and meals stuff.
I have tired head. All the time. And this is why.
Yesterday I am home with the two kids and the two dogs and I am working. I am not dressed for the day (nor are my children) although it is past 11:00 am. Awesome.
Our doorbell rings. Cue two barking frenzied dogs and two thrilled social butterfly children. And cue one horrified underdressed mommy.
I peek out the peephole and it is an elder in our church who has a tree-trimming business (An elder is a church leader. In the corporate world, this guy would be on the Board of Directors). Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember that Justin told me he’d be coming to trim our trees, but that he wouldn’t come to the door.
I call out through the door “Just a minute” and run to my room to put on clothes and proper undergarments. I throw on things that don’t match, my hair is everywhere, I have no makeup on, and I’m not really sure if I’ve brushed my teeth yet, so I’m pretty excited about this opportunity to talk to a man who has influence over my husband’s future with the church.
I head towards the door, and Grace, my 5 year-old, throws open the front door with abandon the moment she sees I’m coming. Not what I had in mind.
Two dogs race, barking and jumping, out of the house. They are jumping on the poor elder and his helper, the girls follow, laughing hysterically and trying to “help”. I have two dogs and two pajama clad kids racing around my front yard, completely out of control. It is 102 degrees outside, everyone is barefoot, and I have no control over anyone in my supposed care. The elder takes one look at me in my state and carefully glues his eyes to the ground somewhere near his feet. So here I am, looking like a crazy person, trying to get both dogs and kids back in the house. One runs in, two run out, three run in, one runs out and all three others follow. After about 2 minutes, I shut the door, red and exhausted, with all dogs and kids indoors and with the embarrassed elder and helper outdoors. I am mortified but so glad my humiliation is over.
So I start making lunch. And I think all is well until the men come in the backyard. The dogs can see them through the windows and start barking. Grace, my little helper, does what she always does when the dogs bark, and opens the backdoor to let them out. I yell “NO!” but it is too late. Out bound two dogs followed quickly by two children, a repeat of our front yard humiliation in the back yard for good measure. I cannot believe it. I look like an idiot running a zoo. So again I traipse outside to round up the dogs and the children and drag them in the house. I’m still not sufficiently dressed, and the elder is still looking somewhere near his shoes. Once I’m finally successful, I give Grace a speech about door etiquette and about never touching a doorknob ever again in her life. And I vow to myself to avoid this elder from this point forward to spare us both more embarrassment.
So I feed the girls, put them down for a nap, and see that one of the dogs is acting like she needs to go to the bathroom. I peek out the windows and it seems like the elder and the helper are now in the front yard. I cautiously open the back door and when it appears clear, I let the dogs and myself out (because I need to check and see if the gate is closed – I don’t want a third repeat of my dogs assaulting the poor elder). I am grateful to see that the gate is closed and I make my way back inside.
Except the back door is somehow locked.
I am locked in the back yard with the two stupid dogs and 102 degree heat and the elder and his helper are in the front yard between me and air conditioning. I don’t know much, but I know that there is no earthly way I am going through that fence, dogs in tow, to reenter the house through the garage. I’m thinking really dramatic things like, “I will die here first” and “Think Jen. Think.” I hit my head on the door a few times, possibly breathe a few curse words, and it hits me. Grace! So I begin to throw things against sweet Grace’s upstairs window. She finally gets out of bed, peeks out her window, and I tell her to come downstairs and open the back door, a direct contradiction to the order I gave her just 30 minutes prior.
She comes down, lets me in, I drag the dogs inside, and so ends the Wednesday of my humiliation.