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Saturday, August 05, 2006

How to not take yourself seriously

On Wednesday I had a meeting at the Church to discuss this coming year's Sunday School curriculum and some other Board of Ed. things. I was hoping to come prepared which doesn't happen often anymore now that I've got placenta-brain and a puppy. Not to mention a much more will-full Olivia.

The dog needed to be walked before we left and we had about an hour until we needed to leave so I got out the stroller and my comfy running shoes and set out for the dog park near our house. Sherman has been doing very well with listening to me when there aren't a lot of distractions and Olivia really loves to run, so when we got to the dog park I let them both free for the first time by myself. There were no other dogs there and Liv can't get too far away in an open field so I figured, what could happen that I couldn't stop quickly?

Olivia was running and Sherman was doing circles around her while I pushed the stroller through the grass. But soon Olivia was lagging behind and Sherman was doing circles around me instead. I turned around to check on Liv, and no sooner had I turned back around did I notice that Sherman had found the deepest, stinkiest mud puddle I have ever seen. He was buried up to his ears two feet deep in black gritty mud.

apparently, mud is Sherman's master much more than I am, because any command I called to him flew into the breeze before they reached his ears.

Then Liv took off in the other direction.

I rounded Liv up first and got her to help push the stroller (works every time) while I pulled Sherman by his collar out of the mud. I then wrestled him to the ground to put his leash back on him. Then, while I regained control of my formerly yellow dog, my toddler took off running again, only this time the dog followed and he was connected to my wrist on a 4 foot leash.

I'm sure we were quite a sight to the houses across the street. A 2 foot tall little girl, a mud-covered frantic beast, and a top heavy, also mud-covered, also frantic mother running at full speed through a field. And we were probably not much less ridiculous looking when I finally caught Olivia and had to carry her while leading the mud-covered frantic beast back to the stroller.

At that moment I came close to tears. But instead I was struck by the absolute insanity of it all and I lost myself in this sense of, "you get what you deserve."

As I walked back home, sweaty and black, with dog and baby, running late for my meeting I held my head high. If my neighbors were going to see me in this state, I may as well look proud of myself.

The story would be good enough if it ended there. But as it is with all good kicks in the pants it just keeps getting worse. I leaned over my dog to wash away his slimy stench, breaking my back with the weight of my pregnant belly. It took a good 15 minutes to clean all the grime out of his coat while he sat there embarrassed and regretting that he'd ever been born. I left him outside in the sun to dry off while I quickly bathed myself and Olivia so that we could be presentable at our meeting.

When I came back outside I found Sherman laying contentedly in a hole he had just dug at the base of my day-lilies.

Since there was no time to re-clean the dog I put him in his kennel and went to my meeting.

I'm not sure how, but when I came home and let The Nuisance out of his kennel he was clean again. I think the god of you've-suffered-enough-for-one-day came to show me favor.