OK, not a triangle exactly. Maybe a square. Or a pentagon. But either way, shit is going down in a polygon kind of way.
The addition of a baby to our family has been the equivalent of taking an ant farm and shaking the living shit out of it. With schedules, restful sleep, meal times (and blogging times) disrupted, we didn’t know which way was up. Now, 9 months later, the little ants of the family have picked up the pieces and finally have some normalcy again. However, the pecking order has changed.
The pattern has been emerging over the last few weeks. It goes something like this: Me <- Peterbilt <-Peanut <-Mack <- Hubs.
Actually, that diagram is only representative of us on our best days. Or best day. Meaning that one Wednesday a month ago where we were a well-oiled machine for like 2 hours. Most days it’s just me leading a farty, 4-legged parade throughout the house while I cook and clean and Hubs is over there somewhere on his iPhone:
Okay. So maybe it’s a shape. More like a line segment. Or a bulldog-baby conga line. Either way, this is how it works. Starting from the bottom:
Mack loves Baby Peanut: Mack doesn’t move around much. He’s old. However, that dog can still bust a move for a tiny, single baby puff, stuck to the ass of a crawling infant.
Mmm mmm. Ass-puffs.
Ever since Mack rearranged our kitchen table and chair set over a small noodle, carelessly tossed by a crabby infant from her high chair, Mack has been banned from the kitchen during Peanut’s feeding times. Now, the highlight of Mack’s day is tracking that squirrely little girl down after meal times and giving her a good ol’ thorough lick down, eating those stuck-on pieces of food straight off of her fanny. And they way that kid smears food all over herself, it’s like a tiny, mobile butt buffet cruising through our house, just ASKING to be nibbled. At least, that’s how Mack put it. At first, Peanut found these bulldog cleaning sessions delightful and hilarious but now in their frequency, they’re annoying and intrusive. The minute that high chair tray comes off, Mack comes barreling out of nowhere like some young and spry 10 year old bulldog. And the unwanted licking advances ensue.
Peanut loves Peterbilt: Babies always want what they can’t have. Mack is the dog that is always available for her to climb, pull his ears and touch his paws, when he’s not forcefully licking her face. Peterbilt, on the other hand, doesn’t put up with ANY of that baby grabass shit and tends to keep his distance from the baby. And that makes Peter all the more enticing to a curious 9-month old.
While Mack spends his non-eating hours laying around, Peterbilt is still young enough to have daily bursts of energy. Much like cats getting ‘the zips’ once a day, Peter does funny things like races through the house on hardwood floors, bumps into furniture, spins, twirls, leaps and shakes his toys….much to Peanut’s delight. She squeals with excitement if he actually stops to acknowledge and sniff her. She watches in admiration as Peter does his best Whip-Nae-Nae (I’ve seen it. It sucks).
Peanut is the only living thing on this planet who thinks Peterbilt is cool and most of her time is spent trying to get on Peter’s good side.
Peterbilt loves me: Meanwhile, Peterbilt spends his time trying to get on my good side.
A year ago, Peter was the type of dog that tolerated my hugs and kisses at best. He’d grunt with annoyance if I tried to snuggle with him. Now that his ‘mom’ is a mom to another, more high-maintenance member of the family, Peter has changed his tune. He’s now constanly on my heals; stealing kisses, hugs, snuggles and nuzzles from me while I’m down on the floor with the baby. He’s also been getting in the habit of laying ON me on those rare occasions I get to lay on the couch. That’s 91 lbs on top of 112 lbs. He’s not exactly a dachshund.
Most recently, he’s taken to licking and being nice to Peanut, just for the praise and kisses he receives from me in response.
And I love….uh…: Mostly I just look at the clock to see if I can start drinking wine.
So here’s an example of how this works: I was playing with Peanut in our family room one evening, before dinner. I opened my arms, knelt down and called Peanut over. Peanut smiled, squeaked and started to crawl over but before she could get to me, Peterbilt walked into my open arms and turned his ass towards my face for a butt-scratch.
Peanut, seeing Peterbilt in my arms, races over.
Mack then follows that tiny, graham cracker flavored cherub.
So it ends up looking like this:
So, as you can imagine, household chores get kind of …..crowded:
That’s right. Multiple bodies packed into a 8 square foot area. Everyone with their smells. I found myself relishing my commute to work as it’s the only time of day I’m was myself.
Then one day the in-laws decided to babysit Peanut overnight. Ready for a break, I had her packed up and ready in record time. They came and left. Now was time for a celebration! Kid free adult time!
Hubs and I went out for dinner early and came home. I was leisurely putting away laundry (yes, even baby-free time is still full of chores) and I noticed how eerily quiet it is. Just one link of the chain was missing and everything was different. Peterbilt, no longer competing for attention, was sleeping on the couch. Mack, with no baby butts to lick, was sleeping on the area rug. I was by myself. And although the peace and quiet was nice, it was also rather boring.
It made me count my blessings. Although I’m always followed by a crowd of knee-high animals, I am needed and loved. And with Mack’s limited time left on earth, I now try and take snapshots with my mind so years from now, I can remember clearly when the time when it was just me, my husband, my baby girl and my two crazy bulldogs in our Minnesota home. I may feel pulled in all directions at once now, but one day, I know I’ll give anything just to relive one of these hectic, fart-filled days.