Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I admit it. Bad idea.

I love to clean.  I find it very cathartic.  I take cleaning seriously, so when given a task, watch out....it may take a while to be done right.  Out of all the things that made me a terrible candidate for military service,  getting something CLEAN was not one of them.

I do not live in a germ-free or un-cluttered house.  The many things I pay my psychiatrist and therapist for do not cover OCD.  Lots of people like to arm-chair diagnose me for it, and usually say it with a sneer, but I kind of take pleasure in that.  So fuck 'em.  Our home is comfy and well-lived in.  A good deal of our furniture is hand-me-downs from my mom and dad.  Including one "L" shaped sofa that was custom-made and stuffed with down. 

It is glorious, this sofa.  I have loved it since it came to live with us when I was in high school.  It is fantastic for napping.  It just begs to be a partner in sloth.  It came with far too many pillows, all down-stuffed too.  Not a huge pillow fan, but they do make the sofa look an ad in a home magazine.  A few years back, my parents thought a few extra slip-covers would be great, so they could dress the sofa up for the fall/winter and spring/summer.  Not inexpensive, they realized they needed to protect the investment and got some great covers from Orvis.  Thick, heavy, supposedly "spill proof", and resist that funky smell that comes with having dogs lounge on your furniture.

The covers get washed A LOT here.  Pugs shed like crazy.  I always thought Retrievers were awful, but their shedding is livable.  Pug shedding is something that will keep the Dyson Animal in business for YEARS.  Anyway, Pugs, for as little as they do during a 24 hour period, manage to funk-up my sofa covers but for good!  Two weekends ago I decided the house smelled like an animal shelter, so it was declared that I was going to get busy on some steam cleaning...so gather up your shit and get out of my way.  I spent about 8 hours on a 12 x 6 Oriental rug on my back deck.  The neighbors thought I lost my fucking mind, and were probably ready to shot me on sight for running our steam cleaning for 8 hours...give or take.  I also cleaned all the LL Bean Waterhog Mats (LOVE those things...might outfit the whole house with them!), so the house was smelling pretty darned good after that day.  A deep satisfaction rumbled through me, and has carried me for a little over two weeks.  Showing my rug the love it deserves (after watching bucket after bucket of dank, foul water fill up...also deeply satisfying...in an odd, I probably-shouldn't-talk-about-that-kind-of-way), I have been vacuuming at least every other day.

So when I came home from running my dear fucked-out-of-her-skull-on-pain-meds mother to and fro to the beauty salon (a story for another day), I stepped across the threshold and smelled....dog.  Dirty, rotten, filthy dog.  It didn't occur to me that I was holding a very foul-tempered Cam (two year molars) who needed feeding and a nap ASAP, that Rob was on a conference call in his "office" (our bedroom...the only room that has a bathtub...), or that trying to wash three water-phobic Pugs WITH the assistance of the aforementioned foul-tempered toddler was a bad idea.

I cajoled three nervous, skeptical Pugs up the stairs, while steering Cam and the pack through the bedroom door.  Rob greeted us with a grimace, to which I replied "you won't even hear us...I'll turn on the fan!"

I was two 1.5 Pugs in when it became clear it was a terrible, horrible idea.  Cam has never met a body of water she hasn't immediately loved.  That bathtub is, as far as she is concerned, HERS and hers alone.  So when I hoisted the Pug stupid enough to come to me into the tub, Cam started throwing her leg over the side in earnest.  Bad temper gone, she was all about getting in that tub....Pug intruder be damned.

It have to stop and point out that we use expensive, organic, no-parabens, blah-blah-blah, shampoos and soaps on Cam.  For moms and pops, we get the 50 gallon drum of toxic Head & Shoulders (really, check this out...).  Most of the products we use on Cam could cause eye irritation, but for some odd reason she's never, ever once complained.  So.

I have Dixon (poor, stupid boy) lathered up GOOD with H&S.  I figure, he's an itchy boy (flippin' hot spots...ugh!), the H&S does a good job on his human parents' heads...a match made in heaven.  He's tolerating the indignity pretty well, until Cam sees that the look on his face suggests "this is some BULLSHIT WOMAN!!!!" and goes in for a hug and kiss. 

Another pause in the story to tell you what Dixon hates most in life:  LIPS.  Any sort of lip action coming at him, and he is all "back up off me...I mean it...back up off me!"  He's been known to snap at Cam.  To say she will fully deserve it when he finally does get a little Cam meat, is an understatement (and before you rush to call DCFS...they are supervised and watched constantly.  He's just a slow mover.).  Although lately, I have to give the kid credit, she uses her "gentle hands" a lot more than she used to.

So when Cam leaned in for a smooch, I was too enamored of THE CUTEST BABY ON EARTH to remember Dixon would rather, well, take a bath then be kissed.  He reared back out of my reach and Cam's bear-hug and got in the far corner of the tub.  "FREE AT LAST" must have blasted through his dim mind before he decided to give a good and thorough shaking.  All that H&S foam?  ALL over Cam.  For a kid who loves to roll around naked in a down pour in a muddy vegetable plot, she sure as shit didn't appreciate the dirty, foamy, HAIRY mess Dixon left all over her.  She started hollering and wining.  Nothing new with her attitude lately, so I powered through and got Pug rinsed and semi-dry before I plucked the next sucker into the tub.

Zelda.  I know I am partial, but that Pug is flippin' CUTE.  She is a bitch on wheels, and has eyes only for the men-folk.  Considering she was MY dog when Rob and I got together, it's a slight I am still miffed about.  Rob and I also decided, on a loooong evening fueled by Jim Beam, that Zelda...if she could speak....would have a gravelly voice, a penchant for expensive scotch and cigars, and would more than likely tell anyone who looked at her twice to "fuck off".  But she's just so damn cute.  And feisty, so I looooove her more than anything.  Well, except Rob and Cam....but she's close up there with the humans.  I mean look at this face (which incidentally ALWAYS looks like "These people STARVE me...HELP!!":

It's what has kept her alive, that and being oddly protective of Cam.  Where Dixon likes to offer a toothy reprimand, Zelda is all concern and sweetness.  Never once snapped OR growled...which she does A lot to Dixon and Murphy. 

So once I get her in the tub, she is a ball of energy of trying to get back out of the tub.  Wet and pissed, she retreats to the back corner, and is smarter than her brother.  She sits down.  Which makes it damn hard to wash her, and gives her leverage because I can barely reach her.  With a very loud sigh and snort, from Zelda, I finally get her soaped up, with Cam's siren-song of whine reaching a fever pitch.  I look over to tell Cam for the 542nd time to GET OFF THE DRAIN, KID! and she's rubbing a big old glob of H&S foam directly into her eyes.  Faced with an escape artist and screaming child, my brain does what it normally does: "we can handle both of these!" 

I grab Cam's arm and hand, and use my upper body to block Zelda's escape.  Cam won't stop rubbing her eyes, so I think "flush it out!"...which is what I did.  Cam got a full-on face of the "gentle shower" spray action, which got her attention long enough to stop rubbing.  Which is when the "my mother is murdering me" scream started.  Remember, Rob is on a con-call right outside the door.  I was able to get Zelda rinsed off, and snatched Cam up to see if her eyes had really fallen out.  And she screams louder.  Frantically she starts slapping at my hands, so I set her back in the tub, where she gives me the stink-eye and starts flapping her hands at all the Pug fur stuck to her body.  I assume the eyes are okay, hose her down again and she stops screaming.  Phew.  I realize there is no way in hell I am going to get Murphy washed, so I lock all three Pugs in the bathroom and go to get Cam dressed and down for a much needed nap.  For which the screaming starts again.  I get her down, and go down the stairs to get some water. 

There's Rob sitting at the dining table looking a bit empathetic, but more smug.  I had to go back up there and wash Murphy.  The Pug barely tolerates petting, what do you think a bath does to him?

At least the sofa is now bedecked with two clean covers, and three clean, possibly not all de-soaped, snoring Pugs.  And no, Cam is not blind. 

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