Saturday, May 22 2021

our bathroom, pecking order, and grocery shopping



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Dear Journal,

Hey friends. Happy Saturday. I hope you've had a chance this weekend to spend time on the things you care about. Are you tackling a scary home project? Catching up on chores? Running errands? Laying around on the couch? We don't judge, as we've done a little of everything this weekend.

The most predominant theme of this weekend I'd say has been snacks. In yesterday's entry I joked that Marissa and Rodney always come back with lots of extras when they shop together. "I felt like that gave us permission, so we went a little nuts," laughed Marissa. They brought back puppy chow, pringles, cookies, and popcorn.

Sip. It was a good day today. Rodney and I woke up together. He stood at the entry of his door with his toes at the imaginary line that separated his room from the upstairs hallway. He joined me downstairs. We made french toast for breakfast. After we had finished, Marissa was still getting Miles up for the day, so we segued into making apple sauce.

"You have to try our new apple machine," I said to Rodney. His curiosity piqued. He scooted his ladder over to the sink and fidgeted while I screwed the parts together.

"This is an apple machine," I said, trying to add my own showmanship to his first spin with our new apple corer slicer peeler. "You're going to do all six of these apples - are you ready, dude?"

Rodney was spellbound by the contraption, but it proved to be less foolproof than I had hoped. He wasn't strong enough to turn the crank without my help. His second apple went in crooked, and the machine shredded out the core to the point where we had to slice it up the old fashioned way with a regular peeler and a knife - how barbaric.

After we ate breakfast and cleaned up all the apple guts in the sink, I had the morning to myself. I considered doing another live stream this weekend, but in the end I decided to have a quieter coding session on the couch while Rodney trolled through his usual YouTube channels. The configuration for our home infrastructure was in desperate need of some pruning, and it's not the most exciting kind of work to put on YouTube. It was much more suited for just hanging out all morning with a bucket sized mug of coffee.

In other news, Minnie is finally out of ear tape jail. We cut her free of the masking tape just a few days ago. Her ears look big even for a corgi, but at least they can stand up straight on their own now. She's even graduated to the regular sized crate - the one that sits beside Ziggy's on the opposite wall of our bedroom. She's a big girl now.

Her long, shaggy coat has created some unforeseen problems though. During meals, the dogs predictably gather around Miles' high chair to pick off pieces of falling potato, peas, and fruit. But Minnie is the only dog to emerge from the wreckage still wearing some of the mess. Each meal, she picks up bits of food that get buried in her fur around her neck and behind her ears. She's a walking plate of hairy leftovers.

"I don't get it," I griped. "Aren't the other dogs supposed to be cleaning each other? Why can't Ziggy get it for her?"

"That would be submissive," said Marissa. "They don't want to clean Minnie because that would be like saying she's in charge."

So I guess since we're the ones that have to clean her, that would imply some kind of pecking order in which we're below Minnie. Lousy dogs. I wish our wolf pack was a little less traditional and a little more egalitarian.

Back to today. Rodney and I hung out on the couch while Marissa hacked away at our bathroom. She recently finished redoing the closet, replacing the old chipped shelves with new ones she painted and sanded. She shifted focus to the mess that is our bathroom mirror. Not only does our mirror look like something out of a haunted Scooby-Doo mansion, but it hides an unsightly, tangled mess of wires. And if that weren't bad enough, we routinely here wild scratching and scurrying behind that wall. We may have some animals hanging out back there too.

bathroom

There be dragons. Or probably just squirrels.

Rodney and I went grocery shopping today. We had a long list to tackle at Hy-Vee, but we weren't in a hurry. He brought along his Spider-Man toy - the one that says one of twelve catch phrases whenever Rodney absent-mindedly mashes the tiny button on his wrist. Rodney knows the phrases so well that he can recite them in unison with the doll.

We cruised through the produce aisle. I picked through pink heads of garlic. Heads turned as Rodney, in unison with his action figure, belted out YEAH, I'M NOT AN AVENGER, BUT I HAVE THEM ON SPEED DIAL. I thumbed through a stack of pre-packaged cuts of chuck roast. Rodney shouted HEY THOR, THOSE BICEPS ARE BIGGER THAN MY CAR. With a full shopping cart and a completed list, I turned the corner to find an open checkout aisle. Rodney leaned in close and said, "Dada - I have to pee." So we took a long, leisurely walk all the way to the end of the store. Rodney lingered at the urinal like a boxer getting ready for a headlining fight, only with his pants around his ankles. As a side note, isn't it funny how little kids don't seem to understand that you can pee without exposing your whole ass? Or maybe they just lack the dexterity to only take out the parts they need to pee. Or maybe they just don't care.

After we got home, Rodney went upstairs for quiet time. I chatted with Marissa while putting away the groceries. We heard a loud thud, then a blood curdling scream. I sighed. "I'll go check it out."

The first time you hear Rodney's curdling scream, it's shocking. You might fly up the stairs expecting to find blood on the floor, a caved-in wall, or a wild coyote fighting him in his bedroom. There were no such emergencies. Rodney was huddled into a ball on his bedroom floor. Through tears, he recounted how he dropped his sippie cup of juice and it landed on his toe.

Hey, it may not have been an emergency. But he still needed a hug. That hurts.

That's what I got today. Have a great Saturday, everyone.