Sorry I’ve been off the grid for the last week or so. You may remember that we’ve been prepping for a new addition to our family, and last week, Mark and I drove the six hours (one way!) to pick up our new little puppy-nugget.
We argued for the entire six-hour trip over what her name would be.
Me: I love the name Ivy.
Mark: **Crinkling his nose up in disgust** But that's a plant. No. What about Rio?
Me: Ew, no. Rio Braziel? No. That sounds like a strip-dancer. What about Birdie? Or Bunny?
Mark: Jesus, no!
Me: Why not? She's going to be tiny and fluffy - those are tiny, fluffy animal names.
Mark: You don't give an animal the name of another animal. Seriously. My God, what is wrong with you?
After we had her in our hands and saw a little bit of her personality, we settled on Remmy (because, Heaven forbid we have something girly in our household - my family is still reeling from the cheetah-print duct tape I wrapped around our trash can three years ago (“Dad, wait’ll you see what Mom did: she girled-up the trash can,” my oldest announced when Mark came home from work that day.)
Also, Remmy’s short for Remington, and since Mark is a hunter, and the puppy is a little pistol, it seemed a nice fit).
She doesn’t know her name just yet, possibly because I use “GD” just as frequently as I use “Remmy.”
I forgot how hard those first few days (God help me if it’s weeks) with a new puppy are.
It’s sort-of like having a newborn baby, only it's worse. At least babies can hang out in a diaper. They don't go around peeing and pooping all over the place, like assholes on a farm. It's a full-time job, the getting up throughout the night, having to be “on” constantly, for signs of a potty incident, so I can catch her in the act and make the appropriate correction.
And just like when my boys were newborns, I don’t shower all day, for fear of taking my eyes off the baby for even one second, in case she gets into something dangerous, or gets all needy that we’re separated.
So when Mark comes home from work in the evenings, I’m greasy and stringy-haired, covered in my own body film, crusties still in my eyes from the morning, even forgoing contacts for glasses, which I usually reserve only for when I’m sick, or any other time I want to wallow in the feeling of letting myself go (like during Season 3 of Breaking Bad, when Jesse and his girlfriend got into heroin, and Mark and I got pulled in so deep, we thought we were the junkies, forcing the kids to fend for themselves with homework and getting dressed for school, and feeding them three meals of cereal everyday for like a week.)
I remember when my older dogs were puppies, and how hard that was, but I worked outside the home at the time, and our youngest was a toddler. If we could do it then, it surely must be so much easier, now!
The truth is… this puppy is annoying AF.
I mean, I know it’s temporary, but - if you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you know that my mental state is as tender as a little peach, and any pebble under the heel of my routine can tip me over the ledge into a painful downward spiral.
I require lots of “me” time. I’m about as self-care-y as you can get.
When I first presented the idea of getting a puppy to Mark, he tried - God knows he tried - to talk me out of it. “Our lives are too busy. We’ve finally gotten to the point where our dogs are trained, the kids are mostly self-sufficient, now that Cody can pop bread in the toaster if he’s hungry. And his iPad keeps him entertained all the rest of the time.”
But I insisted. I think it’s a uterine thing.
A few years ago, I went through a wanting-a-puppy thing, just like this: out of nowhere. I finally nailed it down to my ovaries getting all stirred-up by my friend’s pregnancy. Thankfully I shook it off.
I couldn’t shake it this time, and I think the reason it’s surfaced now, is because my oldest son is about to graduate high school, and will soon be going off to college (let’s bow our heads and say a little prayer for his future roommates, because - and I say this with love - my son as an effing slob).
My womb aches to keep this nest from becoming an empty one.
I can’t remember how long this annoying puppy-ness stage lasts, but hopefully it’s over soon so that I can go back to my regular routine of schlepping on the couch until I’ve watched the full third hour of the Today Show, and making lists of things to do to distract me from cleaning my house.
And also to get back to writing more of the type of nonsense you’re reading in this blog post.