Christmas morning was wonderful. The boys woke us up around 0700 (we had gone to bed around 0500; yeah, we were tired) and we watched the boys open their presents. I took still pictures while DH videotaped. It was great. The boys had a great time; they all got what they asked for; plus some. I had planned on having everyone over around 1700 so I figured I had plenty of time to get everything ready. DH played a little xbox with C, then he put together a robot for B, then he and Z organized all the parts in preparation for his RC truck that should be arriving back from the repair shop this week. I was so happy. Our family was whole, we were celebrating Christmas and I felt good.
Bro #2 asked me on Tuesday if I would watch one of his dogs while he went to New Jersey. I told him I had not had good luck the last time I watched a dog
He insisted that he would give me the good dog; the young one, he said it was housetrained and crate trained. He told me that the dog wouldn’t bark if he was in the crate.
I told him that Christmas Eve was an issue.
We would go to pick up the toys at Bro #1’s house and we’d have to leave the front door open while we brought everything in. Opening and closing the front door would wake up the kids.
He said that was fine, put him in the crate.
I told him I couldn’t risk having the dog bark on Christmas Eve; there are no “do-overs” when it comes to kids and Santa. Once they see you with their presents; that’s it.
So, he assured me it would be fine. He dropped off the dog midweek. That also happened to be the beginning of R&R (perfect timing, huh).
The first night the dog stayed in his crate. We left the door open but he wouldn’t come out (new environment, understandable). After a while we noticed that the dog WAS coming out….. to pee, then he would go back in. He literally only left the cage to use the bathroom in the living room. That night the dog slept in the cage.
The next day the dog didn’t hide in his cage all day, but he proved that he was most certainly NOT housetrained. I must have cleaned up 25 small puddles and 2 land mines in the living room and the kitchen. That night the dog went into his cage around midnight and at 0300 it started barking. I finally got up and took the thing outside while DH cleaned out the cage (the dog’s butt must have exploded). After 20 minutes I brought the dog in. As soon as I closed the door the dog turned on the fire house and left a giant puddle in the kitchen. I brought him back out for 10 minutes and then put him back in the cage. We then lay there for about an hour listening to the dog bark and howl.
The next day was Christmas Eve, more of the same. The boys have started wearing shoes in the house because they kept stepping in puddles. It is disgusting. I have gone through more paper towels and clorox wipes in the past week than at any point this year. That night we put the boys to bed. It was exciting because Santa was going to be coming. The boys finally went down but we still waited a bit to be sure they were asleep. Around midnight we decided it was time to head to Bro #1’s to pick up the toys. The dog, however, did not feel that it was a good time. He started barking as soon as we put him in the cage. I didn’t know what to do. I was going to be so mad if he woke up the kids. We made sure that the kids had sound machines turned on in their rooms and we left; hoping for the best. When we arrived back home the dog was out. One of the kids must have gotten up and let him out because of the barking. Of course, we spent the next 15 minutes cleaning puddles. We then brought in all the presents and arranged them. Santa normally drops a whole bunch of miniature chocolate candy all over the toys and living room, I stopped myself just in time though. I realized that the dog was obviously not going to stay in the cage and chocolate is bad for dogs. Whew, that would have sucked. Dog Diarrhea on Christmas? No thanks.
So, we went to bed at 0500, the boys woke us up at 0700. We enjoyed our morning (I will post about it in more detail later when I have the pics uploaded). That afternoon the dog started again. He was totally messing with us. He would pee a couple ounces in different places but refused to pee outside even though we were taking him out almost constantly. DH and I were beyond frustrated; we had the family coming over, dinner and sides to make, toys to put together, etc. Christmas is a hectic day, we did not need this added stress. We started off early in the day, but as the day went on we were more and more off schedule. He went in to the bathroom to start cleaning it while I attempted to get dinner ready. I had to keep stopping to clean up the dog mess though. Bro #1 and his girlfriend got here first; I was on the verge of tears at this point. Then my Mom and stepdad showed up. I didn’t say hello at first because I knew that my Mom would see that something was wrong (you can’t get anything by her) and she would ask me. I can’t shrug it off with my Mom either. I am not usually able to just say “nothing”. I knew that if she saw me I would just start crying and I didn’t want to do that on Christmas. At this point, DH was still in the bathroom. I don’t think he wanted to come out because he knew that I would ask him to clean up after the dog every 15 minutes while I finished cooking, he would rather scrub the bathroom from top to bottom. The dog peeed three more times after they all arrived. The last time was in the study, I went in with paper towels and clorox and started cleaning. That’s when my Mom said, “Oh Lin, that’s not the spot we were talking about, he just did it over here”. I cracked, started crying, threw the paper towels on the floor and hid in my room. I cried and cried into my pillow. This was Christmas. The Christmas that I had been looking forward to and preparing for for months. This was R&R. this was how I was welcoming home my husband, by dog-sitting a dog that had mental issues. My house smelled like urine, dinner was late, I had not made most of the side dishes I had planned, my husband wouldn’t come out of the bathroom and I was running on almost no sleep for 3 days because if you remember, the dog started barking at 0300 the night before Christmas Eve.
Anyway, 20 minutes later Bro #1 came into my room and said that he wanted to take me for a drive; go get coffee or something. He said that it would do me good to get out for a bit. I told him that I couldn’t go, I couldn’t leave DH. It wasn’t fair.
The dog continued to pee throughout the night but Bro #1’s girlfriend kept taking him out. We went to bed almost as soon as the last guest left. We were both exhausted. I am not sure if the dog barked again or not; if he did I slept through it.
This morning DH let me sleep in. He cleaned up after the dog 5 times in a couple hours. Once I got up I was on Doggie Duty (get it? Doody? hahaha, I can laugh now because the dog is gone). I cleaned up 4 times, the boys cleaned twice. The brother finally called and said he was on his way. Thank goodness, I will NOT be doing this again, EVER. I am not a dog person, I am not a PET person, I am a kid person and that’s about all I can handle.
Anyway, I was thinking about it today and I really screwed up Christmas. The morning was great but Christmas Dinner was terrible. I burned the ham, forgot to add spices to the broccoli, etc. I had a melt down halfway through and I couldn’t get rid of the puffy, crying eyes for the rest of the night. I was just so upset that I had wanted this Christmas to be so special. I wanted to make it perfect for DH. I wanted it perfect for us. I wanted smiling pictures and memories to cherish. What I got was my husband in the bathroom, an unhousetrained dog and puffy eyes.
My aspirations were too high. I know that, but I couldnt’ help it. I wanted it to be perfect. Then, when the dog forced me to run late I lost it. I cried because I wanted DH to know how much I loved having him home by setting up and giving him the best Christmas. I’m sure that part of my tears were exhausted tears but that doesn’t change the fact that I failed.
One of these years my family is going to refuse to show up because I never seem to be able to pull it off smoothly yet always insist on doing it. All in all, the morning was great, I got lots of pictures of the kids. It was just dinner that I messed up.
I guess, there’s always next year, right?