b Papa Dog's Blog: Stuff I Almost Got Done

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Monday, August 30, 2004

Stuff I Almost Got Done

Yesterday I had a full day of almost doing things. I had a To Do list, and I almost did every item on it. One item was vacuuming the house. Back when we first got Doggy Dog, we vacuumed daily for the first – oh, two or three days. Then we gradually came to the realisation that vacuuming up after the dual-coated perpetual shedding machine was an exercise in futility and resolved instead to live like savages wallowing in his dander for the rest of our days. That arrangement worked out fine until Baby Dog was about to make her appearance, and it occurred to us that one day the floor was going to be her thoroughfare, and it would be incumbent upon us to keep her path clear of the tumbling tumblefurs. We resolved that, once the baby was born, we would once again become decent upstanding clean-living people and vacuum up the fur on a daily basis. I think she was probably about three weeks old before we even had time to remember we’d made that ridiculous vow. She lives on bassinettes and swings and bouncy chairs! She’s never touched the floor! Doesn’t even know it exists! When she crawls, that’s when we start vacuuming again. But still. One can only let the clumps of fur grow so large – say, to the size of a moderate boulder – before they begin to intrude on one’s consciousness on a regular basis, and one is forced to note “vacuum house” on the to-do list scrawled on the Magna Doodle (not a baby toy – we’ve used this to write “to do” notes on for years). However – when I wrote “vacuum floor” on the Magna Doodle, it was in the cool of the evening, with the great yellow horror banished and forgotten. The next afternoon, looking at the Magna Doodle, I was lolling somnolently on the couch, shielded from the rays of the cancer ball but still keenly feeling its pernicious effects inside the walls of our EZ Bake house. “Could I not,” thought I, “have written down a chore not requiring motion?” In the end, I took a cue from Mama Dog’s mother who, during her recent stays here, demonstrated her strong faith in the dust mop over the vacuum cleaner. I reasoned that there was less activity involved in pulling the mop from the closet than in pulling out and then assembling the vacuum, and I was right. I barely had to achieve consciousness to shuffle about the house like Chief Broom, wrangling the bigger clumps from under the tables and chairs, in the corners, and by the most heavily doggy-trafficked areas. It was, by any objective standard, a piss-poor job, but when compared with the week or two of utter neglect that had preceded it, it was a Herculean feat. So scratch one off the Magna Doodle, sort of.

Another action item on the Magna Doodle was “tummy play.” This is an activity parents are supposed to do with their newborns to get them lifting their heads and strengthening their neck muscles. Mostly, it boils down to placing the baby on her stomach on a flat surface (or using an aid like a Boppy, getting down with her at eye level, talking and making faces and generally encouraging her to look around and move her head and neck as much as possible. The books tell you to start this activity fairly early on, but it’s been a bit difficult with Baby Dog, who has tended to start crying as soon as we set her down on her stomach and not stop until she’s been rolled over onto her comfortable, familiar back position. She so disliked it the first couple times that we tried it that we decided to wait until she was a little bigger and stronger before trying again. So it was for several weeks. When we were down in Santa Barbara, though, we noticed that she was growing less resistant to being on her stomach. She fell asleep lying face-down on my shoulder, for instance, and on Mama Dog’s chest. We decided to try her out with tummy play out on a blanket on the lawn, and it worked pretty well. Since getting home, “Tummy Play Every Day” has been a standing order on the Magna Doodle. We had a pretty good streak going until yesterday when somehow, the day got away with us. I did ALMOST get it done, though. At one point I was rocking Baby Dog and set her on my shoulder for one reason or another. She immediately arched her neck back and grunted at me. I googooed at her and let her thrust her head back repeatedly for a while until she was ready to move on to other things. It wasn’t exactly tummy play, but it was close. So I almost got that done.

Lastly, the big job – finally assembling the shelving units we got before going to SB and setting them up in the former crap room. I almost got this done too. In the sense of, I thought about it and almost did it but then checked my hit counter instead.

Mama Dog did much better on her share of the Magna Doodle list, and one of her successfully completed action items spurred me to do something that wasn’t even on my list yet. She compiled the guest list for her birthday party/Baby Dog’s Baek-il. Enthusiastic to do a chore that involved sitting on my ass in front of the computer, I put together the Evite for the event, and managed to get the thing out before suppertime. Maybe it’s gauche to mention such an event in a public forum that might be read by people who haven’t been invited. A disclaimer, then. If you didn’t receive your Evite, you probably fall into one or more of four broad categories: those we don’t know, those who live too far away to be likely attendees, those who slipped our mind by regrettable oversight, and those whose fucking guts we hate. I’m guessing everybody knows which one they are, and hey – we’ll see you there!


Blogger Twizzle said...

How coincidental that you should write about the sorry state of our dog-fur-covered floor! I lost sleep last night thinking about how Baby Dog will be crawling soon, and the imminent necessity to clean the kitchen floor. The thought of hiring someone to install new linoleum crossed my mind. I even considered having our kitchen's old nineteen-fifties fake brick floor covering replaced w/ a new wood floor! Baby Dog's going to become intimately acquainted with our floor before we know it, so I must start taking action stat!

9:16 AM  

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