Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Dress Rehearsal

My cousin was going on a 2-week vacation just a few days after we got back from ours and she asked if we would stay at her house while she was gone to take care of her pets. Of course I said we would. She has done tons to help us since we moved here so I owe her a lot more than pet-sitting.

My cousin basically lives in a Thomas Kinkade painting. She has a big house in the middle of the woods. There's no street, just a long, winding, gravel driveway. There are actual icicles hanging from the gutters and everywhere you look are snow-covered trees. In the daytime, it's serene and beautiful. At nighttime, well, it's a bit frightening!

If you don't know by now, I'm a worrier! On our first night here we couldn't get the internet to work and my phone wouldn't make calls. I told Brian I felt like we were in that movie The Strangers and I expected people in masks to appear at any moment. If I had to call 911 I'd be screwed. For one thing my phone won't work but besides that, I don't know the address! I don't even know if there is an address.

Because the house is so big there are several space heaters around. Of course I Googled the incidences of fires caused by space heaters and tried to come up with an evacuation plan to get all 6 animals out of the house in the event of a fire. We've been here a week now and I'm still not satisfied with my fire plan. The dogs and rabbit will live but those cats are unpredictable.

Besides worrying about ax murderers and fires, there are some great things about being here. There's a dishwasher! A dryer! She has the ID channel!!! I'm a total murder-mystery fanatic (which might explain the paranoia). She also has the Cooking Channel so I can watch Rachael Ray's new show. But the best thing about being here is that the thermostat is set at 69. The thermostat at our place is at 58 because we are waiting for a gas refill. We go there everyday to give love to the cats and it's quite uncomfortable. We are putting $800 into that damn tank this week (again!) so hopefully we can also live in a 69 degree world soon.

There are 6 pets here. 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 rabbit. Let me tell you, this bunch is a high-maintenance handful! They all get fed different foods at different times in different amounts. I have to set timers, use measuring cups and even cut up veggies for the rabbit. The dogs want to go outside at least once an hour. The puppy of the bunch is a Newfoundland the size of a pony and because he's still in his puppy phase, he needs to be hooked to a cord when he goes out or he might not come back. The cord is long so he still has access to a lot of the yard. The thing is, he gets the cord tangled around bushes almost every time so about once an hour I have to bundle up and go outside to untangle him. There were a few days this week when the temps went below zero. Being outside for just 3 minutes or so and I felt like my eyelids were going to freeze to my eyeballs!

When the dogs aren't outside they want to play, be loved on, or be given a snack. But since they can't talk I have to figure out what each one wants. Unfortunately, I am physically unable to pet 3 dogs at once and this causes agitation and fighting. When the dogs go down for their nap, I go upstairs to let the rabbit out of his cage and play with him for a little bit. Playing with him means being chewed on and pooped on. Did ya'll know that rabbits can't control their pooping? It just comes out while they're walking around. If you have a pet rabbit you have to vacuum or clean the cage daily. I also have to watch out for the cats because one of the dogs likes to chase and attack them. So basically this is like a full-time job. I guess you could say it's a dress rehearsal to mommyville. Literally. I've even got drool on my shirt to prove it.

The first two days I did everything. I measured out all the food, I went outside in the snow, I got up at 9am to let them out....and then I got pissed because Brian wasn't helping. It made me wonder if he's going to help with the baby. And on the 3rd night I'm so frustrated with the dead phone lines, the slow internet connection, the whining dogs who I can't seem to please, the Newfoundland that just drooled all over my sleeve, the 3 holes chewed into the other sleeve by the rabbit, plus the fact that I've hardly slept a wink because the dogs bark every time the wind blows and I'm on the verge of tears and contemplating beating my head against a wall and all of a sudden Brian gets on the living room floor on all fours and starts barking like a dog. The dogs LOVED it. And Brian had this goofy smile on his face so I know he was having fun, too. I wish I would have videotaped it. It was the sweetest thing. Not only did it make the dogs happy for awhile, but it reminded me what a great guy he is and what a great dad he's going to be. The next morning he got up at 9 to let them out and feed them breakfast. *sigh* I love my husband.

So Brian saved the day with his silly little game but I learned that I have to practice my patience before this baby gets here. Brian's going to have to work 2 jobs to make up for my maternity leave and I'm going to be on my own most of the time. It makes me wonder what I'll do when Brian's not around to save me...should we put some padding on the walls?

1 comment:

Susan said...

You also have to practice delegating. Dads are happy to help I find, they just don't want to make a mistake so they don't pitch in... or maybe that is men in general. At any rate, they seem to be very happy being given a specific task to do in a specific way ... and yes - they do invent their own ways to play with both the pets and the children - it makes them both very happy :-)