Category Archives: Mrs. P.I.B.
My family does not trust me in the kitchen. Even the dog. Mrs. Pain in the Butt, our golden retriever, paces and pants every time I turn the stove on – just because I happened to set off the smoke alarm a few years ago while I was cooking. My husband is just as bad. Since I had never operated a gas stove before we moved into this house, he is convinced that I am going to blow us all up. This paranoia stemmed from the fact that, the first night we moved into the house, I placed a box on the counter next to the stove, inadvertently turning one of the dials ever so slightly. We woke up in the middle of the night to the distinct smell of gas. I try to tell him, “But I wasn’t even cooking when I almost killed us!” He does not find that reassuring.
The only family member that meets my rare trips to the kitchen with delight and anticipation is our bulldog, Wonderbutt. Despite all evidence to the contrary, he steadfastly clenches to the belief that I am going to give him food scraps while I am foraging for a Diet Coke.
And our daughter? Here is how confident she is about my kitchen skills:
My husband, who usually prepares breakfast in the morning, had to leave early one day, and reluctantly left it up to me. My daily breakfast is cereal, but my daughter is used to gourmet meals made to order by Cap’n Firepants. That morning, at 6:20, I went to wake her up.
“Hey, sweetie. Time to get up.”
“Umm. Daddy had to go to work early, so it’s just me today.”
“What would you like for breakfast?”
Silence. Then a hesitant, “You know how to make waffles, don’t you?”
“Well, I probably could. I think it has a recipe on the side of the box. But I think I would need to use the mixer (don’t I?), and that would take a lot of time. Plus, you know I’m not good at doing multi-step tasks early in the morning.”
She sat up, and looked at me.
“You. Just. Put. Them in the. Toaster,” she said slowly.
“Oh! Those kind of waffles! Sure, I can do that!” I said with great confidence.
“Okay,” she said, looking at me doubtfully.
“I can!” I said.
I marched to the kitchen to prove my point, thinking, “Geez, why can’t she just have a darn Pop Tart like every other kid in America?”
Oh yeah, because we don’t have Pop Tarts.
Another thing no one trusts me to do – the grocery shopping.
Two years ago, Wonderbutt, (B)Light of my Life, made his way into our household by using the subtle ploy of falling asleep on my daughter’s lap at the pet store we had visited with the intent of getting her a fish. That was the last time Wonderbutt achieved a goal without bulldog-dozing his way through everything in his path.
During his second Christmas with the Firepants Family, Wonderbutt managed to commandeer as many gifts as he could – most of them from his sister, Mrs. Pain in the Butt. Despite the fact that he had received his own gifts, Wonderbutt operates under the philosophy that the grass is always greener on the other side of the Poop Pen, so to speak.
Despite all of Wonderbutt’s machinations, the Firepants Family had a pretty good Christmas this year. I will fill you in on some more of the day’s events later this week…
A few of you have suggested that I leave a video camera on when the Firepants family leaves the house, so we can see what Wonderbutt and his Cohort in Crime, Mrs. Pain in the Butt, do while we are gone. I finally listened to your advice the other day, but didn’t have time to review the tape until today. Kind of wish I hadn’t…
I rounded the kitchen corner, about to take our dog, Wonderbutt, for a walk, and got slapped in the face by a sign on our back window calling me a “Ho”.
“Dimples!” I called for our daughter. “What happened to the other Ho’s?” You see, Dimples was in charge of affixing our Christmas gel clings on the windows, and apparently she decided to separate the Santa’s Ho’s.
“They’re over here!” She gestured to one of the lower windows that had the rest of the gel clings, including the 2 missing Ho’s.
“Um, it seems kind of weird to just have one Ho by itself. I mean, Ho’s are usually in groups,” I said. She shrugged. It made perfect sense to her to divide up the Ho’s. I did a mental inventory of the guests that might make an appearance at our house during the next few weeks, and decided the solitary Ho was probably fine. If the rest of the 10-year-old girls who visited the house were just as innocent as Dimples, then, really, I was the only one objecting to the Ho.
But Dimples acquiesced, and placed the other Ho with its partners.
We took Wonderbutt for his walk. And, of course, Dog Who Poops As He Walks did not disappoint – despite the fact that is was 4:30 PM, and he hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Fortunately, I was well-armed with baggies.
Dimples did her best to wear out Wonderbutt, running him all over the place, and he was panting pretty hard by the time we returned home.
Then it was Mrs. Pain in the Butt’s turn for a walk. Walking the two of them together is an exercise in futility, so we’ve recently begun splitting them up. Wonderbutt does not like being left in the house alone, but we figured he was too tuckered out to do any damage while we were gone.
After a leisurely jaunt with the well-behaved Mrs. P.I.B., we re-entered our home to find Wonderbutt still sprawled out on the floor where we had left him.
A few minutes later – “Uh, Mom? What happened to the O? And, where are the four presents?”
I raised my eyebrow at Wonderbutt.
“He ate them? Why would he eat them?”
Indeed. Why does Wonderbutt eat any of the things that Wonderbutt eats? It’s a mystery we may never solve.
And, if you are wondering how Christmas gel clings effect a dog’s digestive system, let’s just say that Wonderbutt spent about 10 minutes trying to run away from his own butt later that evening. He was obviously disturbed by whatever was going in his posterior regions. He would sit down, then suddenly pop up like someone had stuck him with a pin, and then race around the room, glaring back at his bottom every few seconds.
We weren’t very sympathetic.
Our bulldog, Wonderbutt, is fickle. Like some people you may know, he is always looking for the next best thing – whether it’s a better treat, a squeakier toy, or a more gullible sucker to give him a butt massage. Loyalty to products or people has never been one of Wonderbutt’s strong suits.
Case in point: we’ve only had the dog for two years, but he has slept in more beds than I have my entire life. (I don’t have pictures of Bed #1-3, as Wonderbutt destroyed them early in his Pernicious Puppy Phase.)
In the meantime, our 11-year-old golden retriever, Mrs. Pain in the Butt, has had two beds that I can think of – the carpet and the concrete floor. So, after noticing that the concrete floor has become a bit of challenge for our arthritic dog, the Firepants Family made a trip to Petsmart to hand-select the Perfect Pallet for Mrs. P.I.B.
Twenty minutes after this picture was taken…
And, later that evening:
By the next day, Wonderbutt had a Bedding Command Post. Which did not seem to offend Mrs. P.I.B. in the slightest.
When Wonderbutt becomes famous some day, I expect I will be able to sell his Collection of Cots on eBay with the label, “Wonderbutt Slept Here”…
You know how you’re lying in bed at night chuckling about your bulldog’s latest antics, trying not to wake up your husband, but really wanting to wake him up so you can tell him what happened? And then you start thinking about how mad he would be. And then you start thinking about how stressed he is, especially about his mom who you escorted to a doctor’s appointment today, but how nice it was to just sit and chat by the neighborhood pool with him this evening while Dimples and her friend splashed around. And then you think, “Well, it was nice – until the kid got his head caught in the diving board.” And then you think, “Wow, Being Wedged into Uncomfortable Places must have been my theme for the day.”
Me – Caught Between a Doc and a Hard Place
The day started with Dimples and I taking my mother-in-law to the doctor. I’m not saying it was as bad as getting my head stuck in a diving board, but I don’t even like going to doctor’s appointments for myself – much less for other people. Particularly with an energetic 9-year-old who wants to play word games while I am trying to pay attention to the discomfort of my mother-in-law and to the rapid-fire recommendations from the doctor.
Boy – Caught Between a Dock and a Hard Place
In Part II of my Day of Wedges, the Cap’n and I were sitting at a table near the diving board chatting about Part I. And a family of three kids was goofing off around the board. The brother got up on the board and was kind of prancing toward the end when his foot slipped. He fell off the board in a kind of twisty way onto the concrete, somehow managing to get his head wedged between the railing and the board. And there he sat, with his ears trapped, apparently unable to move. (So, technically, a diving board is not a dock, but I was trying to make the pun work.)
I ran toward the boy, who looked to be about 11, while Cap’n Firepants and the lifeguard were a beat behind. I got to the boy first, but then I realized that this was a race I didn’t need to win because I didn’t really know how to help him. Getting your head wedged between a board and a metal railing was not part of the CPR training that I took when Dimples was an infant. He certainly did not need any kind of resuscitation because he was yelling quite emphatically that his head was stuck and that he couldn’t move it. His mouth was moving fine, though.
About 10 seconds after we all stood around trying to figure out what the heck to do, the boy unstuck himself. Ears still intact. Another lifeguard had already called his mom, and she was there in minutes. And I’m pretty sure he lived.
Wonderbutt – Caught Between a Dog and His Resting Place
Later that evening, I was watching late-night television while Wonderbutt snoozed on his new Wonderbutt bed at my feet. Suddenly, he stretched, rolled over onto his back, and tumbled to the floor. I gasped, but he didn’t even wake up. He just lay there, snoring, stretched out on his back, firmly wedged between his bed and the butt of our golden retriever, Mrs. P.I.B. A couple of times, he half-heartedly tried to turn over or roll back on his stomach in his sleep, waving his stubby little legs around – but he was too thoroughly entrenched between the bed and the butt.
It was one of those moments when you desperately wish that your actual eyeballs were video cameras. Or, that at least someone else was there to witness this. But the only witness was Mrs. P.I.B. and, as with most things involving Wonderbutt, she was not amused.
Hence, the awful picture taken with my iPad in very little light.
And so endeth the Day of Wedges.
My daughter, Dimples, had the bright idea of bringing an inflated exercise ball into the living room from the garage to see how our bulldog, Wonderbutt, would react. She predicted that we would want to videotape it, and she was right. We finally found a ball that is just the right size for Wonderbutt. Of course he had to use it to careen right into Mrs. P.I.B., our long-suffering golden retriever…
It has been awhile since I have shared a home with a persistently Obsessive Compulsive Dog, but our bulldog is quickly reacquainting me with the fine points of dealing with an O.C.D. Not to stereotype or anything, but every O.C.D. that has lived in our household has been male; we’ve even hosted an O.C.C. (Obsessive Compulsive Cat) – who also happened to be male. I don’t really know what this means, scientifically, but our track record is definitely not good.
Our current O.C.D., Wonderbutt, has recently developed a fixation on a ball. The kind you roll. (If this is not why you are reading this post, I am sorry to have disappointed you.) Anyway, this ball was originally purchased for Mrs. P.I.B., our 11 year old Golden Retriever, as Wonderbutt kept ramming her in the side of the mouth to steal her tennis ball – even if he already had an identical tennis ball in his mouth. In a shocking turn of events, it turned out that Wonderbutt much preferred the new super-duper rubberish ball, and Mrs. P.I.B. was more than happy to stick with the stinky, old tennis ball that Wonderbutt now spurns. Everybody’s happy, right?
If you know the Firepants Family, and I think you do, you know that there are precious few moments when everyone is simultaneously happy.
Wonderbutt loved the new ball so much, we worried that he would give it the kind of attention that he gives all of the objects that he adores – endless licking that evolves into chewing and, before you know it, there are tiny pieces everywhere and it’s a miracle the dog hasn’t choked.
So, we rationed his time with the ball. We would play with him until he sprawled out on his stomach, panting, and then gently remove the ball from his jaws and put it somewhere out of his view and reach.
Wonderbutt did not like this routine. So, one day, instead of bringing the ball back to us, he started racing around the house with it. My daughter, Dimples, was happy to comply with this new game, chasing him until they were both out of breath. But, we still got the ball in the end.
The other day, Wonderbutt led Dimples on a merry chase around the kitchen table, and then blasted through his dog door to his outside pen. The Poop Pen. I am fine if he brings a toy out to his Poop Pen. But, as far as I am concerned, that should be a one-way ticket. No toy returns allowed from the Poop Pen.
This ball, however, was an exception. It had outlasted any other toy Wonderbutt has ever owned, and I didn’t want to sacrifice it to the Poop Pen. So, we coaxed him to bring the darn ball back in, washed it off, and put it away for a couple of days.
Wonderbutt is like an elephant, though. In more ways than one. From then on, as soon as he got hold of the ball, he would race with it to the Poop Pen.
Dimples got the brilliant idea of closing the dog door during a play session one afternoon. It really was smart – until she forgot that she had closed it, and wandered off to do other important things.
Concrete floors are very slippery when wet. And Moms who slip and slide on concrete floors are very upset.
Sometimes I think, “I am a human being. No dog is going to outsmart me.”
Then I go outside and clean the Poop Pen.