Weekend Gotaway – How Long is this Weekend, Anyway? – Chapter 3
If you are beginning to wonder if my posts about last weekend will never end, then you are finally on the road to understanding the unusual time-sucking Black Hole that the Firepants Family endures on a daily basis. Wonderbutt will be more than happy to lead you down that merry path.
After my first sleepless night at The Ranch, I smothered myself with a pillow the next morning while the rest of the The Ranch visitors carried on with life, completely oblivious to the fact that I had spent my evening cleaning up cat vomit and trying to keep Wonderbutt from dismembering the vomiter.
I finally entered the kitchen around 9:30, only to find most of the household gone. They had taken the four dogs for a jaunt.
Moments into my breakfast, the crew returned. Dimples, my fully dressed daughter, was wet. It was not raining.
“I had to save Wonderbutt from drowning,” she proudly announced. “I think I need a shower.”
You may not remember this, but we tested the whole, “Are Bulldogs Buoyant?” question last year around this time, when Wonderbutt decided to take a plunge into the pond at The Ranch once he saw that everyone else was doing it. Wonderbutt may be stubborn, but he apparently caves to canine peer pressure quite easily.
Wonderbutt proved that yes, bulldogs can swim, at least when they weigh 15 pounds less than he does now. I’m not sure where the fine line is, but it seems he crossed over it, because this year he couldn’t keep his head above the water. Fortunately the water was only about 3 feet deep, so Dimples waded out to save him.
Wonderbutt does not feel guilt or shame – or humiliation. He did not seem to be embarrassed one bit that he was the only dog out of four that had to be carried back to land by a 9 year old girl who weighs less than he does. To be fair, the other three dogs were a bit too tired from the whole experience to taunt him very much.
I must admit that the thought did cross my mind, for one very brief moment, that, if he had drowned, I might actually sleep that night. But I can feel guilt, and immediately banished that thought from my head. It was then followed by the tempting thought of drowning the cat, instead. But, I did not want The Dictator to impale me on her Wall of Death, so I did not voice this thought, much less act on it.
Instead, I went outside to the porch to console our oblivious Wonderbutt for his failed attempt to cross the Channel this summer.
“I think you need to find a different Olympic sport,” I informed him. “Swimming does not appear to be your best skill. I’m thinking you should try the luge. I have a feeling your, uh, shape might be an asset in that event.”
His enthusiasm for this new idea was unbridled.
Soccer Moms Don’t Have These Problems
When we last left our young heroine – me – STOP LAUGHING! Are you laughing at the “young” or the “heroine”? Both?!!!!! Fine.
When we last left our young heroine – my 9 year old daughter, Dimples – we had just arrived in Irving, Texas after a grueling (okay, it wasn’t as grueling as the time leading up to the ride when we were trying to pack up the car) 6 hour car ride to find that we had forgotten to pack one slightly important item for her two-day synchronized swimming tournament – her swim bag.
I should probably educate you on what is generally in the swim bag of a synchronized swimmer participating in one of these mega events: a black swimsuit, a team swimsuit, at least 4 towels, nose plugs, team warm-up suit, goggles, team swim cap, white swim cap, black flip-flops, and yoga mat. Some swimmers also pack their knoxing supplies (boxes of Knox gelatin, bobby pins, hairnets, combs, paintbrushes, and cups).
We realized the swim bag had not traveled with us from San Antonio at about 8:30 the night before the competition. Each of us thought one of the other two family members had put it in the car.
Before I noticed the bag’s absence, and told anyone not to panic, I did a quick mental inventory of what I knew we had. Fortunately, I had packed the knoxing supplies and towels separately, and had some extra nose clips and goggles. Not Dimples’ favorite nose clips and goggles, of course, which almost sparked
a the first meltdown of the weekend once I made my announcement about the swim bag that had go AWOL.
For some odd reason that actually seems logical, Dimples packed her suits in her suitcase, instead of her swim bag. The suitcase somehow made the cut when I was weeding out things that did not really need to ride with us to Dallas, such as the ten receipts from recent veterinary visits. Lest you think that I have some kind of rational approach to packing, I should also tell you that we brought along enough bottled water to survive a nuclear holocaust and some other extremely important survival items – like my umbrella. In case it decided to rain at the indoor swimming pool.
Dimples got a new team swim cap at the Team Meeting that night.
The yoga mat has always been a luxury item for which a towel can substitute in a pinch.
That left the white swim cap, which would be needed at 7:30 A.M., and the black flip flops.
After a year of doing this, I have learned that I am the only inept mother in the group. I was pretty certain every other mom not only had their daughter’s white swim cap, but also brought extras. I was right. They also could have given me cases of nose clips or goggles.
Disaster #1 averted. Mostly. (Our Dallas friends came to the rescue with some black flip flops, fortunately.)
I would like to point out that, although I forgot my daughter’s entire swim bag, guess who was the only mom who had a Sharpie with which to write everyone’s initials on their new team caps?
That’s right – our youngish, heroine, who can always be counted on to remember trivial items. Me.