Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hunger Games and Hungry Dog

A friend of mine recently let me borrow The Hunger Games trilogy. I had heard they were really good books and had been wanting to read them for a while. So this afternoon, I turned on cartoons for the kids and made myself a nice, comfy spot on the couch. I settled myself in, cozily laying on no less than four pillows, covered up with a tie-dyed fleece Snuggie, with a forty-pound boxer nestled into my crotch. I picked up the first book and began to read.

Four hours later—yes, you read that correctly—my children were still watching cartoons and I found myself halfway finished with the first book. For four solid hours, I completely neglected my children. I let them build all sorts of blanket and pillow contraptions on my living room floor. I let them eat whatever my oldest son could climb high enough to reach in the cupboards. I let their innocent little eyes glaze over as they watched episode after episode of Hello Kitty and X-Men. I didn't care. My mind was miles away. Years into the future, contemplating the predicament of Katniss and her cohorts in the Hunger Games.

Finally, at 6:00pm, I was dragged from my revelry by Nicholas's alarmed voice coming from the hallway.

“Stella is chewing something up!” he exclaimed.

“Well, take it away from her,” I responded.

“But I don't know what it is,” Nicholas said.

Slightly annoyed at the interruption, I said, “So? Take it away from her anyway.”

Nicholas was adamant that he did not want to touch whatever Stella was chewing. I had two options. Let Stella consume the unknown object, risking the possibility it was something that could lodge in her intestines and consequently cost me hundreds of dollars in vet bills, OR remove myself from my comfortable space on the couch and take the object away from the dog. I debated for longer than a decent human being should. Eventually, however, I rolled myself (literally and unattractively) off of the couch and away from my pillowy perch.

As I caught sight of Stella in the hallway, Nicholas was squatted next to her frowning. “What is that momma?”

Initially, it looked like Stella had found a Kleenex and was busy shredding it all over my carpet. Exasperated, I turned on Nicholas. “It's a Kleenex Nicholas. Why couldn't you take it away from her?”

“I don't think it's a Kleenex, mom,” he responded.

I squatted down for a closer look. Nicholas was correct. It was not a Kleenex Stella was eating. Rather, she had found her way to the bathroom trash can and had pulled out a used maxipad. That's right, my dear dog was covering my hall carpet with the remnants of Ruanita's discarded pad. I cleaned up the mess. Vacuumed up the soiled cotton while Nicholas watched and repeatedly asked me, “What was that, mom?” Not feeling up to explaining the mechanics of the female menstrual cycle to my five-year-old son at that moment, I muttered, “A bandage, Nicky. It was a bandage.” He gave me one of his infamous “what the hell?” looks, but decided it was better just to walk away. Good boy.

Note to self: Purchase your dog some new chew toys immediately, lest she continue to blind all Sophie's stuffed animals by eating their eyes. And eating all of the frogs in the back yard. And now, apparently, feasting on sanitary napkins.


Madgew said...

Yuck. But at least you had 4 hours of relaxation. So what if the kids turn into little TV mongers. It works for today.

Barb said...

Hilarious. Anyone who has ever had a dog has been through that and learned to put the bathroom trash in the cupboard. :)

And also.... I long for the day when I can read for just ONE hour let alone 4. Please tell me those days are coming. Eventually. I miss my books.

Shannon said...

Yea, Madge. Yuck was the LEAST of what I said!

Barb, I am sorry, but I can't tell you that four hours of reading is right around the corner for you. Yesterday was a complete and total fluke. And very poor parenting on my part. :)

Just Margaret said...

LOVED the Hunger Games (and the following two books as well)! I have done the same thing, letting the kids just "have at it" while I read. It doesn't happen often, but when it does--heaven! Er...minus the maxi incident, no dogs in our house!!

Jessica said...

I LOVE those books. So happy you found some sweet reading time. I am guilty of the same crime--totally ignoring my children to read. Some times it just can't be helped.

Heather said...

I ran through those books in a matter of days. And you made me laugh out loud at the image of a dog munching on a pad. So funny.

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