Claudia and the Suck-Ass Day

When my youngest sister was a toddler she had a book called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I think of that book whenever I am having a particularly unfun day. Today was one such day.

I woke my kid up at around 6:15 a.m. She was still awake when I went to bed last night, so I knew this was going to be a bad scene. Santa brought her an alarm clock for Christmas, so I've tried setting it as an experiment. Like many experiments before it, it is a dismal failure. The clock barks like a dog when the alarm goes off. Allow me to add that the barking is loud. Irritatingly loud. The barking went off as scheduled this morning and allow me to add that my daughter did not move. Not one tiny muscle. She didn't even bother rolling over in disgust.

Fifteen minutes later she was still nearly comatose, but dressed and at the breakfast table. By this time she had already started crying at least three times. During breakfast, she began to cry again. Allow me to tell you why - I think you'll enjoy it. She was crying because our Boxer, Gideon, was sitting next to A's father in the living room. Why that offended her so, I have no earthly idea.

A short time later I was at the office and opened my email to find a complaint from a client asking why there is a typo on his website and how soon will it be fixed? I had to leave shortly after arriving in order to make an 8 a.m. meeting, which was about 30 miles away. A few minutes later, I found myself at a dead stop on the highway. I resigned myself to the fact that I would be late, and tried to find some decent music on the radio. Please note that "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" was playing on two different stations.

Eventually I learned what was causing the traffic problem. A livestock truck had inexplicably skidded off the dry pavement and slammed through a fence. It was now stuck halfway between the highway and an access road. I was scared to look at first, but noted with relief that there were no animals on the truck.

Amazingly, I was only about seven minutes late for the meeting. This was my first time meeting with this particular client. He was a very nice man but . . . he stutters and he speaks at full volume at all times, no matter how close to him you are sitting. You know the volume you reserve for telling your kid to put down the knife or get out of the road? It was that kind of volume.

On my way back to my office, I had the good fortune to be driving behind a truck that appeared to contain the world's supply of used cardboard, all bundled together into ridiculously large piles that appeared completely unattached to the truck itself. Hunks of cardboard were flying off the truck and hitting all the cars behind it. Good times.

Somehow I made it through the rest of the day at work, and wondered how I will ever be able to work FIVE WHOLE DAYS next week.

After work I picked up my now completely overtired child and brought her home, where she persisted in watching "Once Upon a Potty" a dozen times in a row. Eventually she took a break in order to pour water all over the kitchen floor. She had found a small scoop that goes with our ice bucket, so she ladled the water from the dogs' bowl onto the floor. At that point I escorted her to her bed.

The other sucky thing that happened today was that I had to leave a parenting/play group I joined last summer. It's a local group that plans lots of fun activities for kids and families. I met a lot of nice moms through the group. But, I was having a big problem, and it was stressing me out. I finally had to admit to myself that my role as a rescue volunteer was just incompatible with my membership in this playgroup. In my short time with the group several of the moms had gotten rid of their dogs for various reasons, and I just couldn't grin and bear it anymore. I know they felt they were doing the right thing, but you see, I am on the receiving end of moms who dump their dogs. Every time I would read the message board and see the same drama being played out over and over (couple gets dog --> couple loves dog --> couple reproduces --> untrained dog acts out --> dog has to go), I would just get more and more stressed out. I felt like I was turning into some judgemental harpy and that's really not who I want to be. And yet I couldn't seem to look the other way. I know what happens to dogs that get surrendered to shelters. One of my best friends is a shelter manager. And in eight years of rescue work, I guess I've just seen too much. Too, too much.

Tomorrow, at least, is Friday. P and I have a date planned for Saturday night. We won some babysitting time through an auction at church. A kid from the fellowship is coming over to work off the donation. He took a Red Cross babysitting course and is CPR certified, so that makes me feel pretty comfortable. My other half and I are so giddy over the prospect of getting out of the house that we haven't even figured out where we are going to go. I hope he knows I don't put out.

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