They were calling my name.
Listen, I know my limits. I'm not a super competent individual. I like being able to watch my children without too much else distracting me- if I try to tend to much else, they take out the furniture and each other in a brutal and violent grudge match over the MOST BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME TOY EVER.
Until five minutes are up, and one of them gives up and moves on to another toy, which then becomes THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME TOY EVER.
This is why my children are usually covered in bruises. No, I don't beat them.
Well, evidently I'm both incompetent AND dumb, because I decided I would take both the little ones AND the dog outside to clear the side porch. Alone. Without another set of eyes.
Having less than four hours of sleep.
In my defense, I've been misled. Mr. Lovinangels has been yard training the dog, and she's been, according to him, perfect. I forgot he's the master and I'm just the idiot that feeds her. She may be my dog, but he's in charge.
It began well. MissAngelLittleGirl helped me bring out the cars and said...oohhh. I peeked at the small patch I wanted to clear and decided gloves would be beneficial. I also wanted to take a look at the backyard, so I walked the dog (who was behaving beautifully) using hand signals to heel, along with fence toward what will be the pumpkin patch in a few weeks.
The kids tumbled along behind me, delighted at the change of weather and the chance to be out and about, when I stooped down to look at my dirt.
The dog and the baby glanced at each other, and that was the moment of my undoing. Somehow, they developed a telekinetic plan in that instant so devious, so dastardly, it would take me almost an hour to recover.
MissAngelBaby took off as fast as her little ham hock thighs would carry her in one direction towards the neighbor's yard, and the dog took the opposite side of the loop. They were both, before I managed to stand up, into the no man's land otherwise known as my next door neighbor's yard, a jungle of old toys, tools, rust and sharp objects piled haphazardly on an oddly manicured lawn. The yard is a tetanus booster waiting to happen- AngelBaby hasn't had her first shot yet. In the distance, through the clutter, my half deaf neighbor was shooting his rifle, both my child and my dog hurtling at him at breakneck speed, no less than fifty feet apart from each other.
The two of them were having a fabulous time. The baby was laughing, the dog panting and jumping, and I am just...old. And slow. And dumb.
I'd lost sight of MissAngelLittleGirl at this point. She, wanting to join in the fun, decided to give chase to the dog, who stepped up her efforts to evade both of us.
MissAngelBaby squealed. This was great fun! The volley of gunfire hadn't let up yet-our neighbor was still shooting and unaware of our collective trespassing presence. In his further defense, there are stacks of stuff all over their yard-there were points I couldn't see either of my children, points I couldn't see the dog, and points I couldn't see the gun.
I don't know enough about guns to know what he was shooting or if it was harmful. It very well may have been a bb gun- but I know those will shoot your eye out! Images of Ralphie, laying on the floor holding his eye danced through my brain, and the baby missed a step.
That was all it took, and the end of her part of their little escapade. I lifted her to my hip, she stiffened and fought, putting the better part of her weight on her bottom in a vain escape attempt. She cried out in a rage-my neighbor stopped shooting and stared at me.
I grinned maniacally and continued to yell for the dog, who had long since disappeared as I searched frantically for my children. Finally, eventually she emerged from underneath a quivering pile of toys and various beams, and I snatched her collar and began to haul her back into my own gun-free yard.
I should've left her there.
At this point, staying in the backyard seemed like the worst idea ever, so I pushed the dog into the house and hauled the children to the trails behind (in front?) of my house, and took a walk.
The dog could be heard crying for almost a mile.
The walk went as well as could be expected, MissAngelBaby having already demonstrated that today she was both rebellious and independent, and MissLittleGirl having brought a soccer ball.
She didn't understand why she wasn't allowed to go rappelling down the various cliffs and steep areas, alone and without a rope, no less, and each time I objected she squealed in red faced anger and frustration.
LittleGirl watched this display in awe-surely NO ONE could talk to her mommy this way.
Beaten, I turned around.
In the distance, the panicked barking of my dog, yes, I'm THAT person, could be heard through the trees.
The baby threw herself on the ground, screaming. She did NOT want to go home, she wanted to go look at those cool piles of slate! and the little girl started to cry.
I want to take a moment, to thank all that holy that no one wandered down the trail at this moment, as I stood, alone, with two wailing, red faced children, one who was now choosing to go to the bathroom. No diapers, of course, no cell phone, no anything, because my walk was totally unplanned.
The yelping in the distance continued.
We finally made it home, and through the door of the mudroom, and the dog was waiting, breathless and spiteful, to exact her revenge. As I eased the door open, she shot past me, knocking me to the ground, and ran out the door.
And into the OTHER neighbor's yard, who is NOT hard of hearing and WAS paying attention, where she promptly sniffed her sausage dog's butt, dropped her rear, and urinated all over the sidewalk at the base of their back door steps.
Hey, at least they'll have something to talk about, right?