Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dispatches from under the heat dome

We've officially entered the summer doldrums.

Our beach vacation is behind us.

The Rocky Mountain high of our surprise weekend getaway is fading.

The pink hippo pool that the girls were so excited to play in in June has lost its novelty. (And now has a leaky head, which means it's a headless pink hippo pool, which is to say, it's just a pink pool with a -- let's be honest -- kind of phallic-looking tail*). 

And it's hot. 

So hot. 

It's as if the Eastern United States is swaddled in a high pressure system that's pushing warm air to the surface and trapping it there as if under a giant, glass dome. A heat dome, if you will. 

I want out.

Last week, while slightly less hot then it is this week, was overcastish and rainish and generally not very conducive to outdoor adventures. 

So we've had a lot of indoor time. Which has locked me under a dome of my own fragile sanity. Desperate for activities that don't involve removing all the books from off the bookshelf, throwing all the pillows off my bed onto the floor so that they might be flopped about in (Lily calls it a Pillow Party), or scattering Jovie's new plastic sea creatures all over the living the room so I can't find a seat on the couch without being poked in the butt by a whale shark or starfish, I've resorted to letting the girls make legitimate messes. 

We've gotten out the Play-Doh and finger paints and glue. The heat dome has forced me into the crafty underbelly of stay-at-home motherdom: Toilet paper tube octopi.


Look what you made us do Heat Dome!
The world was a less scary place before you foisted demented button-eyed cephalopods on us.
I wasn't cut out for this.

That's not to say we haven't ventured outside. Earlier this week, the girls were two of, like six kids, trudging about a playground that on any other day is bursting with small, screaming people. I trekked down to Maryland to meet up with my sister for a couple hours of pool time. We went outside to get the mail and water the flowers yesterday and spent some time in the sandbox today. 

(If you're wondering where I get the energy to keep up with such a thrilling lifestyle, let me reassure you that I couldn't do it without my afternoon cup of coffee and reasonable amounts of sleep each night.)

Since the experts would have you believe that in this heat, your child's face will melt off  "Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark"-style the second it comes in contact with Heat-Dome-Trapped Air, we don't stay out for long. And truthfully, after a half hour both girls start looking wilted and listless. Within minutes of returning to the air conditioning the perk up and return to their destructive ways. 

I was actually looking forward to taking the dog to the vet today with both girls in tow. I knew Lily would enjoy the chance to see other people's pets (she's down with OPP) and also, the vet's office isn't my house. Snacks even likes going to the vet. He bounded through the doors, jumping on the counters, and straining to sniff other patients. As everyone in the waiting room looked at me -- mannerless dog dragging one arm, wily 14-month-old occupying the other one, excited preschooler trailing behind -- I could read the singular thought crossing their minds (and hear one of them actually verbalize it) -- that woman has her hands full.


Yes! Yes I do! Thank you world for observing this, yet again.**

The dog and the girls were great -- you know -- aside from trying to use the table-sized scale as a trampoline and scattering various waiting room toys on the floor. They, too, were happy to not be at home. 

All was well except for the moment when one the vets exclaimed "Snacks! You have love handles! What happened?"


See what happened was with two little kids, a lot of food ends up on the floor in our house and Snacks, a master of food acquisition, ends up eating it. This hasn't been helped by the reduced exercise regimen (damn heat dome!!!!). I told all this to the vets. And they nodded in sympathy. But seriously, he could stand to drop 5 pounds.  

We'll get right on that, too. 

As soon as we can leave the house without our faces melting off.
P.S. The squirrels seem to be having a memorable summer vacation despite the heat wave.

P.P.S. On a procrastinating on writing the novel note, this and on a making excuses for living a fuller life note, this.

* Crap. I don't mean to keep using this word! It's just in this case, it was so appropriate. 

**  A while back while I was out on a walk with the crew, a man actually stopped his car and laughed at me. He apparently found the whole scene, kids, dog and me, highly amusing. He pointed at us and said, "that's awesome." So that happened. And something I found highly amusing, given the fact that a majority of the people who choose to comment about my situation say that I have my hands full or that I need more hands, on another walk, one of my neighbor's whose husky had wandered off her property actually asked me to grab her dog for her. You know, with one of my extra appendages. Two dogs. Wagon. Poo bag. Need me to do anything else? Want me to pick up your mail for you while I'm at it? Maybe bring your trashcans back up the driveway? Prune your hedges? Bring it! (The dog and neighbor were actually both very sweet. I just found the request hilarious. I don't think she saw the humor though). 

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