“She push me,” Elizabeth grumbled from my lap.
“She PUSH ME,” her twin Julia rebuked (from the other half of my lap).
“Moooooommmm!” Laura (big sister) screamed– for no other reason than to feel part of the conversation.
“Mmmm, mmm, mmm,” the puppy whimpered as he aggressively attacked one of the girls’ tutus.
“Don’t chew on that, Simon!” I attempted in a half-hearted stern voice. It’s rather hard to tough love a miniature white Ewok.
As Round Two punches few, I couldn’t help but marvel at the (once again) impeccable timing of the Davis’s. As fate would have it, the very day that my husband surprised our family with a fuzzy-britches Maltipoo, the entire household (save for me; see, it could have been worse), was struck with a gruesome case of the stomach flu. For three days, I manically raced around the house placing pots, pans, Tupperware and any other fluid-catching receptacle underneath any orifice of any creature about to expel any liquid. My success rate, unfortunately, was about as good as you might imagine for a family who brings home a new pet on the eve of stomach-flu-fest 2011.
All the while, to embrace and celebrate the humor in what could potentially be a Debbie Downer situation, I posted social network updates such as “Now it’s down to me and the (brand-new) puppy as ‘not barfing our guts out contenders.‘ Poor hubs, JuJu, Bitsy and Laura. I do not feel good about my odds.” To which well-intentioned family and friends replied. “A puppy? Really?” or “Since when do you like dogs?” or “Don’t you have enough on your plate?” My answers to these irritating (but mostly accurate) observations and questions were as follows: “Yes, really,” and “I like dogs since now,” and “I’ve always believed in large plate portions.”
If at any juncture in my life, I stopped to question the insanity of my circumstances whether intentional (puppy) or not (puke flu) I’d be a total wackadoo. The key is, and has remained since the birth of three kids, including two at one time, (and now a dog) is to continue clinging to humor like James Franco did to a cliff in 127 Hours.
For example, as Round Two escalated, I decided that best way to roll with the punches was to create a mental screenplay of the unfolding scenario:
INTERIOR. DAVIS FAMILY ROOM-DAY
The room smells faintly of body fluids and disinfectant. ERIN is seated on couch with twins ELIZABETH and JULIA on her lap, as well as her oldest daughter LAURA. Puffball Maltipoo Simon Samuel P. Davis is wedged between all, gnawing on girls’ tutus.
ELIZABETH: (elbowing JULIA) She push me
JULIA: She PUSH ME!
JULIA and ELIZABETH commence shoving match on ERIN’S lap. SIMON continues to attack tutus.
SIMON: Mmmm, mmm, mmm
ERIN: (her beautiful and very clean hair brushing from side-to-side as she speaks in angelic voice) Don’t chew on that Simon!
All are startled by sudden repeated knocks on the front door, followed by the entrance of James Franco in Hazmat suit.
JAMES FRANCO: Hi Erin, I’m here to clean the rest of your house.
ERIN winks at camera. FADE.
No matter what get’s you through your own personal boxing match ,whether it be Starbucks, an improvised screenplay or James Franco, remember to keep your head held high, your humor higher and when inspired, throw a few punches straight into the face of adversity.