My parents are famous for saying that raising two girls is like being pecked to death by ducks. They just nibble and nibble and nibble away at you. “Mom, can I have money for this?” “Dad, can I break my curfew for that?” “Mom, can you take me here?” “Dad, can you buy me that?” Nibble, nibble, nibble.
Lately, I’ve begun to experience that same feeling. Only, instead of being pecked to death by duck daughters, I am being pecked to death by duck dependents. Namely my two legged dependent (Bean) and my two four-legged dependents (the dogs).
Every time I look around, one of those three clowns needs something. More water, more juice, more kibble, more snack, to go outside, to come inside, to go for a walk, to go for a stroll, to lay down, to get up… And the list goes on. Always, there is something.
And they never seem to sync up, either. I’ll let Lucy outside and three minutes later Molly will bark to go outside. Which means when Lucy barks to come in, three minutes later Molly barks to come in. And when Bean shrieks and moans and yells and demands dinner, two minutes later Molly will start scratching at the closet where we keep their dog food. And once I’ve fed Molly, Lucy then starts barking two minutes later for her food.
It’s a never ending cycle of need.
Although, I should confess that I don’t actually have first-hand knowledge of this cycle. I only catch glimpses of what I am able to hear of the cycle from the depths of the toilet where my head has been for the past three weeks. Chris, poor man, has been taking on the entire house of needs by himself while I try to concentrate on not puking at school and/or in our living room. The only thing I seem to do more than puke these days is sleep. And I am sleeping like CRAZY. All night long and then taking several naps during the day, too.
Not that the sleep is peaceful.
Sleep is constantly interrupted around these parts by the cycle of need. There are dogs barking and Bean’s whining and doors being scratched and toys being thrown. Sleep is for the weak around here.
Well, the weak and the pregnant.
And while I complain about these things from my little porcelain throne, Chris doesn’t say a word. Not a word. He just goes about his business of taking care of others business. He cooks and cleans and plays and scratches the ears and kisses the boo-boos without a word of frustration or irritation.
And from the depths of the toilet, I tell him how much I love him and how much I owe him. That’s when he pats me on the back, hands me a cold wash cloth, and says, “You don’t owe me a thing.”
He’s a good, good man, that husband of mine. And when he finally falls over dead from exhaustion, I’m going to engrave the following on his tombstone:
“Here lies my husband. Pecked to death by ducks.”