Previously, I published a post about the chaos that erupts in my master bedroom whenever we have a bad thunderstorm (i.e. dogs whining, children crying, comforters being sprayed with various bodily fluids produced by both small humans and small- to medium-sized canines). Yet, had I experienced the weather and subsequent 36-hour power outage that we Chicagoans faced starting last Friday, I probably wouldn’t have been quite so whiny in my former blog entry.
You never really live life until you herd three kids under age 6 and three aging pups down into a basement already inhabited by a rabbit, rat, and hamster. Just so you can better picture this exciting adventure in your heads, imagine a shrieking kindergartner, a calm but annoying preschooler who repetitively hums the Dora the Explore theme song, and a crabby 15-month-old who had tubes surgically implanted in his ears two days before. Oh, and don’t forget the Chihuahua who needs to be carried down the basement stairs; a shaking, panting Poodle; and an overweight Beagle-Basset mix who refuses to be pushed or prodded.
Ten minutes into the power outage, I was fairly sure that we weren’t going to be reenacting the twister scene from The Wizard of Oz, so we migrated northward. But, alas, that was just the beginning of our fun-filled family weekend. As the hours passed, so did all hope that the power company would come to our rescue any time soon. So, we coped as best we could.
At night, with only the light of our candles and the crackle of our flashlight radio, we sweltered in our suddenly un-airconditioned bedroom. Three kids writhed around in their own sweat on our newly washed comforter. Not far from them, one member of our trio of overheated dogs threw up on the floor, which I found out the hard way when I plopped my feet onto the hardwood in the dark room. Suffice it to say, by Saturday evening, I had given a certain profane term that is sometimes used to refer to female canines a whole new meaning.
And, as of Sunday morning when we heard our lights and televisions whir back into functional form, I was more chipper than June Cleaver. All dog vomit was forgotten, and the odor of baby perspiration on my sheets was forgiven. In the way of a few added perks, I realized the following truths:
1). We do truly and deeply care for our pets. When the second round of storms threatened to rumble through Friday night, my husband and I discussed how we should see to the safety of everyone in the household–from the box turtle to the beetles in the bug box.
2). It is essential to always ensure that one’s basement floor is clear of poop pellets that have been tossed outside the rabbit cage by an overly fastidious bunny. You never know when you’ll need to use the bowels of your home as a storm shelter.
3). It is wise to pack a duffel bag containing both pet and people supplies that might prove valuable in emergency situations. In addition, it’s equally prudent to include Bengay in said bag. Why? Because you never can predict when you’ll throw out your lower back trying to shove/usher 50 pounds of Beagle-Basset mix down the basement stairs.