I’m Having a Shitty Day


doggy doo-doo in my living room!

I apologize to any squeamish readers, but I felt like I needed to illustrate the scene that I woke up to this morning (for fear of being accused of exagerating).  This is dog diarrhea (from a mastiff no less).  On the carpet.  Unfortunantely, this was only one of the many, many, many puddles that covered our floor.  I can only assume that the dog was very concerned about the gunk streaming out of her butt and, in an attempt to escape from it, paced nervously around the house, dribbling and tracking it from room to room.  The smell of it woke me up and when I opened my bedroom door I was stopped in my tracks by brown puddles and drops all over the landing and into the kid’s room.  I followed the trail down the stairs, hopping from one patch of clean carpet to another.  Somehow the dog managed to land some on 11 out of 16 stairs!  The living room was the epicenter of the disaster, with the big pile in the photo, but as I crept from room to room I found poo in every single space of the house, including the kitchen, dining room and bathroom.

“Take deep breaths,” I kept telling myself, “don’t lose it in front of the kids, don’t scream.”  I kept the obscenities under my breath.

I made the kids stay in my bedroom while I covered all the brown spots with paper towels (I didn’t know what else to do!), then carried the kids, one by one, through the mine field and sat them at the dining room table to eat breakfast.  While they ate I tried to formulate a game plan.  I got out the phone book and started calling carpet cleaners in the area. Bad timing!  We are in the middle of a winter storm and pretty much every business in the area is closed today.  And the icy roads and gusting winds mean that I am essentially stuck at home too.  A very nice woman I talked to at Chem-Dry assured me they would send the cleaners as soon as the weather warmed up, which would be tomorrow at the very earliest, maybe the next day.  So, I got out a bucket and cleaning products and had a momentary shock when I turned on the faucet and no water came out.  “Why is this happening to me?” I was just starting to panic when the water unfroze itself and began flowing again.

As you can see, we don't have much snow, but here in the Northwest everything shuts down when it snows a couple inches

When the kids finished breakfast I carried them to the couch (no poo on the couch, luckily) and put on a movie for them.  “Stay here and don’t move!”  Television is really the only way to keep my 3 and 5 year old boys from running wild around the house, so it comes in handy with situations like this.  Normally the kids would have been in preschool all afternoon, which would have given me some free time to deal with this, but the schools were closed because of the snow.

It is night time now and the kids are in bed.  I have been scrubbing and blotting crap out of the carpets all day.  The last of the mess had started to dry onto the carpets, so while it’s soaking in Oxy-Clean I thought I’d come write a blog post and vent about the misery of being the wife of an absent fisherman.

The timing of this post is appropriate because of a conversation I had with a friend the other day.  This friend was asking me whether I felt comfortable being completely honest in my writing.  She commented that when I described my situation to her (how my life has gone to shit) my tone was different from the tone I take in my blog posts.  I tried to explain that I like to take a fairly positive tone in my blog for fear of seeming whiny and pathetic.  I don’t want my blog to be about “poor me.”  But our conversation got me thinking about my situation and the way I convey it to others.  I know I like people to see me as being strong and in control, but that really isn’t who I am.

People often ask me how things are going with the boat, and how I’m doing on my own with the kids.  My response usually goes along the lines of “Oh, things are going slower than expected with the boat, but it’s coming along.  I’m hanging in there.”  Which often elicits a response from the other person like, “I don’t know how you do it, you always seem so calm.”

Well, I think this is a good opportunity to be completely honest and personal in my writing…  I AM NOT OK!!!  If I seem calm on the outside, just know that inside part of me is FREAKING OUT!!! Our boat purchase turned out to be a total nightmare.  As we took things apart we found one problem after another.  We are now seriously over budget and out of time.  Zed hasn’t even left Alabama yet and the dungeness crab season is about to start in a few days.  We will miss the start of the season and we WILL run out of money before Zed starts fishing.  At home the kids are driving me crazy.  I’ve lost track of how long Zed has been gone, but I think it’s close to three months now.  It will be another month before he’s back in the state, and then several months of crabbing before either of us gets a break.  Now you see why episodes like today’s doo-doo explosion nearly send me over the edge.

Ahhhh (that’s a sigh of relief), now that that’s off my chest I can relax a little.  My life isn’t all bleak, it’s just tough at the moment.  But on the bright side we will soon have a very nice fishing boat and the potential to increase our income substantially.  It’s the American Dream really.  We are working hard and suffering through this period in order to better our future.  After days like today I have to remind myself to step back and look at the bigger picture.  A little (actually, a lot of) doggy diarrhea is not that big of a deal when I consider what hardships other families are dealing with.  We have the means to make money, we have a home, and we are all healthy, and that is a lot to be thankful for.

That is what I will keep repeating to myself as I spend the next couple hours scrubbing the stairs.  I will try not to curse the combination of pets and carpeting, and instead daydream about the end of the crab season and a much needed vacation.  Now PLEASE let the weather warm up so the carpet cleaners can come to the rescue!


10 thoughts on “I’m Having a Shitty Day

  1. I’d say that is one of the most honest pieces written I have read in a long time. Here’s to better days (and warmer). It’s not easy being strong and trying to keep it all together!

  2. We all have weak days. Mommy’s can’t be strong every second. I really remember those days when the boys were little, and working 3/4 time, taking care of the ranch stuff, trying to be super mom at school with the kids. You are not alone. Yes we are lucky in our lives, sometimes you really, really, really have to concentrate on what you HAVE vs the have nots.

    Here is a big cyber hug and please go scream into a pillow.

    PS My favorite question is: “Don’t you worry when they are out?” Yes I do worry and I stomp that worry down by working on positive things, but I’m not going to tell people that.

  3. Ohhh, Robin… I feel for you, truly. (My mom has had several mastiffs. I get it.) SO sorry for what you’ve had to deal with (with our city totally shut down right now, no less!) but damn, my friend, this was a fantastic post. Way to get to your authentic voice and pull us into the shit and suffering with you! (And I mean that as a very good thing.)

    I’ve also wondered how to write about painful things without sounding like I’m wallowing in them. So far, my experience has been that many readers respond to vulnerability, as gently and lovingly as I’d hope my in-person friends would. I hope you find that, too. For what it’s worth, I didn’t think “whiny” or “pathetic” here at all – I just wanted to give you a hug, while cheering for your courage in being honest and human. We can all relate!

  4. Hi, Robin,
    Stopping by to thank you first for visiting my blog BOAT ART, liking it and choosing to follow it in the future. A real compliment and I hope I can live up to your enthusiasm.
    Sure can relate to your terrible day and fears for the future and glad you can write openly about them! You remind me of myself!

    • Carol,
      I am an artist myself, with a love of art history, so your blog is especially interesting to me. It looks like you just got started, but you are off to a great start! Can’t wait to read more.

  5. Robin, I loved this post as well. I also enjoyed all the follow up comments. Great job describing the doggy mess; I’ve woken up to the same thing a few times and it’s horrible when you look around in a panic and realize there is nobody to help you but you. AWFUL.

    I also didn’t think you sound whiny, either. Your description of conversations with people wondering how you’re doing….”Oh, I’m hanging in there…” “I don’t know how you do it…” was spot-on. I always answer the same way. I also think I tend to sound more upbeat and positive on the blog than I am in real life for the exact same reason.

    I just wonder if people would be interested in me describing all of the wine I drink, and how much I day dream about sunshine, to help ease the pain? 🙂

    • Jen,
      I get so much comfort just knowing I’m not the only fishing wife out there suffering. Not that I’m glad you’re suffering too, but it helps me feel normal knowing that other people in my situation are suffering too.
      Thanks for understanding (now I’m going to go have a glass of wine:))

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