Honour and I were sewing the last buttons on the little girls’ summer dresses as my mom and dad drove up this morning. Tucked in one big kid, two little kids, two car seats, clothes and dolls and kisses and hugs and off they go to Maine for twelve days of torturing their grandparents and eating loads of sweet cereal.
Honour and I came in, reeled around for a moment, and said “HOLY CARP THE HOUSE IS DIRTY.”
This is the one time a year that I can really clean, so starting tomorrow morning every room is getting emptied into the hallways and their floors and walls scrubbed, kitchen organized, fridge cleaned, freezer defrosted, basement torn up and most stuff thrown away. Every piece of clothing in the house is now in the living room so we can go through it and purge anything that doesn’t fit or is too stained even for play duty. And the master bedroom (which is kind of a misnomer, trust me; it’s not exactly palatial) will be stripped to the walls and everything scrubbed and the floor tarped so we can put two litters of puppies in here. As soon as they’re a couple weeks old I can move them out into our dining room like I did before, but for those first vulnerable days I want them at arms’ reach.
Clue and Juno have four weeks to go as of yesterday. Doug asked me how many I thought we’d have and I said, “Well, usually we’d just be seeing them look a little bit pregnant right now, with four weeks left.” He eyed Juno waddling around her belly across the kitchen and said, somewhat hoarsely, “Oh no.”
Oh no is right. I keep telling myself that these are small dogs for their breed – and they are. And I keep them fit and hard, so they don’t have a lot of fat and they show quicker. And Shade is a long, deep dog and should make bigger puppies. But Juno’s already shifting uncomfortably around a big belly when she lies down and Clue’s waistline is below her ribcage. I have a feeling of total impending doom.
Everybody needs to think thoughts like “Five apiece!” and “No more than six!” for me; right now I am staring at both girls like they’re champagne bottles being shaken… hard.