White Dog sat next to Steve. "It didn't go so well," she reported in answer to his question about how the day had gone. This was the first night of his new schedule and he did not return home until nearly 11pm because of the class he teaches.
A new routine is hard and things were not helped by the crazy past few days of strange weather. Today was still only in the twenties, temperature-wise, but the sun was out and Mother Nature blessed us with no complications. The White Dog Army, however, was filled with pent-up energy and nervous tension even before Steve left at lunchtime.
The edginess showed itself across the day. There was more bumping and rudeness than normal. More need for timeouts. More petting and calming and reassuring.The dam finally burst in the early evening, around Steve's normal time to return home...but clearly not tonight's...
The rest of the house was dark as we exited my office space. Michael had failed to turn on any lights as he usually does. The White Dog Army crowded around me, underfoot as I tried to walk to the light switch. I tripped over one of them and fell clunking my head on the window sill. This caused a WDA uproar and much jockeying to make sure I was all right (I was).
I felt a lump forming as I continued what I had come out to do...namely, feeding the White Ones their dinner. No one would cooperate by eating his or her own dinner so I sat in the kitchen with them to supervise. Nuka was insistent that she was going to have Puff's dinner (SAWD waited in the living room for her sister to let her in). After several warnings I went over to move Nuka away from the bowl. She whirled and sank her teeth into my forearm, breaking the skin. The others stopped and stared in shock; Nuka, realizing what had just happened ran from the room.
Quinn and YoYoMa, both finished with their meal, began eyeing White Dog's untouched bowl (she is a nibbler and eats her meal at her pace from an end table next to her "watching" chair). Things got a little food territorial and the boys started a squabble which White Dog had to jump down and quash by reminding them BOTH that it was HER meal.
There was still a couple of hours left until the magic hour when Steve would return. I gathered the WDA and waited for everyone to sit. "We are all feeling out of phase right now which makes it hard to be patiently understanding. But I will not allow you to be mean to each other and to forget that you are the White Dog Army. You have a standard to live up to. I expect it. If any of you feels you can't pull it together then I will put you on a leash and tie you to me. If any of you feels that this is unfair, then register a complaint with dad when he gets home. Until then I want everyone to find a spot, get comfortable and work on changing your attitude. UNDERSTAND? Good. I love you. go."
By luck of the draw Steve's two late nights are back-to-back. I am trying hard not to anticipate a rerun tomorrow.