What the hell?!

Friday morning was like that.  Things weren’t off to a great start, but Gracie gets the blame for really kicking things off.  And then for continuing it.  AND for making sure it lasted into the afternoon…

Yep.  Gracie.  (sigh)

School mornings are already hit-or-miss.  There are just too many variables: did everybody sleep well?  Did Bear finish showering early enough to give T-man enough time?  How hungry is the girl? (Low blood sugar is like the kiss of death with her.)

And then there are the dogs to throw into the mix.  Are they feeling cuddly?  Frisky?  Subdued?  (Ha! Just kidding.  That one never happens in the mornings.)  Do they lie at your feet in the kitchen hoping you’ll stop to pet them, or do they attack each other for an early morning play session that sounds like snarling wolves?

Friday morning Bear had put some chocolate chip waffles in the toaster oven to cook.  (Don’t judge. At least she’s eating something before school, right?  RIGHT?!)

About two weeks ago she tore her ticket when it comes to me making this particular breakfast food for her — if you leave those freaking things in the toaster oven even five seconds too long for her taste then (insert whiny 8-year-old voice here) “the edges are burnt and it’s too crunchy and I don’t like them like thaaaaat.”

Anyway, that lovely morning I told her to throw out what was in front of her and understand that she could make her own waffles from then on so they would be JUST the way she likes them.  I don’t know if she believed me at the time, but you can be guaran-damn-teed that I haven’t made them since.  Bam.

Bear was busy making her breakfast.  In the meantime, I had the (delightful) job of cleaning up Phoebe’s vomit because apparently somebody got a bit too worked up about her ice cubes.

Every morning those dogs beg for ice cubes while I’m filling the kids’ water bottles.  Every single morning Phoebe will dance on her hind legs, begging for an ice cube, which she will then snatch out of my hand (watch the fingers!) and run under the kitchen table to eat.  Except she doesn’t always eat it.  Sometimes she eats it, but sometimes it’s more the thrill of just getting the ice cube so we end up with chunks of melty water over there.  Which the kids step in.  Soaking their socks.  Fun.

Whatever.  That morning she got a little spazzy and ended up puking water.  Twice.  Good times.

So the dogs went outside while I started cleaning.  Something had already thrown the kids off schedule — T-man was still showering — so I asked Bear to feed the dogs (typically his chore).  She got the dog food, threw it in the bowls, and let them back in just as her waffle timer went off.

This is where time speeds up for me.  Things just seemed to happen really, really fast.

T-man walked into the kitchen to find Bear pulling out her waffles and me cleaning the rug.  I wasn’t done so I asked him to get his waffles out of the freezer; he took the box out and simply set it beside the toaster oven.  Silly me, I didn’t think to specifically tell him to make the waffles.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see this until about 60 seconds later when all hell broke loose.

Bear took her plate to her place at the counter (mind you, this is bar stool height), but she must have forgotten something because she left it there and walked back.

This breaks our NUMBER ONE RULE: Do Not Leave ANY Food Unattended When Gracie Is In The House.  But hey, it was early and her brain wasn’t fully awake yet.

No surprise what happened next.  Gracie grabbed her chance, put her enormous paws on the counter, and ate Bear’s waffles in two giant gulps.

“They were delicious.”

Pause half a second while everyone processed what had happened and then Bear began screaming.  Literally screaming at Gracie.  I could hear the hysteria edging into her voice as I threw Gracie outside, then I turned back to see the scuffle starting in the kitchen.

Bear had shoved past T-man to put in more waffles “because Gracie ate my waffles AGAIN.  I wish we’d never gotten a dog like her!  She ALWAYS does that and I need to eat!  I HAVE TO EAT SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!!”  Apparently this made T-man wake up and realize he should have put his waffles in already, and he was incensed that she’d try to make a second helping before he’d had his first.  Regardless of whether she’d actually consumed the first helping herself.

Lord, help me.  For real, Lord.  I need you to come down into this kitchen right this minute AND HELP ME REIN IN THIS INSANITY.

Eventually everyone ended up fed and packed off to school.  So I decided to let Gracie back into the house.

Her first move?  She ran straight to the kitchen trash can and crammed her head in.  Then threw her paws back up on the counter to steal a paper towel.  When I finally got her out of the kitchen, she made a beeline to the family room and shoved her head into the fireplace.

Normally the dogs ignore the gas fireplace, even though it only has one of those hanging chain screens pulled across the front.  Well, not yesterday.  Gracie stuck her head in there and rooted around until she’d grabbed a stone from the base.

That was it.  I shook the stone out of her mouth and threw her out of the house again.

It is seriously good that our house doesn’t back up to anybody else.  God knows what they’d think if they kept seeing our back door yanked open and a giant fluffy retriever shoved down the steps.

I gave her one more chance which (of course) she blew, so she spent the next few hours enjoying the great outdoors.  Luckily it was actually a really pretty day — blue skies, soft grass, and in the sixties.

But you guys.  These mornings.  They are slowly killing me.