This weekend, while feeling terrible (the entire tribe was sick with high fevers and sore throats… a mystery illness… including this old goat) …my doorbell rang. As is customary in this place when someone is at the door literally a crowd of children run to the door and I am lucky if I even make it to the door (stepping on bodies everywhere) far less if I am able to even determine why the interruption (as the kids always get there first) occurred. This is largely due to the fact that the majority of people coming to the door are friends of the inmates that live here. When you have the brood I do…very few people come to actually visit me.
This day was different in that the seven-year-old told me that “Mrs. Thatcher” was at my door and she MUST speak with me…NOW. Not really knowing a “Mrs. Thatcher” …I said tell the lady your mom is sick and get her number so I can call her back. The 7-year old did as I asked except only to return moments later reporting that “the woman” said she must speak with me NOW as it is very serious and urgent I come to the front door at once.
Well after struggling to get up and to the door I am greeted by this vision, an older, well dressed, British (?) lady very upset who was angrily telling me that she is “going to have to report me.” Now not too sure it was either the medication or the fever speaking.. so I asked to whom or what body this “vision” would in fact be reporting on me (and my ailing carcass) (?) The answer was astounding…“the authorities.” ( I wondered for a moment if the invasion of aliens as a zombie apocalypse was already upon us and must confess to being secretly excited for a change of pace from being sick!)
Having had high hopes in the past of being carted off for any number of reasons that might force a rest/vacation on my weary soul… I am not one to wave away such offers of incarceration casually. While grasping the wall (as I leaned against it) I did manage to crook my head in such a way as to see past this older women’s silhouette enough to ascertain that there were no “authorities” present that the naked eye could detect.
The thought of being treated to an incarceration where I would be relieved of my duties presiding over this tribe, given clean clothes (I did not have to wash or press) and a bed… plus regular meals and I could stay on this holiday until some jury decided otherwise…was all too tempting!!
I explained to this woman that I was in spite of my cheery disposition… I was rather ill and therefore confused as to why she wanted to apprehend me in the first place. Meanwhile in my head I was trying to account for all the natives in the house wondering if while I was languishing on the couch perhaps some inmates escaped…possibly causing havoc in the neighborhood…maybe trampling the poor dear’s spring tulip bed (?). No, seemed like everyone was accounted for. Besides in scanning for “the authorities” I had not detected any child protection agency representatives as evidenced by no unusual vehicles in the vicinity (when you send those guys to an address like this one you need several vehicles to manage the number of kids being seized).
Now this woman was a mystery.
I took a chance and told her to go right ahead and report me to the authorities. I deserved whatever she had in mind. (!!!) (Had I not been so sick I would have managed at least an evil grin!) Well she looked a little shocked that I would be so compliant and then started to explain.
Apparently this woman felt I did not care enough about someone who lived at my house. (Now she had my attention.) Could not be the husband (although I am sure he often thinks I do not care enough about him as he reclines in bed trying to heal his ankle from his most recent surgery unable to bear any weight on this limb until at least 12 weeks have passed) but unless he is sending out smoke signals from the bedroom how would his plight have reached the ears of the woman on my doorstep? Doubtful it was any of the kids as this was Mother’s Day and it is the one day a year I am considered “a saint” in my own domain. Could not be one of them complaining…on Mother’s Day.
Now I am figuring this senior gal has perhaps mixed my address up with someone else’s…right?
Apparently this whole commotion is because my little white dog managed to get out the front door as the hot water tank technician came into our home on an emergency visit (thank goodness for him…9 kids…everyone sick and no hot water …Mother’s Day notwithstanding) to reinstate baths and loads of laundry for the faithful. All of this because of a little dog.
I think I stood in total disbelief staring…(and NOT because of the Tylenol and Motrin).
This lady went on to explain she has a little dog and that if I am this careless in allowing this dog to escape then she will have to notify “the authorities” and I will have to “suffer the consequences.” In all fairness my little dog escapes way more often that a little dog ought or should. Then again with the numbers of kids (and friends) opening and shutting the doors in the house, playing with the dogs, taking them of their leashes (including dogs wiggling out of their collars)…just the general bedlam here…small wonder that this dog’s escape is so swiftly noticed by us.
And no, the woman did not stop there. She went to unusual lengths to describe her passion for pooches (highlighting my apparent disregard for same) and that she had noted this was the second time in ten days that my little white dog had gotten past the front door and taken off to party in the neighborhood. I was not only irresponsible, but what I was subjecting this animal to was criminal (9 kids fussing over her…well maybe). This little dog of ours loves to run. If this critter gets a chance to make a run for it she is gone like a shot and will not come back…even for treats. She cannot be caught until she is good and tired out (much like some of my kids)! Although the moment the little dog goes missing a search party does go out after this animal.
I guess “Mrs. Thatcher” observed that my little dog was out a whole 20 minutes (last Tuesday to be exact!) until I went in the car to rescue the canine. The observation was completely oblivious to the jail break having occurred as the children boarded the school bus thereby necessitating readying two babies into outdoor clothing and then securing in-car seats so that I could chase down the mongrel of mine in my car. I was going to try to put the effort into the conversation to let this woman again understand NONE of this is intentional and then I simply realized this woman was likely suffering from not able to mind her own business.
I reached a new level of understanding. My chaotic life was giving this woman purpose. So be it (possibly the migraine strength now Advil talking).
In the end I was disappointed that “the authorities” did not apprehend me. I could use a night or two of decent sleep, clean clothes (I did not have to wash), a hot (uninterrupted) shower and three squares a day that I did not have to shop for, cook, serve or clean up after. It did occur to me that often the 7-year-old is on the loose in the neighborhood and I have yet to have so much as one tantalizing offer of incarceration.
Who knew…the dog is missing for 20 minutes and my break might be just around the corner…thank you Mrs. Thatcher!
The Garden Goat (happily anticipating a future incarceration)