I missed my deadline for this column last week. I think the editor of this fine newspaper would agree that this is something that doesn’t happen all that often. In fact, I was so late that my column did not appear at all last week. If you follow my column closely (and, if that is the case, you better re-evaluate your priorities), you will also recall that my last column was about bringing home a new puppy.
This brings me to the reason I missed last week’s deadline, and no, I am not going to say the dog ate my homework ... although he seems committed to eating everything in our home. Simply put, the reason I missed my deadline is the “mess.”
Many of you know me and understand that I have obsessive-compulsive tendencies when it comes to cleanliness, so you might not be surprised that a puppy with absolutely no bladder control would frustrate me. But this isn’t your average lack of control. This is more like, “Hey, I am playing with a rope toy, what a ... oops!” No warning whatsoever! He also never seems to get on empty. What I mean by that is we have had times where we find multiple little puddles all over the house. I’ll be cleaning one and he is behind me making another. Where is that reserve tank coming from?
This alone would serve as a point of frustration, but this past week it wasn’t alone. Simultaneous to the time the puppy arrived and started making our hardwood floors his personal toilet, my son contracted some sort of stomach virus that made him vomit at night. So every morning we would wake up to find him covered in his own vomit, as well as all of his bedding, stuffed animals and anything else in close proximity.
In traditional child-like fashion, he seemed no worse for the wear, but the laundry required, and the smell, were a bit overwhelming. Fortunately (for me), I was gone most days by the time this situation was detected, so my beautiful wife, who is now about six months pregnant, did most of the cleanup on this situation. Unfortunately for her, the vomit cleanup challenge extended to the car on the way home from school when our son had an incident in a drive-thru lane with no exit. She had to wait in line to even get out of the car to help clean up. Not pretty.
My daughter seemed to be healthy, but at 3 years old is just generally messy, not to mention she is just getting to the final stages of potty training which seems to require the occasional accident. However, if my daughter had a superpower, it would be the ability to spill anything within a 2-foot radius no matter how careful she is. For my part, I was hacking and coughing and battling a runny nose that was trying its best to imitate an open faucet. Our living room started to look like the stage for a winter program with all the fluffy Kleenex lying around.
So you can imagine how filthy our home was over the last week and you can imagine that my OCD tendencies required me to do constant hand-washing and sanitizing. I don’t even like to think about it.
But just this morning, as my nose seems to be clearing up, it was reported to me that the puppy has had no accidents, that my son did not throw up last night and my wife’s health has begun to return. So order (and cleanliness) should soon be restored to the Ryerson household.
I’ll come up with an all-new excuse the next time I miss a deadline.
(Editor’s Note: Matt has a family of five — a beautiful wife, a son, a daughter and of course, Tucker the dog. The family has gone through gallons of floor cleaner, disinfectant and laundry detergent in the last seven days. Matt’s column appears every Wednesday in the Cleveland Daily Banner.)