The dog looked at me, trotted to the dish, and slurped up its contents like it was a peanut-butter-and-cheese-rind smoothie.
Then we waited. She seemed completely unaffected by her drink. I kicked her soccer ball around for her, mostly because my toes were going numb.
About 10 minutes in, she stopped chasing the ball, looked at me like a college kid who’s had one beer too many, and proceeded to decorate the backyard with the balloon (and everything else you’d imagine).
It was here that I realized I had no exit strategy. Dogs have an alarming tendency to return to that which they’ve just thrown up in order to re-eat it. Because they are dogs, that’s why.
And there I was, without a trash bag or shovel or bucket, running around the yard looking for an answer, because I would be dipped if I was going to force the dog to re-upchuck the same orange balloon.
I had just enough time to run inside, grab a plastic grocery bag, scoop up the offending pile, and whisk it away. When I came back from the trash can, the dog was all bright eyes and smiles. She kept nudging her soccer ball at me so that the crazy fun time could resume.
When the kids made it home, I called the Diva over to explain how I’d spent the afternoon.
“And that’s why it’s so important for you to pick up your things,” I said, certain that this was a great teachable moment.
“Mom,” she said, aghast, as if every last word I’d said was a guilty stain upon her soul. “Just tell me that she didn’t throw up in my room.”
At least she didn’t blame her brother, right?
Adrienne Martini is a freelance writer, instructor at the State University College at Oneonta, mom to Maddy and Cory, wife to Scott, and author of “Sweater Quest.” Her columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/parentingimperfect.