I asked her what she was chewing on, even though I knew the answer.
Nothing, she said. She meant it. She really did have no idea that she was gnawing on the cord like a manic beaver.
Enlightenment hit me. It isn’t me. It’s them.
Reader, you could have knocked me over.
All of those earbuds that had been cut down in their prime and I wasn’t the one who killed them.
Ditto all the dirt smudges on the walls in improbable places. It isn’t that we re especially exuberant with our filth, it’s that the kids don’t realize where their bodies are.
For real — I caught the Boy lying on his back on the floor and walking his snow-booted feet up the wall, which left mysterious gray-brown smudges behind.
What are you doing, I asked, even though I knew the answer.
Nothing, he said. He meant it. He really had no idea.
It also turns out that I’m not just hard on shoes, either. Admittedly, the cause of this was easier to suss out. The dog can’t resist trying to love your shoes to death with her teeth.
It’s not just family shoes, either. My husband and I went out to dinner a few weeks back — it was lovely, thanks — and returned to find a debris field of plastic and fabric strewn across the dining room. The dog looked pleased with herself.
My husband and I suddenly realized that we’d forgotten to put that on the list of information the sitter needs. You know, cellphone numbers, bedtimes, shoe-eating dog.
While writing this, I took a break to go let the dog in. On my way back upstairs, I grabbed an empty glass off of an end table so that I could take it to the kitchen.