the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Featured community question wherein I am not the valedictorian

Today’s featured question comes from user Onemoremomblog:

Yes. Always. Wait… that’s not true. Let me explain before you throw a flaming, unscooped turd at my head.

I’ve got jackets with pockets full of poop bags, because whenever I take the dogs for a walk I want to make sure I’m prepared. In fact, I’m even pretty diligent when I take them to an off-leash park, as long as Chuck doesn’t wander off onto some hidden cliff in the forest with a copy of The New York Times.

If that last part doesn’t make sense to you, then consider yourself lucky that your husband doesn’t routinely walk into the bathroom with his iPad only to return four hours later, the blood pooled in his ankles.

During those four hours I could be tending chickens.

Just saying.

It’s just the dog poop in the backyard during the winter… fine. I’m going to admit this. We don’t ever go back there. Because the whole yard is usually covered in snow from October until May, and there’s no point. It’s an unusable space for eight months of the year and serves only as a toilet for the dogs during that time. We consider it That Magical Wintery Place Where Brown Popsicles Grow!

Come the end of May and we fill several garbage bags worth of our laziness.

In answering this question I had to go ask Tyrant if he’s cleaning up after the dogs, because he’s been taking them on their walks lately. He said he loves to take walks and wanted this added to his schedule. Armstrong and I were a bit hesitant given Coco’s irrational and erratic disposition, but I figured, come on. He’s a Tyrant. He’s a Tyrantosaurus. He tyrates. His title alone says he can handle this.

And then the first time he returned home after a walk he threw open the door and was all THAT IS ONE CRAZY BITCH!

You have no idea how many times Armstrong and I have repeated that exact line in his terrified voice to each other.

We shared with him a few techniques, and now his walks are much less dramatic, except… you guys. Tyrant is a rule follower. And this is not a bad thing, to some degree. I am a rule follower, too. I mean, I pick up after my dogs. I pay my taxes. I buckle my seat belt and disguise cuss words in front of my father. This is when conversational French comes in handy, you kids in college!

But, every once in a while. No, that’s a lie. In fact, it’s very frequently. A lot. Many times I have taken my dogs to a place where they are not supposed to be off leash and have let them run off leash. Never near a busy street or a school full of young children, no. Usually in large fields backed by the mountains. Or on the golf course when it is covered in snow. This is horrible, isn’t it? I shouldn’t be allowed to take the sacrament on Sunday, I KNOW. Jesus would have always walked his dogs on leash, HEATHER.

So there’s this giant open park near our house that is a perfect place to let the dogs run off leash. But. There are signs at every entrance that say DOGS MUST REMAIN ON LEASH AT ALL TIMES. Oh, signs. You don’t know how to party, do you? Loosen your tie a bit, SIGN. Here, have some tequila, SIGN. I’ll pay for you to get laid, SIGN.

And Tyrant is very aware of these signs. Obeys every one of them. Never lets the dogs off leash. And then when he passes other people who are walking their dogs off leash, Coco goes, well. Coco. She cocos. That’s a verb now. Cocoing. Is your wife yelling at you because you didn’t put the orange juice back on the right shelf in the refrigerator? She’s cocoing. An unsolicited foot rub will cure this, I promise.

Tyrant got so fed up with other people breaking this rule, in fact, that one day he came back after a walk and slapped down a piece of paper on my desk.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “I made sure that no one saw me stapling these to the fence at the entrance of the park.”

“I think this should work, don’t you?” he continued.

My favorite part is not even the menacing clipart Pitbull he found who knows where, but the part in parentheses. As if the whole flyer doesn’t communicate that EXACT THING.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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