Written by Amanda Coop
“MUM, can I show you something?”
It’s the phrase every parent dreads. Oh no, you think. What have they ruined this time? And why did they have to do it on my (clearly inadequate) watch?
Is it the sofa? Hopefully it’s the daggy, old dining table that I want to replace. Couldn’t they at least have waited until hubby got home so he knows I didn’t put them up to destroying ugly furniture for my personal gain?
I mean, it’s not always something bad. Sometimes they just want to show you a drawing they did or that they cleaned their room (just kidding! It’s never that one).
But you never know what you’re going to walk into, because regardless of whether they’ve built a particularly impressive Lego structure or microwaved the cat, they use the exact same tone of voice.
The one that alludes to absolutely nothing, and fills you with trepidation as you follow, afraid to find out. From painted pets to flooded bathrooms to creatively “decorated” couches, to the great glitter fiasco of 2016 (I’m still getting flashbacks from that one), I’ve seen it all – just not early enough to actually stop it happening.
The great thing is, now that they’re getting older, we have fewer of these “incidents”. The last disappointing thing they did was to use an entire bottle of body wash in the space of about five minutes while I went to the laundry to grab clean towels.
Before you raise an eyebrow at leaving them alone while bathing – they’re 6 and 9, and they were in the shower, not the tub. And they make more than enough noise to remove any doubt they’re alive and well.
Anyhow, I returned to the bathroom to find an Everest-like mound of foam emerging from the floor drain. “How much of that did you use?” I asked incredulously. “All of it,” Miss 9 replied sheepishly.
I gave them the obligatory “someone’s going to break their neck” talk and told them what a waste it was. “Well, at least we had fun,” said Mr 6.
But luckily these occurrences are becoming fewer, and just when I thought we could finally have nice things, they’ve added a new member to their troupe and a new number to their repertoire: “Mum, come and have a look what the dog’s doing!”
Now at least, when it comes to him, there is very little doubt about what I’m walking into. It’s a 99.9% chance of being something bad. Occasionally he’s doing something cute (like sleeping and hence not destroying anything) but mostly he’s wrecking, or has wrecked, stuff.
He’s being creative, the kids tell me. He’s an artist. I’m not sure exactly what category his “artwork” falls into, but if you’re familiar with the famous painting The Scream, by Edvard Munch, I suspect Munch’s muse may have been a pug owner who’d just spied their furry friend’s latest bit of handiwork.
I didn’t realise when people said a pug would eat us out of house and home that they meant it quite so literally. It should have been a tip-off that the family we bought him from blamed “work commitments” and not “soul-destroying destruction” for needing to re-home him.
Well, I hope their garden’s looking great these days because Pug-casso’s been at work in ours and it looks like a word I can’t use on this page.
On his rap sheet are several food bowls, about four different beds (one on the day he got it), multiple toys and the tastiest bits of our timber patio furniture, which, apparently, is most of it.
I particularly like his gardening technique, which involves ripping out plants and chewing on them, before dumping (or vomiting) them at the back door. It would be OK, maybe even helpful, if he’d just stick to the weeds, but they’re obviously less tasty. Just recently I caught him beavering away at the pool table leg.
Yes, he does have toys, balls and people to play with and he does have things he is supposed to chew, but clearly they don’t quite do it for him.
He now has to remain under constant guard or crated when he’s inside the house. Hopefully, it doesn’t collapse on top of us one day after he eats a load-bearing wall.
Luckily for him, I do love the little fluffball. I guess I can wait a few more years for nice things. Except maybe a dining table. I found him sitting at the table one day waiting to be served … perhaps I should invite him up there for a “meal”.