One of my favorite scenes in Planet of the Apes--perhaps because I can so easily identify with it--is the one where Charlton Heston is in his cell being blasted with a giant waterhose, and he howls, "It's a madhouse! A MAAA-AADHOUSE!"
I must have one of those moments at least once a day--only without the waterhose, though Baby Bear, with his love of spraying water, creating puddles, and causing floods, comes pretty darn close.
By Day 7 of Mr. Lucky's business trip, the dogs have dug more holes than I can plug in the backyard fence. In fact, I don't even know what's keeping that fence up now. There's one long trench running along its length.
We live in Florida, where maybe three days a year we have to wear jackets. Yesterday was one of those days, so I sent Baby Bear to school in his jacket. When he came home from school, I went out to meet his bus, which--because he is autistic and developmentally disabled--stops directly in front of our house.
"Mrs. Lingefelt, we need you to come aboard the bus," the driver said. "He's taken off his pants."
I didn't even blink, even though he usually takes off only his socks and shoes on the bus. Nonetheless, I boarded the bus. The driver led me to the very back.
Well, no wonder he does these things. The back of the bus is where you want to sit if you're going to goof off. In the past, the driver has also reported to me incidents of him spitting--and he could win contests doing that. He can sit in the very back seat of our minivan, and hit the dashboard with his spittle.
Miraculously, he was still wearing his socks and shoes. But the pants were gone. We found them under the seat and after the attendant unbuckled him, I struggled to put them back on him. His shoes made it very difficult. HOW did he get them off with the shoes still on?
Only he knows--and he's not talking.
It wasn't till this morning--even colder than yesterday--that I realized he was missing his jacket--a common occurrence. When it gets cold down here, by afternoon it usually warms up enough that jackets are forgotten at school. I had to put a sweatshirt on him. The dogs have broken both zippers on their crates, so when his bus pulled up in front of our house this morning, I had to:
1. Unlock the front door (it must be kept locked at all times for the boy's security).
2. Grab both barking, thrashing dogs by the harnesses and tell Bear to pick up his backpack and go out the door. He's only too eager to comply with the latter command, but not the former.
3. Somehow grab both harnesses in one hand, pick up the backpack with the other, and hurl it out the door. I didn't have to worry about it hitting my son. He's too fast and I throw like--well, like a girl.
4. Take a deep breath and on the count of three, release both dogs as I lunge out the front door, grabbing the knob and closing it before they could charge out on my heels. Fortunately no tails or ears were caught in the door.
Scooping up his backpack, I ran to catch up with Baby Bear and make sure he really did get safely on the bus, instead of dashing for the nearest cliff, railroad track or alligator swamp.
I don't even know why I bothered to clean the house in anticipation of Mr. Lucky's return. The dogs will likely undo everything while I'm picking him up at the airport this afternoon.
And what they don't undo, Mr. Lucky will. Baby Bear just dumps water over everything.
But I'll be glad to have that man home again.