It’s my child’s week to take home the class pet. . . .

Thankfully, this is not a live fish, hamster or turtle that would not recover from being suffocated, trod upon, or dismembered.  But he’s plenty of work and worry just the same.

This is because instead of doing 36 other things that should probably warrant my attention today, I make sure to sit at the kitchen table and pat myself on the back for following in the footsteps of other preschool parents before me.

I do this by adding my impeccable penmanship (and some irreversible coffee splatter) to a surprisingly well-maintained book about the last couple of months in the life of a stuffed pooch.

I notice the writing thus far seems dry though. . . far from riveting.  So I dutifully forgoe washing and tidying up my kitchen to impart a little humor.  I even put the laundry on hold.

This is commitment.

I write about a pup whose coveted walk to the preschool carpool line was anxiously awaited and much discussed.  I talk about my feelings when meeting for the first time.

There is the acknowledgement of tiny glances I caught myself making in my side and rearview mirrors.

We were chosen.

In reality, Dexter was fully ignored for days on end on my watch.  But I’m all about making up for lost time. . . and returning the dog in substantially the same condition he was given to us.

I tell myself that ignoring him and shirking my documenting duties kept me from being reduced to documenting his “bath time” in my washing machine.  Or how he narrowly escaped being sent back to class with stitched on ears.

Photo op ideas race through my mind.

Discarded pooch
Poor pooch

Nothing brilliant materializes.

But we’re doing this.  Today.

We’re hard on toys around here.  And I Googled this little guy…he’s like me, a much earlier vintage (2002 to be exact – in his case, not mine) and a rare breed.

And since I’ve yet to find an overnight pull-up that works for our level of pre-bed water consumption, he didn’t sleep with my little one either. . . Because I just wouldn’t do that to the next host family.

So I’ve kept him pretty isolated.

That look of longing to be a real pet.  To play outside. To roam free with the other animals. (I make it up as I go.)

But why do I waffle?

An onslaught of indecisiveness has me wanting to one-up the parent who recently cropped and pasted seventeen digital photos documenting Dexter’s Fall break stay at their family’s luxury mountain home.  My sanity though reminds me to do the math.

Two semesters of remedial arithmetic taken during my freshman year in college aside, it’s not rocket science to figure up Muffin’s preschool class size and the remaining weeks in the school year.

Dexter will be back.

And his impeccable little journal will still have plenty of blank pages to be filled and splattered by my cup of joe.

So I try.  A little.  On the last day.  In the final hour.

This will make up for being late to school almost every morning this year. (When my husband reads this last sentence we’re going to say it was grossly exaggerated. Poetic license. You with me?)

The other problem is: my perfectionist child WOULDN’T stop staging the real cat and dog outside the kitchen window after I already got a picture of the class dog “enjoying” his stay with us.

Which means that while trying to write something clever in the class log I’m was also monitoring an impending meltdown if my backyard pets did not consent to behave like stuffed animals, immediately.

So I had to intervene.

class dog in a predicament
Does this look enjoyable?