Chaos, when it is not a theory

The dog is sleeping at my feet, twitching as she dreams about chasing a cat or herding the boys. She is so relaxed that a noxious odor escapes from her body in a soft pffff… and fills the air as she continues through her dream world.

During her waking hours, she works diligently at destroying all the balls in the house, along with anything made of wood, shoes, and of course, diapers, even when they are still attached to a baby boy butt.

Life is more non-stop movement and mess than ever before with two little boys, and their sister-dog, without a one of them housebroken.

I am too tired to fight the chaos which leads to more chaos, an obvious problem when our play area, workspace, exercise zone, art station, and music class are one in the same.

I try to bend like the willow in a storm, knowing that this time will pass in a fraction of time. Some moments, I am certain that I will break and brace for the crack and then the wind lets up and the sun peeks through the clouds.

I find that I am still whole, somehow.    

When I was in college, I worked part time in the physics department, sorting mail and making tea and coffee. I learned about the chaos theory by eavesdropping on a professor and a student while organizing a plate of cookies. Most of the talk about thermodynamics beaded up and rolled away from my brain, I was an English major after all, but the discussion about disorder leading to more disorder absorbed and stayed with me. I think about it now as I survey the living room and the fleet of dump trucks and matchbox cars and balls and bones and Legos and train tracks.

One does not need a PhD to understand or to study chaos.

It is everywhere right now.

A big, beautiful growing mess.    

Baby Dog

What have I done? the woman wondered with dread.

A black puppy sat in front of her with its head cocked to the side. Shreds of a children’s book were scattered in front of her, wreckage from two unsupervised minutes.

“Penny for your thoughts,” the dog said.

The woman narrowed her eyes at the animal, suspicious of the mind tricks it was playing in her sleep deprived state.  

“Well, when you feel like talking, I’m here.”

The dog trotted off, grabbing a stuffed elephant on its way to the hallway rug.

I’m losing it. The dog was too much. With the kids and the pandemic and now house-breaking a puppy. She listed off the stressors in her life but found that they didn’t seem so bad once she named them.  

She thought of the good things.

The boys, the puppy. The boys and the puppy.

It was all going to be ok.

Right, puppy?