So we’re not really into sleeping at night these days, but the nice weather lately has gotten us really into walking, especially since Edie is big enough now to face out and see the world.
A world that looks like this.
Brown and muddy and full of puppy slobber.
And, it turns out, cactus. Of course cactus. Because here in Western North Dakota if it isn’t the cold it’s the mosquitos. And if it isn’t the snow it’s the damn cactus.
As I type this I have a few little wounds on my hands as a reminder. Because as peaceful and angelic as this little scene might look from the still capture of the camera, it turns out taking a walk across the pasture with three dogs, two puppies and a baby strapped to you looks a little like, well…
Finish eating lunch. Finish feeding the baby lunch. Look outside and notice the blue sky. Check the temperature gauge to make sure the blue sky isn’t deceiving. Decide that 50+ degrees calls for a walk. Decide to take a walk. Change the baby’s diaper and put on her leggings and socks under her footie onsie. Add a fleece jacket on top of that. And a hat. Tell her not to cry about the hat. Tell her this is going to be fun. Go find your hat. And sunglasses. And sweatshirt. Make sure your shoes are by the door. Detangle the baby carrier. Adjust the straps the way you’ve practiced and latch them together the wrong way first, of course, and then the right way. Cuss a little and wonder how you can make this so complicated. Go get the baby. Make sure the pacifier is clipped to her fleece. Put wiggly baby and dangly pacifier in carrier. Adjust those straps so you’re both nice and snug and cozy. Walk toward the door and realize you forgot to put your shoes on first. Say shit. Grunt and groan and remember what it was like being pregnant as you try to squeeze on your shoes without fully bending over or seeing what you’re doing. Sweat. Get shoes on finally. Kinda. Good enough.
Open door and go outside. Yell for the dogs who come barreling at your legs. Try not to step on the little ones who are rolling and frolicking around your sorta-half-tied shoes. Decide to take the trail to the east pasture. Maneuver your body and the baby strapped to it under the fence. Because around here you have to cross fences. Wonder if that’s in a baby book anywhere. “How to cross fences carrying a baby. Find the trail with the least cockleburs. Stop to remove cockleburs from your shoe laces. Try not to step on the pups as the gray one grabs the brown one’s tail.
Laugh. Try to take a picture. Fail at the picture. Wish you had your big camera. Or another set of arms.
Accidentally step in a mud puddle while laughing at the puppies. Notice Gus is out of site. Call for Gus. Notice the baby’s sleeping and the sun is in her eyes. Use one hand to hold her head and the other to shield her face.
Keep walking. Sweat. Sweat. Sweat.
Make it to the gate and decide to go off trail to stay out of the wind. Immediately regret it as you lead the puppies through a patch of cactus. Hear the gray one cry. Bend down. Grunt and attempt to fling the cactus from his wiggly paw with one hand while holding the sleeping baby’s head with the other.
Wonder if you strapped her in the baby carrier and sat with her in bed if she would sleep through the night.
Figure it would be likely, but also likely cause neck issues.
Cuss because now the cactus is stuck to your hand.
Grunt as you get back up. Keep walking. Pet momma dog. Find a trail. Avoid mud. Call for Gus because he’s chasing a rabbit in the trees.
Pet big brown dog. Notice little brown pup is limping. Say shit. Lean over to try to grab her wiggly leg with one hand while holding the sleeping baby’s head with the other. Get another cactus stuck to your hand.
Decide you’re glad your almost back to the house.
Step in horse poop. Go through the gate. Try to take the least muddy path. Get a lot of mud on your sorta tied shoes.
Pick up some more cockleburs and start planning the spring bur eradication process.
Make it to the driveway. Wonder if you can put the baby down and she’ll stay sleeping. Think it’s highly unlikely. Try to get in the garage without a puppy following you. Get one puppy out of the door as the other one runs in. Do that about three times and notice that momma dog got in the garage someone. Get her out.
Open the door to the house.
Sweat while you try to quietly maneuver the sleeping babe out of the carrier and into her swing without waking her up. Curse the sound of velcro and the burs still on the back of your pants.
Set the baby in the swing. Notice her eyes are still closed. Pat yourself on the back. Head to the bathroom because you had to pee that whole time.
Come back to the living room to find the baby smiling, eyes wide open just hanging in her swing.
Because we don’t sleep much around here.