Friday, December 11, 2015

Grammy And Grandpa Are Visiting Tomorrow

Lisa called her parents a couple of weeks ago. They invited us to visit for the day the following weekend. Or the next. Three years ago, we would have said, without hesitation, "Sure! We'll be there." I would have spent a few hours baking cookies and whipping up a side dish or two the day before our journey. On the day of, the vehicle would be loaded with treats, gifts, essentials, camera, a tote of necessities for Coco and...Coco.  By 8 a.m. we'd have coffee, bagels and be well on our way to New Hampshire.

That's exactly what we did in 2012 shortly after we adopted Coco. He made the trip to New Hampshire with us and spent the day at Mom and Dad's house. Coco was very well behaved. Other family members visited while we were there and all went well. Towards the end of our visit, Coco peed twice on the sun room sofa and carpet. This was after frequent trips outside to do "his business." Mom and Dad didn't get upset or make a fuss over it. Lisa cleaned up the pee spots. It was that easy.

In November of 2012, we invited Mom and Dad down and surprised them with an early Thanksgiving feast. Coco lounged on Dad's lap (aka Grandpa). They bonded. Coco listened to Mom (aka Grammy) when she corrected him.

As time went on, our family grew. We had two kids. Leaving the house for the day wasn't as easy. Our newest addition at the time, Sophie, is a pee pee machine in unfamiliar territory. She's completely house-trained. She lets us know when she needs to pee or poop. However, when she visits the home of another human, she'll lift her leg and mark every surface within pee pee reach.

As considerate dog Moms, we understand this can be an issue for a lot of humans. 

Then, in February of this year, we adopted Lobo. He's a special needs pup. Also..a pee pee machine when exploring a home aside from his own. More so than Coco and Sophie combined.

Long story short, our visits to New Hampshire, and other areas where friends and family live, have declined quite a bit. It's one of the many sacrifices we made as our family increased in size. Taking all 3 of our kids to Mom and Dad's wasn't an option. Leaving our kids behind while we went to New Hampshire for the day also was not an option. A feasible solution, and one we've gravitated towards, is Lisa making the trip alone. Overnight. Once or twice a year. Then, once or twice a year, having Mom and Dad visit us.

So far, it's worked out...

This time around, a couple of weeks ago when we were invited, Lisa had to explain how difficult, or nearly impossible, it is to take a day trip...anywhere. With 3 kids, all pee pee machines when in an unfamiliar territory...yeah, no. Not happening. Again, our choice. Out of consideration and respect. We know our kids. We're not going to take them to a strange place, someones home, only to saturate furniture and carpets with pee. And, we're not going to leash them outside or leave them in the car.

Lisa and I discussed our options. There were two. She ventures to New Hampshire alone or we ask Mom and Dad if they'd like to visit us. The following day, Lisa invited them down here.

That leads me to what's happening today and this evening. Tomorrow, Mom and Dad will be here around 11. They get to visit with Coco and Sophie and meet Lobo for the first time. We've shared his stories and sent them photos. Mom and Dad have big hearts and that extends to our kids. The barking and begging and lap snuggles don't bother them a bit.

Today I'm prepping a huge Christmas dinner. It's a surprise. We told them to expect a quickie lasagna dinner. Then, during a phone conversation yesterday, Lisa said we're pressed for time so we were going to offer sandwiches.

We're sneaky like that. 

Our home has changed since the last time they visited earlier this year...a couple of weeks before we fostered and eventually adopted Lobo. There's a ramp for the sofa in the living room. Pet pillows decorate our living room floor. Our kitchen floor resembles a patchwork quilt with all of the colorful printed non-slip scatter rugs and runners so Lobo doesn't continuously wipe out. It's guaranteed they'll leave with fur on their clothing. Bones and toys won't be picked up off the floor before their arrival.

Earlier this evening, while eating dinner, Lisa and I expressed how proud we are of our family. Us. Our kids. Our home. The accommodations for our kids. The fur. The choices we've made. Not everyone understands or realizes the level of compromise and sacrifice. That's okay. We don't expect anyone to. We're grateful to the few, like Mom and Dad, who graciously put aside a day to make the 5+ hour round-trip drive to visit and enjoy our company for a few hours.

A scrumptious dinner and lots of treats included.

For that, I don't mind spending an entire day prepping a Christmas feast. Dessert. Appetizers. And later, Lisa will give the kids a talkin' to. You know, the gentle Grammy-and-Grandpa-are-visiting-tomorrow-lecture.

"Coco, don't try to take Grammy or Grandpa's socks off their feet and remember...pant legs are not tug toys. Sophie, don't piddle on Grammy's shoes. They will probably smell of another pup. Grammy walks her friend's pups every afternoon. And Lobo...oh, sweet Lobo. Be on your best behavior little man."

And so...we wait.

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