Why Re-Entry is Hard and There is Poop in my Vaccuum

They say the first day back is always the hardest.

I tend to agree.

Except times seven.

It’s become abundantly clear over the years that the first week back is the hardest. I am referring to vacation. Before you roll your eyes at how bratty I sound- don’t. I get it. Any type of vacation or staycation or getaway or even a trip to the grocery store without littles is a beautiful thing and should always be fully appreciated. Like I always say, “It’s good to go away. It’s good to come home.” …and sometimes that’s true.

Other times it’s less “good” and more “necessary.”

Husband and I were able to sneak away together for an extended weekend for my birthday. We had 4 nights away- that’s 4 whole sleeps! Which is technically 5 days, which is almost a week. I like to round up with good things and round down with my spending.

We went to Vegas, which might not seen like the most romantic place in the world to most people, but to us it is. We have history there. Thirteen years ago, it’s where we fell in love.

I know what you’re thinking. “Vegas? The seedy underbelly of the world? That’s where you fell in love?” But I promise you it was a lot less trashy and a lot more romantic than it sounds. We were there for the wedding of a mutual friend. Husband and I (he was still just Nate back then) had been freinds for a long time but hadn’t actually laid eyes on each other in over a year.

Things were instantly different between us. 

We were inseperable that weekend. I can actually recall an exact moment while standing next to him watching the water show at the Bellagio and suddenly just knowing in my knower that I loved him.  So we like to go back every few years, for old time’s sake…and also because I am a very nostalgiac person and Remember When is my favorite game.

We made arrangements for the kids and the puppy (no small feat) and jetted off. It was lovely. We laughed, we dined, we read, we slept, we…well, you know.

We even got free tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert. And you know what? It was awesome! I’m not sure if that’s nerdy or cool or whether I’m supposed to be proud or embarrassed about it but I really don’t care. I freakin loved it. He put on a great show and I really liked his 20/20 album. Justin Timberlake is one of those guys who is just an average, regular looking dude, but the second he is on stage singing and dancing he becomes this otherworldly sexy version of himself. There, I said it.

Naturally the weekend flew by. Then it was time to come home.

If vacation is anything like floating around in outer space where things are quiet and weightless and serene, then coming home is a lot like that harsh thud when gravity hits and you re-enter the atmosphere of real life. You better buckle up. 

After flying and driving and collecting our subsequent children and puppy from their various caregivers we came in the door to a very messy house and 5 day old soggy yams on the counter. For those of you who don’t know, I’m slightly anal-retentive about keeping my home clean and tidy. It just makes me happy. Not the giddy kind of happy, but the nice, pleasant, peaceful brand of happy. 

Adversely, nothing makes me more fussy than a messy house. We were tired. The kids were tired. Everyone was a little grouchy. Husband and I sprang into action and managed to get the kids in bed and the yams dealt with, leaving the rest for later in favor of a good night’s sleep.

Except that night, the puppy apparently became possessed by the devil because he was up all night whining and barking. I quit counting after the sixth time I had to hobble down the stairs in a sleepy stupor to threaten him within an inch of his life.  “I’ll take your furry butt back to the pound!”, I’d mutter at him as I stood shivering on my porch at 4:00am waiting for him to find the perfect spot to pee. He proved unshaken by my idle threats and went on to yelp and whine for three more hours until the sun came up. Way to call my bluff dude.

I woke up the next morning to a sound that any mother can instantly identify as the cry when your child is hurt. I knew it was Jaxon but in my serious state of exhaustion I couldn’t understand what he was saying. In one swift motion I was out of bed and flying down the stairs. Here’s the thing about slippery wooden stairs: they are basically a booby trap for tired moms. I can’t tell you how many times I have stumbled down those stairs first thing in the morning while clutching the banister before my eyes are fully open and my muscles have woken up.  I look like Gollum slithering down the stairs. But an older, arthritic Gollum. I am seriously considering getting one of those Jazzy chairs to carry me down the stairway to my first cup of coffee everyday. I’m practically a safety hazzard otherwise.

Just as I was thundering down the stairs, Jaxon came screeching up and we collided in the landing. I basically fell on him like a ton of bricks, smashed him into the wall, and landed on my tailbone at the bottom of the stairs. Stellar way to start my re-entry day.

After some investigation into Jaxon’s original wound (puppy bite) and apologizing for his secondary wound (his mother launching her giant body at him in the stairway), we began the frenzy of getting ready for school.

I spent the next two days cleaning house, moving 187 articles of clothing and toys from one room to another, puppy watching, and doing 14 loads of laundry. This is not an exaggeration. I had done ALL the laundry before we left. I could literally write a whole paragraph on the curse of laundry and how it mysteriously multiplies, but I won’t. It’s never ending and we all know it so I won’t pretend I am unique in this area.

I will tell you that while vacuuming my dining room, I suddenly smelled the worst poop smell you can imagine. Scout sat innocently at my feet and even though I looked frantically around for an accident, I couldn’t find one. Yet there was no denying the hot, unmistakable stench of doggy-doo.

Then it hit me.

The vacuum.


Could it be inside the vacuum?


Somehow in my rigorous vacuuming (remember I take my cleaning seriously- I go hard and fast) I failed to see the brown turd on the brown wood floor and I just vacuumed that piece of crap right up.

Do you have any idea the amount of smearing and melting that took place in the ten seconds it took me to figure out where the poop was? I don’t even know where to start. I can’t even…

Let’s just say that there may not be enough disinfectant in the world.


Ironically enough this is the exact same vacuum that I own. A vacuum that now sits in desecration and shame in the garage.

I then spent the following two days dirtying and messing up my clean house by unpacking boxes of Christmas decor. Because nothing says Tis the Season like cursing under your breath while you break a sweat and risk falling to your death trying to hang a bloody garland. It wasn’t actually bloody, I was just doing that thing where I pretend to be British for a minute.

In the spirit of honesty, I feel it bears mentioning that the children were beastly for at least 36 hours upon arriving home.

It’s a thing.

You know it’s true.

We were gone, they were gone, everyone is tired and out of sync. General naughtiness ensues until they are reminded to fall back in line. It also bears mentioning that Husband and I tend to get a little gritchy with each other post vacation. It’s not personal, it’s just our process. We only want back in that happy, intimate little vacation bubble.

It’s like that couple in This is 40 who goes away together and has a blast and can’t remember for the life of them why they aren’t always this much fun? Then ten minutes after coming home they’re arguing over antibiotics vs. eastern medicine.

Then sometime around Day 2 in the car while getting takeout (Hey- don’t judge. Re-entry is hard, remember? Cooking doesn’t happen until Day 3) and listening to the kids argue loudly over mexican food or pizza, Husband will reach over and squeeze my knee. We’ll look at each other and sort of chuckle and suddenly all is well again.

In conclusion I would just like to say:

  1. Be careful on wooden stairs.
  2. Re-entry is hard.
  3. I have poop in my vacuum.

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