Please do not misunderstand. The Matron allows spiders to procreate in her kitchen. She will sidestep a bug.
She loves dogs! She considers herself a Dog Person. For nearly 15 years, she doted on this one:
Thurston had issues. Primarily, he had an amazing eating disorder: he ate everything.
One steaming July day, this dog ate 64 balloons waiting to be filled with water for a child's birthday party. The Matron--with a baby plastered to her breast and a yard full of children--wrenched these iron jaws open to pour hydrogen peroxide down the resisting throat.
Scarlett and her friend Eva stood on the picnic table, offering encouragement: "Throw up! Throw up! Throw up!"
Three doses of peroxide and ten gallons of Matronly sweat later, he did. Red, yellow, blue, purple and green--they all came up.
Eva was beside herself with pleasure. "Oh, Mary! This is so much better than daycare!"
Thurston's poop was always informational. So that's where the Polly Pocket went! That's what happened to the crayons! Here's the key!
And when Thurston's 14 year old body failed him and he needed hand-feeding and diapering, the Matron took on these tasks without hesitation.
What a good person that Matron is!
Now that Thurston is gone, it is this boy's turn to go through the geriatric shuffle:
The Matron hopes that her children are watching how she tends to old age, even if it is of the canine variation. She would like equal treatment.
Pee just falls from Jekyll. He can't help it. You can scream in his ear: "Don't pee in the house!" And it won't matter, not because he doesn't understand but because he cannot hear you.
He is so blind that one must point his snout in direction of his food and shove him out the open door (which he doesn't notice).
Mostly, he is spending his 15th year sleeping on the most expensive chair in the house.
How patient is the Matron!
Reader, she is asking you to forgive her single shortcoming, her sole murderous impulse. Here is the current bane of the Matronly existence:
This dog weighs 14 pounds. According to the Matron's estimation, he produces twice his body weight in poop, daily--inside the house!
This dog's official food is one half cup of dry nugget. The Matron is unclear where he gets the fuel for such copious discharge.
Poop in Scarlett's bedroom.
Pee on the upstairs carpet (Jekyll doesn't do stairs so she knows who to blame!)
Poop in the basement.
Poop in the dining room.
Poop in the hallway.
This dog, Scruffy, is a recent acquisition. The children love Satan's Familiar beyond reason. Scruffy loves to be carried. He wears cute sweaters. He sleeps under the covers. He plays fetch.
But when the children aren't here to entertain him, he spends his time barking: yap, yap, yap. Did that dust particle move? "Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap"
Recently, the Matron treated herself to lunch with a friend.
Scruffy also dined. He devoured the contents of 10 party bags for Merrick's birthday massacre: Hershey Kisses, Sweet-tarts, gum. Scarlett had carefully (spent hours!) created this surprise for Merrick, hid the bags in her closet.
Shredded slimy paper, wrappers and half-chewed plastic toys littered the house.
The Matron hesitated with the hydrogen peroxide. She picked up the bottle. Debated. She looked that dog straight in the eye.
And decided to let nature take its course.
Her last hope is the backyard fence. Scruffy can jump four feet high. He wriggles out underneath the slightest gap. He's Houdini.
The Matron is constantly seeing the dog halfway down the alley. She mumbles: "Scruffy, come here. Scruffy."
Once he was gone nearly an hour. Then those children! They noticed! Resigned, the Matron feigned alarm.
Scruffy always returns.
After all, he has work to do! There's unmarked territory in that house. Fresh planks requiring poop. Corners to mark and shoes to destroy, carpet to ruin.
The Matron's hatred for this dog disturbs her children. "How can you not love him?" they whimper, fearing a similar fate.
So she tries to smile in his fetid direction. She forces herself to pat the Scruffy head and has stopped the random kick.
Still. She plots. She's keeping all options, open.