No Talking Dogs Allowed

My children have recently become enamored with a YouTube video I'm
trying desperately to hide from my dog. If she happens to watch, and
then gets any ideas, I'm doomed.

When I walk in the door to my house after a trip, I get the "Mamas?" 
All three of my kids clamoring for my attention.  "Mama? What's for
dinner?" "Mama? You need to sign my permission slip."  "Mama? I need
three vats of glue and some Argentinean Alpaca wool for my Social
Studies diorama...due tomorrow." 

I imagine I should be happy with the "Mama's?" It means my children are happy to see me. And with two teenagers and one twelve-year-old who acts like one, that ought to mean something.

My favorite Mama? is "What's for dinner?" I've been gone for three days. I have no idea what's even left in the fridge (usually, not much) after three days, much less what's for dinner, which means dinner is usually, at that particular moment in time, a frozen brick in the bottom of the freezer.

Once I worked with a Captain who said all his family members were prohibited from talking to him for 24 hours after he returned from an international trip, unless he decided for some reason, to lift the imposed embargo himself. And his family abided by this rule. Really. I had to laugh. Only a man could get away with that. As a mom, and therefore chief controller and central dispatch coordinator of the household, if I were to try to instill this policy, all Home Base operations would shut-down within 36 hours of my arrival. No field trips. No birthday presents for friends. And certainly no Argentinean Alpaca wool by tomorrow. Besides, I'd have about as much luck getting this no-talking policy invoked as I've had trying to lose these last five pounds by eating acai berries.  

What really puts me over the edge is when my babysitter starts in, giving me the update on everything that's gone wrong since my departure. After a ten hour flight? On two hours of sleep? Good times. At one point, I did try to follow the aforementioned Captain's lead to a degree, by instilling the policy that no one could complain to me, or tell me any bad news, for one entire hour after I got home. The good news is, it worked. The bad news is, it only lasted about three weeks.  

So these days when I return home from a trip, I find myself approaching my door with a mixture of joy and trepidation. Joy, that I'm home and will soon be embraced into the bosom of my family with a chorus of the "Mamas?" plus a dog who will greet me with a happy tail wagging. Trepidation that those Mamas?, if they trend too negative, could end up grating on my nerves like, well like an earful of complaints on two hours of sleep. The only thing that could possibly make it worse, would be a dog that chimes in, having learned some new tricks from a certain YouTube video.

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