My husband tends to view food as a necessary evil. He has serious personal hang-ups, due to his background and genetic factors, about becoming overweight. As a result, he quite frequently ignores his body signals about hunger. He generally only eats when specifically reminded to, or when a meal is set down in front of him. You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. Sometimes, like most people, I don’t fix breakfast or lunch because I’m not hungry, or I get caught up in another project, or I’m not feeling well. On those days, my husband doesn’t eat breakfast or lunch, because it doesn’t occur to him. Period.
This was one of those days. I wasn’t particularly hungry, I was focused on an article I was writing, and I didn’t really feel like fixing a lunch I thought no-one would eat. So I didn’t. I assumed that if anyone else was hungry, they would either ask me to fix something or fix it themselves. Around noon-thirty, John fixed himself a cup of white rice (starch = sugar = quick energy = crash). A little later, Kidling fixed himself a tuna fish sandwich on wheat bread (fiber + protein = long term energy). Unfortunately, they both waited waaaay too long, and by the time they finally fixed their lunches, they were both irritable and sniping at everyone. Add to that the lack of fibers, proteins, minerals, or any other variety in John’s lunch, and I completely understand why he was snappish throughout the following situation.
Anyway, I fixed up his work lunch. Cornbread and leftover chili. I wrapped the cornbread wedges in plastic saran wrap and put it and the chili in his lunch bag. Then, because Kidling and I were planning on going out today, I went outside to put my rollerblades and Kidling’s scooter in the car. John was doing something in the garage, I don’t know what. While I was out by the car and John was in the garage and Kidling was in his room, Sirius decided to nab a delicious treat for himself. He stole a plastic-wrapped cornbread wedge from John’s lunch.
I came back inside just in time to see Sirius finishing up his stolen treat, and let out a yelp of dismay when I realized he had just eaten plastic wrap. I don’t know much about dogs or how saran wrap goes through the digestive system, but I’m willing to bet good money that saran wrap + digestive system = bad news. John came back inside while I was freaking out and got angry because . . . I don’t know why, really. I think it was the fact that I was upset, that Sirius was in danger, and that he was literally heading out the door to an unfulfilling job he feels trapped in, so he couldn’t stop and help. He only referenced that last thing, but I know the rest of the situation — the lack of proper nutrition, my stress, Sirius’ potential danger — played into his frustration as well.
Long story short, as soon as he left, I looked up how to make a dog throw up. Turns out 1 tsp Hydrogen Peroxide per 10 lbs of dog will do the trick. I used a 1-tsp dropper to get it into Sirius, but he was not a willing patient. By the 7th dropper, he had his muzzle clenched shut and was whining at me while trying to crawl away from me. Finally he threw up, about 6 cups worth of vomit. It was a lot. I put him outside and looked at the puke. I couldn’t see any plastic wrap. Unhappily, I carefully prodded a particularly large chunk, then carefully picked it up between my thumb and forefinger. I felt, to a sense of combined relief and disgust, the plastic wrap beneath my fingers. A little more exploration confirmed that the vomit contained all the plastic wrap. I cleaned the whole mess up, washed my hands, and flopped down on the couch for a bout of self-pity.
I feel, quite honestly, pretty miserable myself. That last 10 minutes before John headed out the door were filled with raised voices and hurtful words, and when that happens it sets the emotional tone for the next few hours. Kidling hid in his room while I administered the hydrogen peroxide to Sirius, because Sirius was pretty clearly was not okay with the medicine. What with John yelling at me as he headed out the door, Sirius looking at me with this expression of mournful confused betrayal, and Kidling scowling at me like I’ve completely contradicted every “be nice to the animals and the environment” speech ever, I’m feeling like some massively unsympathetic super-villain at the moment. It’s all part and parcel of being a mom, and I know that. Sometimes you have to be the bad guy. I just don’t like it.