5:15 a.m.—I am dreaming that someone got sprayed by a skunk. The details are unclear; all I remember is the stinking smell.
5:28 a.m.—John is standing beside our bed. I sit up with a start and announce, “Skunk!” John is drenched in the smell, but Sophie is more drenched in the smell, so John does not realize he is drenched in the smell.
5:32 a.m.—It immediately becomes clear that this is an all-hands-on-deck situation. John is ordered to take off his clothes. I google the recipe for neutralizing skunk.
5:35 a.m.—A plan is hatched: I will go for supplies (gloves, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide—lots of it) while John readies the garage (hose hook up and pray the line isn’t frozen) as a workspace. We turn off the heater so that the smell does not disseminate throughout the house. Fortunately, the temperature dropped by twenty degrees last night.
5:40 a.m.—I try several drugstores before ending up in a grocery store parking lot awaiting its 6 a.m. opening.
6:01 a.m.—I wait at the grocery store doors, hoping to catch someone’s eye to unlock the damn doors.
6:12 a.m.—Supplies acquired. Head back to house.
6:15 a.m.—Upon entering our garage, I gag and leave the garage. I reenter and open the baking soda. Dump a quart of peroxide in a bucket. I step out of the garage to gag again. John is stoic. He begins to scrub the dog; he loses his stoicism and looks almost as miserable as Sophie does.
6:45 a.m.—Sophie comes skittering into the house. She is shivering and heads directly for her dog bed, which she rolls all over to dry herself and (apparently) rid herself of the trauma she has just endured. John asks me to stink test Sophie, as his entire respiratory system is permeated with a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals, commonly called mercaptans. Sophie smells like soapy, wet dog, which is encouraging. John heads up to take a shower and scrub off what he can.
6:45–7:45 a.m.—Morning chores and feeding ensue. Boys are dressed. Teeth brushed. Ushered into car (which mysteriously also smells like skunk, even though I parked it in the driveway with all the windows down). We drive to school.
7:55 a.m.—G looks uncertain. He reluctantly gets out of the car and enters the school (Which, in itself, is an accomplishment. We are currently undergoing an I-don’t-want-to-go-to-school streak. Behaviors include screaming, going stiff, and repeatedly unbuckling his seat belt while we are driving in the car to school). As we near his classroom he starts to cry, turns around and starts to run. I semi-tackle him and somehow manage to pick him up (he’s gone stiff again). I hand him off to his teacher with apologies and exit quickly. J, meanwhile, is certain everything he’s wearing smells like skunk. Which it probably does, at least a little.
So begins another week. Lord have mercy.