Friday, 25 April 2014

Little Change

Although I wasn't totally sure we would, Little, F and I survived our three-week sleepover and I'm confident in saying that none of us were too much worse for the wear. It was a long three weeks at best, but between hiccups and tears I think we had a pretty great time. But something strange happened - F really changed.

Even when F's sperm donor father was in the picture, it was usually just F and I. Even when we lived at Mom and Dad's, it was F and I. Just the two of us and our own whacky, little dynamic. You probably didn't know this, but F and I can be home for hours at a time and not even notice one and other. We can also spend hours snuggling and so focused on one and other that we miss everything around us. It's pretty special - and while our dynamic is unique, I think it's safe to say most parents share a similar bond with their kids. They're the centre of our universe while simultaneously being an enormous pain in our asses. Amazing, no?

Needless to say, the addition of Little to our routine was a real switcheroo.

And it was hard. On all of us.

Because he wanted any attention at all, F misbehaved to make sure he got it. Because he was lonesome, Little often came into the middle of the few stolen moments F and I tried to share. Because I work 40 hours a week in an office, plus write my Frenzied Fashionista posts, plus I work out every evening, plus I try to have a social life and see Mr. Hockey Coach, I found myself getting short with both boys and my patience was pretty thin at the end.

But then, F just changed. His temperament was different - he listened better. He got himself ready for bed. He asked to go to bed at a reasonable hour. He ate his dinner at the table, put his plate in the sink and he was more helpful than ever. I said thank you more, I was angry and frustrated less... wait, did I change?

The differences between Little and F were stark, and I found myself appreciating some of F's quirks more than ever before. Perhaps my appreciation sparked the change. But more on that later. I've got one last night of child-free bliss to thoroughly enjoy...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Cookie Dough and Merlot

You may already know this, but F and I have recently had an enormous change in our lives.

A few, actually, such as Mr Hockey Coach finally meeting him and my new job throwing a real curveball into our schedules. But the biggest adjustment we've recently made comes in the form of a sweet little boy from preschool. And lemme tell you, it's an adventure.

Little and F became fast friends when we switched preschools in November 2013 and, as they say, the rest is history. It didn't take long before we had "double dates" to the Discovery Centre and dinners out, and the friendship and support that I've found in Little's dad has been great. He picked F up from school for a few days while I was navigating through rush hour traffic. F spent the night one night so I could go out with Mr Hockey Coach. You get the drift. So it was a no-brainer for me when Little's dad was in a pickle for child care.

We're on day five of 18 right now, and I'd be telling you the biggest lie if I said it's been easy. It hasn't. The boys - though friends - are as different as night and day. They've been bickering and tattling and whining. And we already know how I feel about my parenting skills. Little has been (understandably) lonesome without his dad and F has struggled with the change in schedule, too. 

When Little was especially sad last night upon getting home from preschool, I searched for the right words. The right activities. And then it hit me. Like all sadness, the pain of heartache can be cured by chocolate chip cookies and I just so happen to love baking. Slightly frazzled and with a list as long as my arm of things I needed to do, I marched to the kitchen without even changing out of my work clothes and we whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies as a team: Little, F and I.

And then, after the cookies were eaten and I'd finished my yoga practice, and (almost) all of the tears were wiped, little teeth were brushed and pajamas put on, I found myself standing alone in my kitchen with a glass of red wine eating the ball of cookie dough I'd saved in the fridge.

Because that is parenting. It's Cookie Dough and Merlot.