Tag Archives: academic parent

Quick snapshots of our new normal

Sam was woken at 5.45 by George’s meows… normally we would leave him to yell it out, but he heard Wes going downstairs, and that’s (quite reasonably) ball game for sleep for Sam, so I took him into our bed. Then ensued 40 minutes of me trying to sleep, while Sam told me everything on his mind: “Mummy has hair…. Oh, Mummy hair nice…. Nice Mummy….” [rubs hair] “Georgus crying… Georgus cry…”

“No Sam, George was meowing…”

“Meow? Meow!” [cue several minutes mewing like a cat. “Thomas! Thomas got stuck on the bridge…. Bridge shake, shake… Percy came, Oh Percy…. OH PERCY” and so on, plus of course, several requests for milk.

But it was nice, he did snuggle well, and I enjoyed having him close. Then up, and dressed at the speed of light, and out into the pre-packed car:

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Ugh, the totally over packed car:

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Then off to school, except I am about 2 hours earlier than usual which means:

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TRAFFIC. School traffic. UGH. But after 30 mins we get to the Y and Sam is:

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Well, it is alright for some, eh? Luckily he wakes up quickly and is excited to get his backpack on:

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We enter daycare, and I tell Sam he has to go to his classroom. He barrels off, ahead of me and the Director (how does he know where to go??):

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Finds the classroom, and immediately joins in circle time. He sits down, sees what the other kiddos are doing and copies them, building quite a fine lego tower:

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Since things are going so well, I hastily depart and make my way to the office and enjoy a new treat:

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Our teeny tiny car instead of our big huge truck, in the teeny tiny work garage. No more 20 million point turns! Woo hoo! I make my way to my desk. It is 8 am, I haven’t usually left the house by now… I’m not impressed:

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But hey, I make  myself a big breakfast (OK reheat my premade breakfast) of my old standby: pumpkin oatmeal:

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I am sure the novelty will wear off, but it was not a bad start! Long may it continue.

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On the brink of change

New horizons for the Frazier-Woods

New horizons for the Frazier-Woods

I never wrote part 3 of my letter to my pediatrician… It was hard; parts 1 and 2 involved accusation and anger and explaining the thoughts I had worked through with friends. Part 3, the aftermath, was something that until last Friday I was still working through in my mind. So maybe now I can write it, but in  the meantime, the aftermath of my idiot pediatrician is that tomorrow, Wes goes back to work after 31 months at home, and  Sam will start daycare at our local YMCA.

Doing his job for the last 31 months - looking after us (in this case, repaiting my fish tank)

Doing his job for the last 31 months – looking after us (in this case, repairing my fish tank)

I have so many thoughts rattling around my head about this, and even some that are probably conflicting. I can’t seem to find a coherent answer for how I am feeling about this (which doesn’t really matter as it is happening anyway) but here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

(1) Wow. Maybe we won’t be broke. Maybe we will be able to buy actual furniture, and get rid of our freeniture (that’s furniture found at the side of the road, folks). That will be glorious.

(2) Maybe, just maybe, I will also be able to afford decent-ish wine. My one true love: wine. Also potentially glorious.

(3) This is going to be a big change. I loathe, fear and detest change. I deal with it by smiling and being energetic and super positive… but then I have some huge meltdown after a few months. Not looking forward to that.

(4) I so also thrive on challenges, which usually involve change. When life has got too stagnant I tend to do stuff life totally change my career, or train for bodybuilding competitions. I hate change, but in 2009 I moved continent; 2010 met my hubby on line, and got 2 cats; 2011 got engaged, got married, moved in with hubby; decided to change jobs and acquired 3 turtles, a dog and 14 fish; 2012 I got pregnant, changed jobs, bought a house, moved State and become a mum; 2013 was quiet! I As was 2014, in fact, it’s been dead since 2013 (aside of changing job again)! I’ve stagnated and I think that is part of my unhappiness. Maybe I hate change, but I need it. Yes, for me this might be a good thing.

(5) I’m sad Wes can’t spend all that time with Sam. It is such a rare and beautiful gift to have time with your children, and it breaks my heart to take that away from him.

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(6) But Sam so needs interaction with other children – and he needs to get out. And he needs to be stretched (cognitively, not physically – he’s still crazily tall). I can’t forget that I was unhappy with his day-to-day life: very rare park trips, no play dates, no crafts, very little structure, no sense of time, few life skills (no chores, no cooking). When I was around Sam LOVED to be engaged in sensory activities… his life needs more than that.  His days were fine, but they weren’t exceptional and I admit, it bothered me (I am a terrible person. Look at this cute picture of Sam engaging in an activity and forget about how terrible I am:

Toddler baking

Toddler baking

)

(7) But he was so happy. Rarely would you meet a happier toddler than Sam. And he follows rules, rarely tantrums, is loving, sweet and still just a bundle of joy. Is it worth to risk that happiness so that he can eat at set times, and sit in a circle? Is it the humdrum of every day life, and the impersonality of this crazy capitalist world that sucks the joy out of us? Ultimately, all I have ever wanted is for Sam to be happy. Will he lose that innocent happy that comes with only ever being around people who love you more than anything in the world? Who think you are the best thing since sliced bread and delight in everything you do? Why does he have to learn that now, at 2? He has years to be a face in the crowd, and to fitted in to someone else’s goals, and to be taught he is a problem…. why can’t he just have these extra few years of innocence?

Happy monkey

Happy monkey

(8) Oh my God when he is hungry who will feed him, and when he cries who will hold him???

(9) Holy crap.  Families with two working parents work hard. So hard!! Today I made dinner, prepped for the week, packed Sam’s school bag, packed the car with my work stuff, made our lunches and did a little bit of tidying (Wes did most of the cleaning) – all the while of course being Thomas / chasing a scary monster / singing ‘heads shoulders knees and toes – and I am EXHAUSTED. Like, feet fizzing, brain melting, eye droppingly exhausted. At 9 pm Wes went to bed… how do families do this??

(10) Mind you, Wes and I have actually started to appreciate each other (maybe even life each other? No… no  too far) now that we don’t have time to actually see each other…

(11) My career is going to suffer even more. I don’t even know how I am going to get tenure and have my husband at work. It will probably never happen. I’ll lose my job. I’ll never find another job in America. This is a disaster.

(12) I’ve had it so easy. I like it easy!! Why can’t it be easy??

(13) Families all over the Western world do this all the time. They are fine. Their kids are fine. Their kids are HAPPY. Their kids are well-adjusted. Sam will be happy. Wes will be happy. We’ll find a new normal and we’ll make it work.

(14) Dang, you are going to sleep so well now. Speaking of which….

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