The weather here has really been terrible lately. I've managed to walk Rebecca to school two days this year, but most other times one of us has driven. Same goes for Alan - he has barely seen the outside world since Christmas.
So, when I saw this I felt a pang of jealousy!
Still, the weather seems to have turned a corner and be settling down, and the odd spell of sunshine is breaking through. Roll on the Summer and enjoying living in the countryside.
Parenting is tiring. There are no two ways about it, it is really tiring. Not in a bad way, it is just that kids have sooooo much energy and kind of feed off attention. That takes some getting used to but every parent gets there and the rewards are worth every bit of it. It is a balance of yours and your children's needs, but you know at the end of the day you will have a bit of time to sit back and relax for a few minutes, or go to the toilet on your own without waiting for a scream/crash/cry, so inevitably you spend your day dedicating every moment to your children's needs. Just as it should be in my opinion.
For us we have a 3 (and a half) year old and a 7 month old. That's a lot of attention and care to give, but I know there are families of 6,7,8 out there so don't get me wrong - I know we have it easy. Where that balance becomes difficult is when someone gets sick.
If it is one of the adults you have to keep the kids away from that parent. The other parent is then left taking care of the kids on their own all day. Manageable.
Then suppose one of the kids gets sick too. So one adult is sick, and one child. This means the other parent is caring for two sick people and one healthy and trying to quarantine the sick away form the healthy. Awkward, but manageable in the short term.
Now let's up the game a bit. Two sick adults. One sick child, one healthy child. Now you have to care for a child while staying away from them. You are likely to be up all night with the sick child. And you are battling your own sickness too. Bloody hard.
Next let's not go to the all sick step, but rather what happens in reality. One parent gets better. Sick child gets better. Healthy child picks up sickness from remaining sick parent. Remaining sick parent gets well just in time for healthy parent to pick up sickness from the now sick child. The sick child gets well, but the healthy child picks up sickness from the now sick parent. Take that loop and repeat for 5 or 6 weeks and you have exactly what is happening in our house.
And do you know the funny thing? Apart from being very worn out, we're all having great fun together. That's the great thing about families - being together is all you need. Still, I really want my health back thank you very much!
Alan started to say dada dada dada over the weekend. I know it wasn't actually a word, and wasn't directed at me but it still felt great. It makes up for the fact he hasn't slept the last four nights!
He is coming on so much, interested in more things, and much more interactive (he always was, just more-so). I think this is the start of that transformation into us being four people interacting fully. Up to now we all make an effort to interact with Alan as much as possible, and he is so smiley it is a very rewarding pursuit, but I feel now he will more and more start to call us to interact.
I see it with his feeding too. He has an immense hunger and will basically growl for more, leaning forward to you, mouth open. It sounds like such a small thing but when you think it through this is the basics of a conversation. From Alan's perspective - I am saying to you give me more of that lovely food. If you respond by acknowledging this and giving food there is a smile, but if not there is more "ughhhhh...uugghhhh" until you do. OK, not exactly the Socratic method, but it is the beginning.
Rebecca started a big chapter in her life, which is a big one in Mummy and Daddy's too. She has started going to our local Montessori pre-school.
She started back in January, but with a flu, an ear infection and a bad old cough she didn't really get to go properly until last week.The first few days before she got sick she seemed not to be taking part in things too much, which had us a bit worried.
She wasn't her usual self when we asked about school. Usually she is a fountain of information, but on school it seemed that she was segmenting that as her out of the house life, and Mummy and Daddy should be happy enough with her in the house life and mind their own business. Or so it felt at least! From the small nuggets of information we were able to pull from her we found out that "The children clean up the toys at the end of the day". Very good, but a follow up "And did you help?" was answered with "No. The children did it.".
I am glad to report that she is now finding herself to be one of the children and is taking part in lots of activities. She has even brought Daddy home a giraffe. Yes, I am prouder of this giraffe creation than I am of my degree in fine art. And why wouldn't I be?
It is a big trust thing for me to let me little girl go off into the care of someone else. I know every parent has to go through the same, I just hadn't been prepared for it myself. I guess it is one of the down sides to being a work-from-home Daddy: I am very attached to my kids.
Still not so bad, I get a huge big cuddle when she gets home.