Month: August 2016

Dear Husband, Before I Leave You To The Wolves Otherwise Known As Our Children

Dear Husband,

Much like Frodo, and his band of miniature misfits, you’re about to embark on a journey of great danger, confusing situations, and lots o’ poop ‘n screamin’. Okay, I don’t remember any poop in LOTR or The Hobbit, but as we all know, everybody poops. Even hobbits. Even Gandalf. Probably even orcs.

But(t), I digress.

In 8 short weeks, I will be jetting off to Vegas, and leaving you and our beloved children for four whole days. Having never left the children under your exclusive care for this long before, I think it’s fair to say we are both a solid level orange on the Holy Shit meter.

What will happen? How will you do it? What about bedtime? What about nap time? What about vegetables? How will you ever find the super secret parking spot at the park, or remember to pack an extra onesie in the diaper bag for the inevitable zoo poo that happens somewhere between the Tigers and the Komodo dragons? HOW WILL YOU DO IT?!?!?! AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!

Before you pull the emergency exit handle, and pop out of this seemingly doomed airship in hopes of parachuting down to greener pastures, let me remind you of something: You have been a dad for exactly as long as I’ve been a mom. Exactly.

Every second of every minute, every hour, every day, every month, and every year, you’ve been a dad to our kids.

You know every freckle on our daughter’s face, every squeal and squeak she’s ever made. You could trace the cowlick on our son’s head with your eyes closed, and get him to smile even in the midst of his worst moods. You know what they need, when they need it, and (theoretically) how to get it to them.

Now of course it’s not so simple as knowing what they need, and them then accepting it. There will be battles. Oooooh will there be battles. But that’s not unique to you being there, and me being gone. I battle with them all day, every day over all the things they will battle you over. Shoes, pants, not eating cat hair… You will see.

But you will also survive, and they will survive, largely in part because you are not an Orc. You will have to get creative. You will have to be okay with an 8000% temporary increase in screen time, and a 9000% decrease in dishes involving eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms. But you will figure it out, and in the end, we will all be better for it.

So when the going gets tough, and the boy is screaming like a Dingo is sizing him up for dinner, and the girl is running around the couch naked with a spatula covered in grape jelly, just remember that we live in North America and there are no Dingos. But grape jelly is going to be a bitch to get out of the sofa, so maybe address that before tending to the littlest member of our tribe.

The only difference between us is my milk ducts are lactating, and yours are shriveled and useless. But you aren’t useless. You’re amazing and capable and old enough to buy beer to calm your frazzled nerves at the end of the day.

If you need me, I’ll be by the pool, probably without my phone. If it’s really serious and someone has been bleeding for a while, call the front desk and have them come get me.

xoxo


Image credit: Frodo

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Cat vs Toddler

Before I had kids, I had cats. Cats who I treated as kids. In my tenure as a vet tech, I bottle-fed many a litter of kittens, as well as a few puppies, a squirrel, a chipmunk, and three glorious raccoons. Once they were old enough to feed and clean themselves, I’d find homes for them, or make arrangements for them to be rehabbed into the wild.

Or at least, that’s what I’d try to do.

The thing about raising kittens, and not being a cat, is it’s really hard to teach them how to be a cat. Without a furry mama, they don’t always learn about bite inhibition, or appropriate times to use maximum claw force, especially in relation to human skin and couches. But kittens have a saving grace, and that’s being cuter than most human babies.

This brings me to Enzo Bear.

About 5 years ago, I was at working at a vet hospital in Rhode Island when a flustered woman walked in carrying a shoe box. She explained she’d found the box while taking out her own trash, and when she picked it up to throw it away, she’d felt the weight shift and peeked inside. She lifted the cover, and revealed a tiny tuxedo kitten, scarcely bigger than a Twinkie. His eyes were crusted shut, his breathing was raspy, and he was dehydrated.

The woman was understandably upset, as she didn’t want a kitten, nor did she have the finances to attempt a rescue, but her kind heart forced her to bring him in. We agreed to take him, and, in an effort to at least provide him a warm, safe space to die (if he didn’t respond to treatment), I volunteered to take over his care.

Fastforward to now.

Enzo Bear didn’t die, though he did give us a few scares in the beginning, nor did he ever find a new home, possibly because he is mucho naughty, possibly because I fell in love with his adorable kitten face and silly antics.

He is now a thriving, handsome, wild, daring monkey-cat, who thinks he’s a real boy. He gives high-fives, and has his own “place” (a trick often taught to dogs). He loves his girl, and is warming to the newest edition of our family, the boy. He cuddles with us every night, and follows me around the house every day.

But of all of Enzo B’s defining features, the one thing that stands out (besides his proclivity to bite strangers) is his stubbornness. Now there is a chance this has less to do with being hand-raised, and more to do with just being a cat, but compared to the other cats in my life, of which there have been many, none quite compare to The Bear.

Recently that stubbornness has manifested in the form of regular stand-offs with the girl. Cat vs Toddler, round after round they go. He sits on her things, and gets in her way. She hoots and hollers at him, and he just stares her down with his his signature squint. It honestly feels like he is her older sibling, intentionally pushing her buttons and establishing his place. He was first. She must honor him.

Our family wouldn’t be complete without our first born fur kid. But sometimes I wonder if there’d be just a titch less drama.

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(This hilarious comic was created by the oh-so-talented, Adrienne Hedger, of Hedger Humor. Be sure to stop by, and check out her musings on modern day parenting and life.)