I got a new pet! It is a guinea pig. It’s name is Taffy. She is very furry. She loves me already! I am allowed to hold her.
So the downside to having all last week off work for our glorious week away camping is that I returned to a seven day stretch at work that started Monday and ended today. The funniest part in all of it was how rusty I felt returning to work on Monday. I managed to forget my keys at home which – as it turns out – are pretty important when you have a closing shift and need to be able to lock the doors for the night. Luckily for me, the other manager that lives the exact same close distance that we do the store, was able to come in and save my bacon, with his keys. And every day since I have managed to remember my keys. But honestly, it took until Thursday or Friday this week before I really felt back into the swing of things.
We had a couple of really challenging bed times for Emelia. Because almost half of my shifts were closes this week, it seemed like Emelia waiting until those came up, to give Mommy the ‘fun’ of a night where she is incapable of falling asleep. Three nights I came home after I’d closed up the store for the night after 10:00pm to Danielle still embroiled with Emelia and the route to Slumbersville. And to add insult to injury, of course when I spelled Danielle off and took over the bedtime battle, she would be asleep for me usually within a half hour. Danielle I am sure understood that Emelia had worked herself to exhaustion at that point which made it easy for me to get her to sleep, but it was frustrating all the same to see me have such an easier time of it.
Why these challenges at night are most frustrating because they really diminish the time that Danielle and I get to just be a couple and to reconnect outside of being parents or running the business of paying the bills during the day. A few of the nights we manage only enough time to have a drink to unwind and then off to bed… some times it was even straight to bed immediately. One of the things I love most about our relationship is how we manage to make our us time as precious as our all of us time. What is getting me through these challenges at bedtime was a realization I had while we were away camping and I was witnessing Emelia grow up before my eyes: she won’t want us near her bedroom at some point. And so, I am going to live with the little bit of frustrating now and carve these longer nighttime snuggles into the memory banks for when she doesn’t need them any more.
So… Friday after work Danielle sent me a message that Emelia wanted to go to the pet store to see the animals there and think about the one that she wanted to add to our family. The discussion about adding another friend in the house had really become hot topic after we discover there is a family of cottontails that are pretty enamoured with our yard. That then sparked a story from one of Danielle’s more creatively minded daycare kids who apparently had a pet rabbit at home (she doesn’t). All of this of course got gears turning for Emelia and it culminated in a trip to the pet store Friday after work—which I would never turn down.
The trouble is, at the pet store there was this guinea pig that Emelia fell in love with. And if I am being honest, Danielle did too. Me? I was being claimed by Phillip a fancy little parrot that took quite the shine to me. We left the pet store knowing that a guinea pig was for sure the pet that Emelia wanted to being home! The conversation continued from that day solid and direct until today when I came home from work to Emelia and Danielle welcoming Taffy to her new home.
It was hilarious to see how excited and happy Emelia was. She was beside herself at this new friend she had and was telling more in the first thirty seconds of me getting home than I have ever gotten from her when I ask her about her day when I get home from work for an entire month.
Tomorrow thankfully I have a day off work, and to add to that Emelia and Taffy are going over to Mom & Dad’s for a sleepover because Danielle and I are having a grownup night out to see Justin Rutledge play at the beautiful venue that Danielle and Emelia went and saw Jill Barber play at while I was in California for manager training. She was raving about the location for the show and it wasn’t hard to convince her when the tickets went on two-for-one sale on Canada Day to go back to the venue to see an artist we both love.
And next weekend is the Home County Music & Art Festival! I am off work on the weekend so that we can take in as much of the festival as we can. This year has been the least amount I have been involved with the festival and with that the least amount of stress too. In fact my only involvement this year was really just with the graphic design work, and even that was surprisingly organized and went off without a hitch. So, all that is really left is to enjoy the weekend like a family of music fans! And we can do that.
The first week back to daycare world was thankfully an easy one. I had two girls start in daycare for the summer. One was Aubrey one of my longer term girls who Emelia grew up with in her time at daycare and I have luckily had space for the last two summers to have Aubrey back in care much to Emelia’s delight. The other child I have in care this summer is the sweet Annalisa. She is the daughter of a friend of mine who ran a daycare until a year ago and for the first time in Annalisa’s 5 years she was needing daycare. Annalisa has the same allergies to gluten that I do so Deb (her mom) was relieved to know I had an opening for the summer so I could welcome her to our daycare family for the summer break.
This was the perfect storm for Emelia. She had become quite frustrated with daycare land and the demands on our home and mommy. These additions for the school break has given Emelia some playmates in daycare her own age range and she could not be happier.
Last summer I had signed Emelia up for the free city run school age camp at her school. Last year she hated it, this year with the addition of her best friends Anna and Grace she is love with this camp. The two councillors that are running it are amazing and the activities they have planned each day has Emelia coming home talking my ear off about how fun they are. It is the perfect balance for me, Emelia gets to play with her friends and children her age and older and I get to still have my afternoons (well some when I can convince her to stay home) with her. She just loves it and this makes me so happy because the daycare at the end of the last school year was really wearing thin on her. She seems to have fallen back in love with the whole daycare world which certainly makes it much easier on my mommy guilt. Although an insane amount of work the daycare being my employment does make our home/work balance work well so Emelia loving it again makes it easier for sure.
Emelia has also been loving since we got home how much time she has been able to spend with her best friends. Luckily for Emelia the twin’s mom is home on maternity leave this summer and is more than happy to let Emelia play over with the girls. She and I take turns picking up and dropping off at the camps to balance around all the kids and babies sleep needs and it has made for a great summer. Emelia comes home happy and tired. The perfect sign of an active child.
Now you would think that this tired child would mean she would collapse in bed the second we got to her room. But this is Emelia we are talking about and the more tired she is the worse she is to get to sleep. And she has decided to pull a new need for an insane bedtime routine to fall asleep. She will go to sleep for John but is an insane nightmare for me to get to bed. It’s insanity. I have reminded her constantly she is a big girl who wants big girl responsibilities and that includes going to bed without me in her room. But the resistance is intense. I know one day she will figure this out I just wish it was sooner than later. I love that we can have a snuggle at the end of her story but it’s the hours and hours to get her to sleep that is more than wearing on me.
Sleep issues aside it was still a good week and for Emelia a great end of the week. Emelia has been talking for a good 2 years about wanting a snuggly pet that was her own. Skylar our 16 year old cat is not exactly a snuggly cat. She has never been and add in her age and she does not want much to do with Emelia. So she has discussed everything from cats, to dogs, to rabbits, to guinea pigs. A cat or dog at this time was out of the question. We knew it was not fair to Skylar to have another cat in the house and a dog we honestly don’t have the room or the time to have a higher maintenance animal. Then she moved to a bunny, we have a bunny that has taken up a home in our backyard and she has become more that smitten with it. She and the daycare kids spent much of last week making a bed and bringing food to this bed they made hoping the bunny would want to be their pet.
Well that failed and Emelia wanted once again to go to the pet store. Once again wanting to see if they had bunnies to adopt. Well of course they didn’t. BUT they did have guinea pigs. And she instantly fell in love with this crazy haired brown, golden and black coloured one. And I have to admit I did too. He was pretty adorable and snuggled in with Emelia instantly. She was determined this was going to be her new best friend and the snuggly pet she had been dreaming of.
So we talked about responsibly and costs and that she would have to save for this new beloved pet. Well she did not stop talking about this beloved pet since. And since Friday we had to go back daily so she could pet and snuggle with him. Well making a long story short we are now the proud owners of Taffy the guinea pig and Emelia is over the moon. Taffy has a large two level cage in Emelia’s room to give her (yes Emelia is insisting our boy guinea pig is a girl) lots of space to safely roam.
Emelia cannot wait to show anyone and everyone our crazy haired newest member of the family and I have to admit she is pretty fantastic.
Good night for now, it’s been a long week and I need to veg with John for the night.