Thursday, 29 September 2011

A toddler with two homes

Perhaps because he is just two, and has never known any different, my two year old son seems to manage quite well with having two homes.

Once a month we pack his little Thomas the Tank Engine roller suitcase and head south. On these days Mekhi excitedly explains to whomever will listen, "Go Daddy's house. My Daddy! Drive car see Daddy. Hi Daddy! Bye bye Mommy!"

After a border crossing and three hour drive, we meet at a mall. As soon as we pull into the parking lot, Mekhi starts yelling out the window, "Daddy where are you? Daaaaaddy!" He is so excited to see him, and usually runs up and gives him a big hug. This amazes me especially because he talks to him at the most once a week. He is eager to get his bag and ride in daddy's car.

I, on the other hand, dread it for days. I want the exchange to go as quickly and painlessly as possible. I still avoid eye contact most of the time. It's just too hard to look into the eyes of the person I once loved and thought I knew so well. My best friend... a stranger.

There is forcibly pleasent conversation of necessary information followed by many kisses and I love yous between me and Mekhi. Then they are gone.

That's the normal for my son. His mom and dad meet at a mall once a month. Then he spends the weekend at his dad's condo (which was once our condo). Then I pick him up at the same mall and we trek back north to my parents' house, his other 'home'. It's not the family I though we'd have, but I guess it's a family. It's Mekhi's family.

I'm sure there will be many questions in the future, and of course the potential for anger and hurt about our family and living situation. But for now I will appreciate and encourage his innocence and excitement.
He's a toddler with two homes and that's okay by him.

What about you? Do your children have two homes? How do your children handle it?

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Thanks to my family and friends

I called late
You listened
I cried
You passed the tissues
I laid in bed
You laid next to me
I slept
You didn't distrurb me
I got angry
You stayed calm
I got lonely
You kept me company
I repeated myself
You listened...again
I needed a place to stay
You openned your home
I wanted to stay in
You took me out
I made decisions
You supported them
I needed time
You were patient
I am so grateful
You were there

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Summer ends and routines restored...hopefully

The summer finds us all, especially those with children, a little more relaxed and out of routine. There are road trips, later bedtimes, looser rules and a lot more treats. For those of us that struggle with structure and consistency already, it's amazing our children avoid a complete transgression into 'lord of the flies' type behavior. Okay that might be a bit dramatic, but I think we really got out of whack this summer. Why is that?

On car trips, cheetos and gummi bears became a snack and feature length films on the ipad a normal occurence. What? I know better than that. Ok there was a lot of fruit in there too.

Bedtimes....hmm well he did eventually go to bed every night. Just couldn't tell you when exactly. And he often ended up curled up with me, especially when staying with friends.

Baths...does swimming naked in the ocean count?  

Getting dressed... it happened when we left the house. Really what's the hurry? He can ride his bike in pjs. many hot dogs did he eat this summer? There were fewer meals sitting at tables, and more lingering ones sprawled out on blankets, with spontaneous breaks to the swings or sandcastles in between bites.

Discipline on the road... sure there are still timeouts etc. But I know it's tough to be away from home, so I give him the benefit of the doubt when he's extra possessive or moody. 

Mother of the Year!

So routine might not have been my strong point, but we had fun...beaches, bbqs, parks, friends, bike rides, boat rides, concerts, and a lot of bubbles!

Now...time for some structure! Maybe

Friday, 9 September 2011

Farts are funny

Mekhi has recently become amusingly aware of his flatulence. He laughs at his own, others and especially the dog's. He even goes so far as to become quite possessive of them yelling, "my toot! Mekhi's toot! I tooted!" Then he points to his bumb and recreates the sound. I think this is all quite cute and funny.

Tonight as I sat rocking him to sleep, he started giggling. I didn't know what was so funny until a few seconds later and then he really let one rip. He must have felt it coming. His giggle was contagious and soon we both were unable to stop. It was the purest sweetest funniest time we shared that day; thanks to a fart.

Perhaps I should be teaching him to say "excuse me", that some people may think it's rude, and that he should leave the room if possible. And I will...tomorrow. But today we just laughed and laughed because come on...farts are funny!:)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Dropping off my son

I cried before, during and after the first time I dropped him off with his dad. I was a mess.

We currently live 6 hours apart and so met at a mall in the middle. This was our first official, as decided in mediation, parental hand off. Things had been so tense between us I was dreading seeing him for days. It was not the first time I was going to be away from Mekhi, but it was under these cricumstances. We decided having lunch altogether and then letting him play would be best. It went awkwardly well. After a short time we began to walk back through the mall, towards our cars. I quickly kissed and hugged my son and told him I loved him, before disappearing into some shop. I spent the afternoon in the bookstore reading about divorce. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon of freedom. I then headed to my dear friend Erica's to drink wine, go for walks, watch movies, look for jobs and count the minutes.

When I saw him three days later, tears poured the minute I saw his sweet face. "Mama" never sounded so sweet!
Although these times apart have become much easier, there is still this aching feeling that comes over me when I say goodbye to him for the weekend. My heart beats a little faster and my chest starts tightening, as though it's being tugged towards him as he's being driven away.

And now 6 months later, I actually enjoy my time alone. I miss him and speak to him everyday, but appreciate the adult time.