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?


  1. My step-daughter has two "homes" but resides with us full-time. It must be hard for her {she's 11.5 now} but she handles it in stride. At least it seems that you both are trying to do what is best for your son and it's a good thing that your son is excited to see Daddy, even if it is once a month.

  2. My son is 16 months old and his dad and I share custody 50-50. I hate it, but I know it's the best thing for him. We don't do an exchange (we live very close, so whoever has him picks him up at daycare), but I know he does have a great time with his dad. My son has never known anything different, and he is very adaptable, but I do wonder how it'll affect him in the long run.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I am also so amazed and how adaptable kids are. I guess we just keep loving them and making them feel secure.
    @Singleishmom, I am so impressed that although you hate it, you are doing what's best for your son. I moved away from his father, to have the support of family, but still worry if this was the best decision.

  4. My daughter is 8 y/o and she's had 2 homes for about 7 1/2 years of her life. She gets along just fine, I believe it's because that's all she's ever known. We share 50/50 custody on a three day rotation, split holidays,etc.

    In the beginning our "exchanging" was not amicable. We would often take another person to be a "witness" in case something happened. Of course 8 years later and my situation with my ex is completely different. We even talk about his current dating situation-WEIRD I know. We no longer take additional people with us,and even work out certain dates where she can be with him if there is a party she wants to attend.

    All I can say is that event though he was a horrible hubby and I wanted to smother him w/a pillow when he was asleep, he has always been a good dad.

  5. I just cant accept it. I know my kid deserves a father, but I come from just one home and the idea of my kid having two homes just drives me crazy. I know he would adapt easily, but the not-knowing part is something I cant deal with. I dont know what will happen in the future...but the present is better for me when my kid is around 24/7. I have moved away many times but as I still have a good relationship with my baby's grandparents, he gets to see him every once in a while. I dont feel I care about him as a man, but the thought of his new wife hugging and kissing my baby drives me crazy. I think he hasnt been enough empathetic towards my feelings and that's one of the reasons I cant accept it.