When last we met, our hero and his mama were going to move cross-country to live with grandparents while his daddy finished working on the house. Or, in his words: “We goin’ to Amas wif Mama and Daddy workin on da ol house wif his tools!” And, more importantly, “I don go school at Amas!”
And now he is [living with Amas and Papu – his grandma and grandpa – and Mama] and isn’t [going to school, because we don’t go to school while at Amas’ house].
And we are doing pretty well.
We have enough experience by now, my son and I, that we know what transitions look like for us: a period of no sleep and partying, a period of no sleep and Mama is about to lose it, a longer period where sleep happens and Javi is clingy, and the final adjustment where Javi loses his shit a lot while being whiny and kinda mean to Mama but at least she’s sleeping so she can survive it.
We are, right at this moment, in that last phase, which is hard, but familiar. He misses his daddy and doesn’t know how to verbalize those feelings, but luckily he’s old enough to project so I get more insight than I used to. His toothbrush is sad, he says to me, because he misses his daddy. Then his toothbrush finds his daddy toothbrush and they all dance! And then they are happy!
So, every inanimate object in the house is sad these days – and obviously because they’re missing their daddies – and we talk about how their daddies would like to be with them but are working hard to finish fixing their old houses. Only once have we then had to talk about what a toothbrush’s house looks like, so all in all, we’re doing okay.
Sometimes Javi is just a bear of overwhelming emotions for no apparent reason; he’s slept well and eaten well and napped well and pooped recently but is still a whiny, falling-apart kid. On those days,
I drink more we get Daddy on the phone for a long Facetime session, a new discovery that has helped them both reconnect and be happy again.
We’ve made such a big change in his life and he’s doing really well with it, really, helped through by lots of sleep and Mama time and having fun with his grandparents. He doesn’t like mornings with the nanny, preferring instead to “work wif Mama,” so he breaks my heart on the regular by crying for me as I (or they) leave, which sucks, but we’ve adapted by making sure they leave the house right when she gets here so he has something to focus on other than not being around me, and I’m back to sneaking around so he doesn’t see me until after his nap. And honestly, we’re both feeling the hole in our family where my husband always functioned – as the more insistent, less understanding, more fun and romp-y parent. It’s only been a month, but not having him as my partner in parenting seems to be contributing to some whining and babyish behaviors that I’m not appreciating, but dealing with as best as I can since regressions often happen when big changes do.
Me? I’m dealing. We have many decisions to make that can’t be made now, which is a very not-ideal situation for me, but I’m finding opportunity to learn from it. Sometimes you just have to be since you can’t do. I spend a lot of time looking at real estate listings and thinking about what’s important to me and what kind of life we want to lead since my usual DIY and buying things pastimes are on hold. My husband and I are fairly disconnected right now, owing to different time zones and long days, but we’ll catch up with each other again. We’re both doing everything we can to make this all work out.
I’m thankful that we get to be here with my parents, who not only took us in but were excited about having us here, such a relief after such a worrying and sad period of sickness. We found a morning nanny who is really sweet and good with him (my second success via Care.com); she comes over from mid-morning until he’s down from his nap, then I keep my fingers crossed that he’ll sleep until my afternoon calls are finished. Once a week he joins my mom at her work (a high school), something they both look forward to. (Eating lunch in the cafeteria! Waving to the kids during class changes! ROTC trucks in the parking lot!) Her coworkers not only don’t mind, they look forward to his visits!
All in all, we’re very lucky and we’re doing pretty well. We’ll be very sad to leave my mom’s — and all the help and sun and family time — and a little nervous to be on our own again in a new city with new schedules and big changes, but, as with everything else I’ve talked about, there is a bright side: we will have gone through a partial upheaval already so we’re well-practiced.
OH, HEY, the most important thing: Javi’s health is SO MUCH BETTER HERE, and compared to Seattle, this place is still allergy-challenging! He’s down to maintenance inhaled steroids only, having not needed the rescue inhaler/ treatment beyond the first week we were here, and I’m about to discontinue those given his total lack of symptoms for the past few weeks. He no longer coughs, at rest, while sleeping, or EVEN DURING OR AFTER RUNNING FOR HALF AN HOUR, which is so amazing I had to put that in caps. Amazing. Amazing! So, yea, moving here was a great idea. We expect similar (if not better!) health in Seattle.