Olive is turning four soon, and I’m busily planning an awesome puppy party for her. I’ll definitely do a post on the party later, for now all you need to know is that since our place is small, I’m keeping things pretty simple – just close family and a few friends.
Originally, I wasn’t going to invite anyone from her preschool because there’s like fourteen kids in her class and I’m not sure about the etiquette around inviting only a handful of them… Is that a dick move? I feel like it’s terrible if a group of them are talking about her party while others didn’t get to go and might feel left out… Experienced moms, please tell me how you do this!
Anyway, there’s one little boy in her class who Olive absolutely adores, and she really wanted to invite him so I figured, why not? It seemed less dickish somehow if there was just one kid invited. (Is it? Or is it worse? Pls help.)
Anyway, today I talked to his mom after school and got her number to send her the invitation.
This is what happened next. (Names changed and info redacted for obvious reasons.)
Twice a month, for four days, Olive goes to stay with her dad. He and I live three hours away from each other and we meet in the middle. On the day we meet, one of us speeds toward parenthood, the other away from it, and we stay like that for four days until we again meet in the middle and seesaw back.
I journey toward these meeting days with a mixed bag of emotions. Sometimes, Olive has a really tough time leaving and it feels like she’s ripping my heart out when she departs with tears and protests. Other times it’s easy breezy and she’s excited to go and I’m both proud and wistful, but still aching.
Questions Answers by LoretteArt on Etsy
Many moons ago, this blog was on Tumblr instead of WordPress, which allowed readers to submit anonymous questions whenever they liked. I received (and ignored) many strange ones, but also answered a lot. It was a really great way to see what I was omitting or not explaining well enough, what parts of my writing were being glossed over instead of put on the table and dissected.
SO! I hosted an impromptu Q&A on my Facebook page. You guys submitted questions via messages and comments, and now I’ll answer them! Buckle up kids, it’s about to git REAL (and long! Jesus christ this got long). We’ll start with the easy ones first and get to the hard ones (ahem, the dating ones) at the end.
Decidedly NOT a parenting-win moment, captured on film: Me whisper-yelling at Olive during my sister’s wedding. Ahhh memories.
I share a lot of my parenting trials and tribulations with you guys, and I think it’s important to do so. Without sharing those parts – where I fail and falter and lose my shit – it’s way too easy to accept an edited, filtered, Instagram version of reality, and we all know that’s bullshit, right? You can’t crop out the mess in real life and nor should you try – that’s where the beauty and the learning live.
I do like to share some positives too, though, and that’s what this list is. I think we all need to write lists like this every so often and then pin them to the inside of our bathroom mirrors or slide them under our pillows, so that whenever the weight of being a parent feels like it’s crushing you, you can pull it out and see some wins.
We need to do this because jesus christ this thing is hard. It’s hard for me when 75% of the time it’s only me, it’s hard for parents of multiple kids, it’s hard for parents with spouses deployed, it’s hard for parents of children with special needs. And even if you’re a “normal” parent with a supportive, helpful spouse and a strong community and financial security and healthy kids it’s still hard because holy shit this parenting gig ain’t easy for anyone.
We are dog-sitting an incredible little guy called Murphy for a few days. He’s such a sweetheart and Olive has been in absolute heaven (Squash Baby? Fishy Black? These are pets of the past. They’re dead to her now) and I’ve been loving it too. It’s been really nice to have a dog around again, aaaand I will admit that having a fluffy little guy who’s maybe twenty pounds with zero drool or shedding is a far different experience than I had with big Gus (bless his giant heart).
So far we’ve been taking full advantage of our temporary dog ownership status – yesterday we took Murphy on a walk to the coffee shop in the morning and a big romp around the dog park in the afternoon. Today I needed a few things from the grocery store so we decided to walk there and bring him along, too.
This is the story how a 15-minute round trip shopping expedition turned into utter shambles. (tl;dr I tried walking to the grocery store with a three-year-old).