Happy 3rd birthday, Choo Choo!

It’s one of those funny things you sometimes run into as a parent. In one moment, you’re nearly panicking at the seemingly rapid passage of time, that your tiny infant is suddenly racing around the house, reading books far too advanced for her age, and threatening to debate logical positivism. Then you look down and see that one child is adorably cute and had been so for, also seemingly long, forever.

Today, dear Choo Choo, you turned 3. And while the world seems to be spinning around me beyond my control, you sit there at the centre of the storm, giggling and playing and singing songs and making faces and smiling, smiling, smiling. Oh, how I cannot believe how much happier my life is when I get a big hug from you.

Like this morning, when you got up…

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I hate you leave you in the morning, Part 2

Where once there was one,
Now there are two.
But the patterns remains the same.

Wakened by one, though with hugs from both.
We sit. We eat. We chat.
Stories, changing of clothes and preparing for the day.
Teeth brushed.
Please, just let Mommy sleep a little while longer.

“Daddy, you going work?”
“Yes, honey…”
“But I miss you!”

Prometheus brought fire to man
And endured the eagle every day.
My heart faces the same eternity of destruction and healing
For everyday that I must leave.

Hugs. A kiss. A moment of love.
It is a fleeting moment, like your innocence
Too soon gone.

It’s a lonely trek away from you
Each step an ache
A string strung too far
Desperate to break.

Days are long
Time is short
You grow up too fast

Suddenly, another year passes
What did I miss?
I miss you. Every day.

Always.

I hate to leave you in the morning.

A walk in the (amusement) park

Kids, we missed the Calgary Stampede this year. That was partly intentional, to be honest. Yes, it was the 100th anniversary, and Choo Choo was old enough to actually do some of the things there, but … well, it was kind of crazy this year, and maybe the 101th anniversary won’t be quite so crazy. And you’ll be older, and slightly more … how can I put this? … controllable.

That said, you both like rides, Monkey especially. (We found that out last year.) So denying you two a trip to an amusement park, especially during what’s turning out to be Calgary’s best summer in a long time, is just plain criminal. So with Mommy’s acquired coupons, we packed you up, dragged out Grandpa, and all headed to Calaway Park.

In a word? “WHEEEEEEEE!”

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Vacation 2012, Day 2.5

Well, kids, this vacation is certainly having some ups and downs. I’m taking that as a good thing, by the way, since without variation things can get a little dry. That’s also a joke, incidentally — “dry” isn’t a concern around here. It’s rained every day so far (we have thunderstorms as I’m writing this), and not far away, flooding is so bad that highways are being washed out.

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An apology to my kids

Dear Monkey and Choo Choo,

Yesterday, I worked from home. This is not the first time I’ve done so. The reasons for working from home are also largely irrelevant. The point is that I was there, even though I really wasn’t. I was working, which means my mind is elsewhere.

For you, I was home. This “working” thing doesn’t make any sense to you, nor should it. I was at home; that’s all that matters to you. So you did what you should be doing when I’m at home:

Daddy, I['m'] hungry.

Daddy, [can you] read [this] story [to me]?

Daddy, can you take me around the block on my bike?

Daddy, come play!

Instead of “yes”, which is what you expected, you heard me say “no”, and far too often, angrily. And for that, I apologise. You shouldn’t have had to deal with me like that. I made you cry a couple of times, Choo Choo, for you understand the least. You know when I leave in the morning, I’m going to “work”. Even though I know you don’t really know what “work” means, you know I’m not at home. Lately, this elicits:

I['ll] miss you.

See daddy’s heart. See daddy’s heart shatter into a million pieces. See daddy cry as he watches his kids’ lives slip from his fingers.

So I’m going to make a deal with you. I know you’ll accept, so this is more kicking myself in the butt to make sure I do it. I will never work from home again. That means that if I am at home, and you’re awake, I’m yours. If it’s a “normal” work day, I’ll shift my hours to a time when you’re asleep. If I’m at home, we do what you want to do. We play, we read, we go for walks.

Because I can’t bear to say “no” anymore to the things that matter to you.

Happy 2nd birthday, Choo Choo!

Happy 2nd birthday, my dear Choo Choo!

It’s almost impossible to believe you been with us only two years, you shining little light. Two short — and somehow, impossibly long — years ago, you found yourself suddenly freezing, weighed, and then set upon by a dozen doctors and nurses who were all convinced you were not exactly in the best of health. To see you running around today, inhaling chocolate cupcakes like they were air … well, if anything, I’d suspect those doctors would feel proud you’ve turned out so well.

Goodness knows I am, kiddo.

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Happy first birthday, Choo Choo!

Well, my little girl, you’re a year old today. A year ago, you came into our world early, confused, cold, and separated from Mommy. It wasn’t exactly how any of us had hoped you’d arrive, but we were happy to have you no matter how it all went.

Mommy and I had been looking forward to today for a long time. We wanted your first birthday to be small, surrounded with just a few of us, making as much fuss as we could without completely overwhelming you. Today wasn’t really about you, so much as it was about us. You see, we’re actually kind of sad, today.

Why? Well, you’re no longer our baby girl. You’re grown up.

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Baby steps

Well, Choo Choo, your first birthday is fast approaching. Four days, now, as a matter of fact. On Friday, you’ll turn 1, and Mommy and I will shed a tear as a our last baby ceases to be a baby and becomes a toddler.  ”Toddler” being the key word, of course.

And by “toddler”, I mean “toddle”, which is about the best way to describe your current state of bipedal motion. You’ve been scooting for the last couple of months, using an improvised push with your left hand to shove your left leg forward while seated, and using your right leg to pull at the same time.  But you’ve started walking in short bursts, and are on the cusp of walking on your own.

If only you’d let go of Mommy and I … which we really don’t want you to do.

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