Parenting is hard. We’ve all heard it before and we had believed it, but we didn’t really understand it – until now. Going from no kids to a 4 month old and a 2 year old is a little like getting thrown in the deep end of the pool and having to learn to swim on the spot, and when learning to swim it’s good not to panic and to continue moving to keep your head above water. We’ve found those principles work pretty well with the kids; if we don’t panic and keep them (well really Sport) busy and always moving life is a whole lot easier.
And keep them busy we have! The past week has been jam packed with activities including many trips to the local children’s indoor playground, which we of course now have a membership to, swim lessons at the YMCA, a visit to a plaster painting studio, trick or treating, a trip to a science museum and even a new haircut.
The indoor playground has everything from a chalkboard wall to climbing apparatus to a bouncy house and it’s a perfect activity regardless of the weather! Plus Sport can make friends, or in one particular case, follow a child around until he wears them down convincing them to finally play.
Meg grew up swimming – her family had a pool, she attended summer camps where she spent every moment she could participating in water activities, she swam on her high school swim team, then as she got older she became a lifeguard and even the waterfront director for one of the YMCA camps she attended as a young girl – so it was only natural to sign Sport up for swim lessons at our local YMCA. And he is shaping up to be a water bug too. After seeing his love for bath time we had a good idea that he’d probably take to the water like the fish decorating his room, and we were right. During his first lesson he was already dunking his head under the water with Meg.
Painting plaster was an absolute mess and a bit chaotic. Every time Sport got up from the table we got a small break from monitoring where he was putting the paint, but we then had the fear that he was going to break every plaster figurine on the wall, so we were on our toes the whole time. However, it was a perfect activity for us to take Sport, Sunshine and two 13 year old girls, since we met a friend and her 13 year old foster daughter along with her friend.
Last weekend was Halloween, so we couldn’t resist dressing the kids up. Since Sunshine is still a baby we got to dress her up in whatever we wanted, so we picked out an adorable penguin costume we found while poking around the Halloween section of Target. Sport has taken to playing with fire trucks, a fire helicopter and firefighter action figures and since we were lucky enough to have a firefighter costume given to us, he was a firefighter for Halloween.
We only trick or treated at a handful of houses. Sunshine naturally didn’t do much of anything, and Sport was very shy, although excited about the candy – what kid wouldn’t be? He seemed to be more interested in handing out candy to the other children who came to our house. However, the real excitement for them was probably having Meg’s brother, his wife, and Meg’s sister all over for some homemade pizza.
This week Marcy went back to work but Meg still had another week home, so she decided to call in reinforcements, a friend who is still in college and conveniently only had an early morning class that day, and together they took Sport (Marcy took Sunshine to daycare on her way to work) to a science and nature museum. There they saw animals like otters, owls and eagles, checked out a hurricane booth where winds blew 70 mph, and inspected some dinosaur tracks.
Since Sport and Sunshine are foster children we have to get permission to alter their appearance in any way so we inquired about getting Sport’s hair cut. The biological parents said they would like his hair to be neatly kept so, we booked an appointment with our stylist. Normally, we probably wouldn’t bring a 2 year old to a nice salon to get his hair cut, especially since our city has a barbershop (or two) on every corner, but we love our stylist, Ana. She has a two year old boy herself and when we told her our plans to adopt through the foster care system she let us know that she would love to cut the kids’ hair.
Next week we’ll both be back at work and both Sport and Sunshine will be at their daycares. We’re hoping to get a comfortable routine going and to give Sport some productive outlets for his energy at daycare. Until then we’re doing everything in our power to tucker the guy out, and it seems to be working.