& working through

Because of her work-at-home job, Karli has seen a whole lot of Squatch. With the exception of the two days she went down to Oklahoma, she’s been around Squatch pretty much all day, every day of his life. Till this week, that is.

Karli started a new job this past Monday, which means the streak is over. She has to get up before the sun and head down into Kansas City every day while Squatch stays here with his grandma. Two days a week, I’m at home alone with him (till my summer break starts in two weeks, then it’s every day), and for the first time, she’s missing out on stuff like this:

Buds. Always.

Buds. Always.

I feel bad for her because first days at a new job typically suck. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t really know any of the people, you feel a little lost and a little dumb. Throw in being away from your sweet baby angel child* for pretty much the first time ever, and it’s easy to understand why Karli came home wondering if she made the right decision.

*Squatch’s words, not mine.

To help her get through the workdays, I send her pictures like this. It's working.

To help her get through the workdays, I send her pictures like this. It’s working.

Karli and I are both pretty much in the same place when it comes to this stuff—at least as far as I can tell. I think both of us would be hunky-dory either if our role was to stay at home with Squatch or if we went off to work. Neither of us is militant about being stay-at-home or dying to throw ourselves into our work. We’re both pretty cool either way*. And for us, in our house, it works. Maybe your house is different, and hey—you do you.

*Actually, I’m positive that—if given the choice—we’d both stay home and hang out with the kid. In a perfect world, right?

I really have to wonder, though—how different are we going to feel when he starts walking? Or talking? Or exerting his will, mostly in the form of insisting on the opposite of everything we want him to do? Are we going to be all-too-happy to shuttle him off to the daycare and jump into the world of adult conversation?

Right now he’s just a little ball of cute, and he’s growing up fast. In the weeks before Karli started at her new job, he started pulling himself up and walking around while holding onto stuff, started crawling*, got his first tooth to pop through his gums, and began exploring every bit of the house he could get to. All this after months of potato-ness.

*I know, it’s backwards to start standing up and walking around before crawling. We don’t do normal in the Sasquatch household.

It’s like he knew she was getting ready to go to work every day and needed to get all the big steps he could out of the way before that point. He was helping. It might have had the opposite effect, making her feel like she was going to miss out even more—but he was trying, right?

Anyway, internet folks: you want to help me let her know she was making the right call and that our kid isn’t going to have abandonment issues? He’s going to be fine, and she’s going to be fine, right?

This is what Daddy looks like in the mornings.

This is what Daddy looks like in the mornings.

On an unrelated—but no less important—note: we got a package in the mail this week. Well, specifically, Squatch got a package in the mail this week. A package of awesome.

Kortney and Doodle from Stay at Home Trauma sent Squatch his very own Sasquatch that they made themselves*! For no other reason than they’re just awesome! And he needed a cool little guy like Doodle’s Slyfox, too.

*I’m assuming it was more Kortney than Doodle, but I could be wrong. You know what happens when you assume things.

It arrived on our doorstep Thursday afternoon, and Squatch has had himself a grand old time with it. Turk tried to attack it, too, so we’re going to have to keep an eye on it so—well, so it doesn’t end up without an eye.

Before she made the doll and shipped it off here, I neglected to tell Kortney about our stuffed animal policy. In an effort to try making sure we remember who they’re from, any time Squatch gets a stuffed animal, it gets named after the person who gave it to him. So, Kortney the Sasquatch, welcome to the family!

Also, as any parent and cat owner can attest, just as amazing as the present is the box it came in. This was no exception:

This box is incredible!

This box is incredible!

Thanks, Kortney and Doodle! You have officially been crowned the Nicest People on the Internet. A well deserved crown, at that.


15 thoughts on “& working through

  1. I started working pretty close to full-time right before Doodle turned one for almost a year and a half. Not a happy time in my life because I felt like I was neglecting him and missing out on everything. Coolest thing happened, though – he started getting OUTLANDISHLY excited when I came home from work. He had never done that with me before, just with Jake. Really helped my heart get through it. And now that I’ve been home 100% of the time since October, I see that he did not feel abandoned by me even a little. 🙂

    And Doodle did help with the Sasquatch… He helped tangle the yarn every time I pulled it out to work on it while I softly redirected him (yelled at him) not to touch my yarn. 😉

    • Squatch gets pretty excited, too. More and more with each day. It’s kind of nice. He does usually get more excited for Karli than for me, but what can you do? We know who his favorite is around here.

  2. I have done both– worked full-time when my two oldest were small, and stayed home with #3 from the time he was born up until now. Both have their difficulties, both are hard and wonderful and awful and The Best Thing. You know that’s why I left WU– the evenings and weekends were just killer for the kind of mother I wanted to be. I loved my work, loved everything about it except for the part where my husband and I were handing off kids at the rest stop between Lawrence and Topeka.

    In the end, Squatch will be needing a LOT MORE FOOD in the coming years, and it’s handy for him to have parents employed in such a way as to support that. And for him to have a mommy and daddy that feel fulfilled in their personal and career lives. You’re going to miss some stuff, that’s true. But you’re going to appreciate so MUCH the stuff you don’t miss, and he’s got a lot of great people around him to cheer him on when you can’t be there!

    People raise their kids in all kinds of ways, and with love and support it all generally turns out ok.

    • I think the commuting is probably the toughest part for us. It just seems like extra time (about an hour or so for Karli, two-and-a-half for me) that would could easily be spending at home with him. Luckily teaching=summers off, so I get to make up for that a few months a year.

      He’s a BIG boy. You’re not kidding about that food.

  3. It’s going to be to start with, but it’s nice to have a bit of time away to fully appreciate your time at home and make the most of it. Plus I bet grandma’s happy building her relationship with her grandson!

    • Spoiled indeed. I’m sure he’ll be scarred, but not by this. We’ve got lots of “parenting” to do yet—that should do the trick.

  4. I love that you send photos!! Back when I had to finally go to work, I could only hear about accomplishments when I showed up in the evening. It was a joy when I was able to quit and stay home.

    P.S. I walked before I crawled. It is a sign of genius. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    • The pictures thing was an order. Well, more like a request, but even those are orders. I probably shouldn’t take credit for doing it, but since it’s my blog, I will. They’ve helped with her transition some, I think.

      I believe I also didn’t crawl much. And I’m crazy-mad genius. I’m starting to believe your theory.

  5. Random first comment here…I think your approach sounds pretty awesome. Squatch is pretty lucky to have 3 adults in his life who want to take care of him and spend time with him, and it seems to me that if he has someone who cares about him looking after him in a loving way, he’s set! Having parents who are happy and fulfilled only makes things awesomer.

    • You’re right. I think they’ve even done studies that show how much happier and more well-adjusted kids are when their parents are happy and fulfilled in their lives. I’m positive I’ve seen those. I’d find them and link to them, but I’m lazy.


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