This week marks two milestones in my family. I turn thirty, and the muncher turns two. I seem to recall wanting to capture more of the time between these sorts of occasions when I first set out to blog about being a new dad. As with many aspects of parenting, the best of plans seem to get derailed, if not completely scrapped. Somehow instead of regular updates, I’ve let nearly seven whole months slip by without a peep. Shame on me.
BUT! In my defense, (I always was good at making excuses), major life events have unfolded. Rather than going into meticulous detail, let me sum up in timeline form:
May/June – Receive advance notice of workforce reduction, commence job search. Wife begins teaching preschool again to make up some cash, Vivi goes to daycare a few days a week and thrives. I kid you not, the little tyke would actually nap for 2 hours on a hard floor in a room full of other active kids. Now, if only she’d sleep like that for us.
June – October – Pick up extra hours working for the manager’s office of another municipality to make up the difference as I continue working a reduced schedule at my then current job with as much dignity as I can muster. Work with mentors and coaches. Workshop my resume. Network like it’s nobody’s business. Comb internet sites, publications and other sources of info for job leads. Apply for 60+ jobs. Interview like mad. Second interview with fury. Come really close on multiple occasions, but still empty handed.
October – Accepted an offer working in higher education on budget issues. In Long Beach. Of all the places to wind up and all the jobs, this is the most surprising, and potentially awesome.
November – Present: Relocate the family. Start over. Adjust to life in a new community.
A big ball of stress. And it was too close to heart to bare to the world as I was going through it, so I hope that you will forgive my respite. Anyway.
Back to the subject at hand. Milestones.
I was commenting earlier to my coworker who asked about turning thirty that It just doesn’t seem like that big of a deal since I became dad. The age is just a marker, but having a kid made me feel immeasurably more grown up than turning “a year older”. It might have something to do with sleep deprivation or really having to fight to have “me” time to pursue my own non-parenting interests. Birthdays have never been a big deal to me, so I feel like I shouldn’t get on my pedestal and shout to the world how awesome I am for making it to thirty.
Also, and this is the nervous-nelly that lurks within me speaking, if you really pause to think about it, every day that you and your family are still alive is a miracle. I constantly think about how easy and unpredictable it is for things to go wrong for someone. Did I cut the grapes small enough for V? Will I hear her if she’s choking in the other room or will I wander over in 5 minutes to find a blue toddler? Will she run out into the street one day before I can catch up to her? While I know that these are highly unlikely and irrational fears and generally suppress them well, I can’t help but think. Thousands of these types of “freak” scenarios unfold each year, and you just never know. So to me, making it 30 years seems huge in light of the fact.
Two is also a milestone for the kid. She’s in full toddler mode and this stage is rife with both challenges and joys. Two is the age we can stop counting her age by months and just say she’s “two”. Finally. I’m guessing we’ll still toss half-year increments in there just for good measure since there’s still so much going on. But this is a big deal. Trying to track your child’s age in months is a surprisingly frustrating undertaking. We were constantly second guessing our declarations of her age when asked. Enough of that already. It’s also a milestone for us. We didn’t completely screw up our child. She’s “normal”. Or at least we think so. We still check with pediatric standards once in a while. But generally speaking, she’s a happy, fussy, temperamental delightful little child and I couldn’t be happier.