It’s Father’s Day, so naturally I’m 3500 KMs away from my kids – who seem to have forgotten how to use a phone. Sniff. Regardless, I’m not a fan of days like this. I don’t need a day to celebrate … Continue reading
Self portrait: Frida Pentland.
The thing about writing a parenting blog about having a new baby at 45 – now 46 – is that you have no time to write a parenting blog at all. Kids take up pretty much all of your time. Especially if they can’t do literally anything for themselves.
Sure, she has a mother who deals with almost everything, but I would feel guilty if I just sat around all day blogging about parenting, when I haven’t been doing a whole lot of the actual parenting. So by not blogging about parenting, I’m actually being a better parent.
And let’s not forget there are still the other two kids, who I deal with half the week. The rest of the week they’re with their mother. So I deal with them half of the week, or half of the time of half of the week, as their step-mother (the mother of the baby) tends to “step” in when things get too much for me with the bigger two. Which is often. So I’ll round down to parenting them half the time of half the time of half the week that we have them.
Regardless, I like blogging, and need to do more of it. I used to do it every day, but I was paid for that. This? Not so much. Ergo, not so much blogging. Still, there’s no point in having a parenting blog if you don’t blog on it…at least twice a year.
Baby Frida is almost 12 months now. She’s mobile and vocal. That’s not to suggest she knows where she’s going, or what the noises she’s making mean. Actually, to be fair, she does know where the dog’s water bowl is, and how to crawl there as quickly as possible from wherever she is, at any time, to douse her clothes in whatever dregs of saliva and food particles the dog has left for her.
She and the dog have developed a symbiotic relationship. Meaning that we feed the baby food, which she in turn feeds to the dog. At first we weren’t aware of this arrangement, until we realized that Frida’s fingers were always weirdly clean, no matter how sticky or messy the food we served her. Also, the dog has become fat.
She also announces everyone’s entrance into a room with a loud, excited blast of recognition – although I tend to receive a somewhat subdued “it’s just him again” grunt.
Frida’s 1st birthday is days away. She just missed sharing it with Jesus, except he was most likely actually born in September, like me. I’m not making comparisons to myself and Jesus, but this blog could use some traction, especially with the lack of posts. So, in closing, Jesus and I are almost the same person.
(Note: No word of a lie, the second I finished writing that, Frida conked me on the head with a bottle of paediatric Motrin. And here we thought she wasn’t religious.)
(Also: Turns out this was my 7th post this year. Here’s to 7 more next year!)
My daughter, Vera Frida M. Pentland, was born on December 27, 2014. She goes by Frida, as far as we can tell. She barely responds when we say her name, preferring instead to either sleep or eat, basically ignoring everything else. If you threw in an Xbox and a bag of chips, she’s pretty much just like her older siblings.
Her mother took her sweet old time having her too, clocking in at 56 hours of labour, including making me drive her all over town at all hours, from home, to birth centre, to a hospital. Needless to say, things didn’t go according to our birth plan, but everything worked out in the end, and one month later baby and mom are doing great.
So now I officially have three kids. It’s been almost 8 years since the last one was born, and while some things are coming back to me (the quick-change diaper maneuver, opening a bottle of wine with one hand while rocking a baby with the other), some things have definitely changed. For instance, it seems that strollers are actually made to be harder to open as time goes on. When I was a baby, they didn’t fold up at all. When my son was born 11 years ago, it was a flip and a slip and a bang and you were on your way. Now I seem to have missed the classes needed to operate the damn thing at all, and practice does not make perfect in this case. The brake seems to always be on, and the beer holder attachment barely fits a take-out coffee cup.
Not only is the stroller a puzzle to fold and unfold, but it comes with a bassinet that somehow attaches to it, and that my daughter hates, if her screeching is anything to go by. In fact, she doesn’t seem to like travelling at all, unless it’s in my arms and my back is about to give out. With my other two kids, the only time they would nap was if I was driving them around, usually on the highway, at great financial cost given the price of gas at those times. Now gas is crazy cheap, and this one hates being in the car.
My older kids have been great with the new addition, and are constantly eager to hold her. Neither of them are eager to change her, however, just as they both physically gag if I ask them to take the dog out in case she poops and they have to pick it up. I’ve even said they could use a plastic bag on their hands, but still it’s a no-go in both cases.
Nevertheless, the three of them are getting along – or at least the two older kids are getting along with the new one. They are definitely not getting along with each other, but that is a given, and something that we have been trying to figure out. With a new addition comes new rules, or new ways of handling things. Trying to get the older sibs to pitch in a little bit more, but not making it seem like their lives have become so much worse with a new sister, is the goal. It could be very easy for them to see the baby getting all the attention, and their stepmother and I have been trying to make sure that they are involved in things, despite the fact that “things” right now involve a lot of poop and spit-up – from the baby, let’s be clear. For the record, I take care of my own poop and spit-up.
We have allotted them some new chores, simple tasks like making their beds in the morning and picking out clothes the night before. This was met with the expected outrage and venom, as if asking an 11-year-old to feed a dog every morning is tantamount to making him rebuild a car engine blindfolded. Hopefully this new world order will stick. I’ll let you know how it goes.