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Day Three – Good Friday

No wake ups last night, I actually feel rested this morning. I’m going to need it. The past 2 days haven’t been that tough as Rosie has been in school. Today is the start of 4 days in a row, 96 hours of make it or break it with both of them, 24 straight. This is the true test I was waiting for. Remember this is new to me, for some of you, you live and breathe it every day – all days. But not me.

Dad with daughter

7:06am Harvey wakes up – i start attempting a plan for the day. They both play well together but are also equally independent in nature as well. They can be having the best time interacting with each other, then with a quick flip of the switch they turn into Spike from Gremlins.

I think it’s finally sinking in that mommy isn’t here and won’t be for a while. It’s sad. I feel for them. I miss her too. Time to be super fun Dad to help distract them. Probably will have to start googling things to help keep us all engaged and happy.

9am-12:14pm At least the sun is shining, I think that will help. Breakfast was a success, and all 3 of us pooped within a 5 minute window before 9:15am … that has to be a sign or something. We hit Arthur Ford Park – it’s one of our favourites and seems unknown to most. Has a decent set for the age range, a forest area and a whole bunch of running room.

Have to be home by 11am to FaceTime Averil in Vancouver. The kids are excited about it. Technology at its best.

We meet some new kids and one of Averil’s high school friends who just came to the neighbourhood. He has 2-year-old. Something I noticed though: Harvey interacts with any age group, where Rosie is great with her age and younger but not kids a couple years older and up. She seems to shy away from them, but watches them intently. I wonder why. She is pretty outgoing and full of energy, it just kind of diffuses when they appear. Need to remember to ask my wife if she has noticed. It’s weird, she has lots of friends at school and they play well together. I think we need to get her in something organized in the summer.

The FaceTime was good – the kids were excited to see their mom. I was happy to see her face, couldn’t really get a word in over the squeals coming from the kids. Gonna try and do it tomorrow again. But I don’t think Harvey, at the age of 2, could really comprehend the call. Once it was over, he was really upset trying to get the phone back to see her more, like she was trapped in the Phantom Zone with General Zod.

I lost my patience with Rosie more than I should, after the call, when she shoved her brother to the ground decently. She claims he did something to her. He may have. He usually does. But I caught myself quick, calmed down and talked through it. Apologized. Twice.

It was hard, my reflex was to just snap quick. That wouldn’t have helped. No one would win from that. I think I did okay, I’m not the most patient, partly dealing with bar customers for the past 2 decades and partly due to my fathers influence before my parents divorced.

One thing I always vowed was to try and be the father I wanted to have growing up. One that is engaged, loving, understanding and devilishly handsome of course. I believe I’m doing that.

12:33pm-1:45pm Harvey’s down. Rosie’s bored. Time to make a card for the Easter Bunny to remind him not to miss our house, just because mommy is away. And of course she left everything set up in Easter baskets, labeled, ready to go for Sunday morning. I love her for that. Her parents are coming to visit tomorrow – which will help as it is supposed to rain.

What to make for supper tonight?

2pm I dig through, which may be the world’s worst packed shed, to find our old tricycle to see if Harvey is big enough to give it a go. Not sure which numnuts packed this thing so pathetically in the fall… wait, that was me. Dick.

2:30pm-4:07pm Park was a disaster – too bad as it’s probably the nicest day we will have. Lots of whining and fighting caused by simple basic things like sharing and taking turns. I know I say simple but I’m sure it’s hard for these guys to process they can’t always get what they want, when they want it. I’m getting more patient for sure. I’m glad I understand I have this shortcoming in my personality, it helps me pull back and help teach them and myself how to deal with situations. I need to show them how to respond and that’s with understanding and positivity, not with raised voices and punishment. Like I said these were simple things that went wrong.

Rosie decides on spaghetti and meatballs – this should be fun.

4:55pm-7pm Supper is surprisingly a success, although Harvey insisted on penne and Rosie wanted fusilli. I did what some parents wouldn’t and made 2 different types of pasta. The past few hours weren’t the greatest for them or me, so I appeased them. Hope I didn’t set a trend that will bite me in the ass later. At the moment it seemed like my only option to lessen the tears and whine that would naturally unfold. But they ate well, half way through her dinner, Rosie asks “where’s my veggies” to which I replied there’s tomatoes in the sauce.  Lame answer Dad. What 4.75 year old asks for broccoli with super?

They ate so well that we had time to play afterwards and it was golden. Full of tickles, laughter, snorts and farts. Exactly what the doctor ordered. I’m sure we all feel this way, but there is nothing that can warm your soul faster than your child’s laughter… pure, unbridled, happiness.

7pm-8:24pm Pajamas on. Teeth brushed. Stories picked. Forgot to brush her hair. Shit. Her curls will turn into dreadlocks if I don’t do it tomorrow. How am I to explain her shaved head when Averil returns. Rosie pulls out this weird story I haven’t seen before, she picked it from the library,  called “You Are Stardust” … let me tell you it’s really weird. Heck, let me show you ..

“Like fish deep in the ocean, you called salt water home. You swam inside the salty sea of your mother’s womb.”

Umm …

I put Harvey down. He struggled, for the first time he cried asking for mommy. Broke my heart. Eventually he settled. Then Rosie’s turn. She’s down. Then Harvey wakes up due to a gaggle of tweens on the sidewalk in front of our house yelling about whatever tweens yell about. Oh, and my across the street neighbour is using a nail gun apparently at 8pm. Maybe he could miss fire in the tweens direction.

Anyways – Rosie is still rolling around, and I have been in Harvey’s room twice already. Just to restate the power these creatures have over me. The last time I’m in his room, I’m frustrated, I have him seconds from drifting off and Rosie sneezes loudly. I guess it snuck up on her. I tense up waiting for him to wake up… nothing, I wait another 2 minutes and still nothing. Then at about 5 minutes post-sneeze he stirs in my arms and whispers in the most perfectly cute voice “Bless you Rosie.” And all is right in the world again. Bring on the night.

9pm-11:45pm I have a coke in the fridge, sour cream ruffles and a date with the Mad Max remake. Although I would rather have her here with me, I’m enjoying getting caught up on all the movies I’ve missed in the theatre.

Wow – Mad Max was overrated big time. Kids sleeping soundly, now it’s my turn.

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