I tell you, you really have to take this parenting business in small steps. Let me summarise. For the first three months, it was survival. The shear act of ensuring I ate and drank enough was a full-time job. When you consider that wee Iain ate (nursed) every 45 minutes and did not sleep (I’m not exaggerating. The child would be up for 12 hours at a time without a nap and be very pleasant about the whole experience. Unlike his mother…). Luckily, he didn’t mind mommy eating when he was having a snack too. Month four saw me regularly able to shower once a day without one of us going in to hysterics. Month five found us experiencing our first Christmas with a child in fourteen years of togetherness as a couple. Month six saw me dreading yet another set of vaccination needles and both of us surviving the whole experience just fine, with a little help from our friend infant Tylenol. Month seven found me feeling more and more confident that I just might be able to pull off this whole new life changing experience…with a little help from my good friend Chocolate (it’s so important that it deserves to be ‘capitalised’. Now I’m into month eight with a crawling boy who has two teeth and a few more coming if the occasional bout of fussiness is anything to go by.
Now, let’s summarise Iain’s travel experience. Week three saw him travel from Ottawa to Middleton, Nova Scotia by Volkswagen Vanagon and one three hour ferry ride – that would be about 1000 km’s. In October, he went on his first aeroplane ride - to and from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. That was a 1.5 hour flying trip one way. In December, he made a driving trip to Moncton, NB and return. In February, Iain was back on the three-hour ferry again as we were en route to Sugarloaf, Maine for his first ski trip. Well, in Iain’s case, his first "being pulled along behind us in the toboggan" trip. And now, on Friday, Iain embarks on his first across North American tour.
Iain doesn’t seem to do anything in small steps does he? He’s only 8 months old, he’s already grown out of his size 6 – 12 month Robeez, he started crawling at age 7 months and one day, and he’s going to go on a 7.5 hour aeroplane trip on Friday.
One of my friend’s told me that her biggest challenge when her children were at this age were the quickly changing stages. Even if you didn’t like the current stage, you got used to it. As soon as you did that, it changed again. Iain is at the moving stage. What are the chances that there will be over a hundred sympathetic parents on this direct Halifax to Vancouver flight who are really interested in entertaining a very mobile 8 month old? Fellow passengers who are willing to give up aisle time (for the crawling baby) and prioritise the bathroom (for the infant potty trained baby)?
I’m hopeful though. Although I haven’t started packing, I have started the laundry. I figure that’s step one. I also have my knitting projects chosen. I have one ‘quick and dirty’ (see here), Chase is coming with me as is Iain’s chevron sweater.
You’d think I’d stick to one, say, Iain’s sweater to ensure it was finished before he grew out of it, right? Unfortunately, the chevron sweater is rather like a very, very good book that you keep putting down because it’s so good you want to postpone the ending as long as possible. Knitting with the yarn for that project is so gorgeous that I don’t want it to end. That and I’m also sensing a train wreck off in the distance. You know the one. The one that’s screaming in a tiny voice "you have just started the first sleeve and that really doesn’t look like enough yarn to finish the project. Not only that, the hand dyed yarn you bought was ‘one of a kind’. There’s no possible way of getting more." One could say I’m postponing the inevitable due to the train whistle in the distance. Have faith though. I have a great vest pattern picked out…